Britain’s leading broadband cable communications company, NTL Incorporated has associated itself exclusively with the Go Racing consortium in its bid to secure media and related rights to British racecourses.

NTL, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Premium TV, has negotiated an option to join Channel 4, BSkyB and Arena Leisure as an equity partner in Go Racing if its bid for racing rights is successful.

If the option is exercised, the planned Go Racing channel will be carried on NTL’s fibre-optic cable networks, allowing armchair racing fans to place bets and receive up-to-the-minute form guides using the company’s interactive TV service.

All bidders for racing rights and the racecourses themselves are agreed that revenues from interactive TV betting are vital to the sport’s future. With BSkyB already offering interactive TV services to over 4 million digital homes, the addition of NTL to the consortium would mean that Go Racing’s interactive TV services will reach even more homes.

Go Racing has also agreed terms for the BBC to continue to broadcast the races it currently covers if Go Racing’s bid is successful. With Channel 4 refusing to offer assurances of continued terrestrial coverage outside the consortium, Go Racing is the only bidder for racing rights able to guarantee the same level of terrestrial exposure for the sport in future years.

David Scott, for Go Racing, said: ‘NTL’s involvement would mean that Go Racing would have in place all the essential UK elements required to maximise revenues and the profile of British racing.’

Geoffrey Hamilton-Fairley, Chief Executive of Premium TV, added: ‘We have analysed the racing sector carefully and believe that Go Racing is the best option for the racing business and racing fans alike. In particular, we are keen to unlock the potential of horse racing within the interactive TV environment. Go Racing will ensure that horse racing prospers in the digital era.’

For further information

Matt Baker (for Go Racing)
Tel:0207 306 8666/ 0777 584 5480

Malcolm Padley (for NTL)
Tel:01256 753 408/07788 978 199