Arena announces that on 11 October 2000, it signed agreements with British Sky Broadcasting Limited (‘BSkyB’) and Channel Four Television Corporation (‘Channel 4’) in which the parties have agreed to form a joint venture in order to make an offer to the UK’s 59 racecourses for a worldwide exclusive licence to their media rights. Arena’s existing bid for the rights, made on 21 September 2000, lapsed at midnight on 10 October 2000.

Under the terms of the agreement, Arena, BSkyB and Channel 4 will establish a jointly owned company (‘NewCo’) which will make a new revised bid for all the media rights of UK horseracing, excluding the right to broadcast pictures of UK racing into UK licensing betting offices.

NewCo will make its offer to the 59 UK racecourses within the next fortnight.

Commenting on the agreement, Ian Penrose of Arena said:

‘Our partnership with Channel 4 and BSkyB combines all the necessary broadcasting, technology, interactive gaming and racing experience, expertise and contacts to develop UK racing as a truly global media and gaming product. We sincerely hope the UK racecourses will appreciate that this partnership is best placed to maximise enhanced revenue streams to racing’


David Bick, Holborn Public Relations
Tel: 020 7929 5599

Martin Pope, Arena Leisure Plc
Ian Penrose
Tel: 020 7495 2277