Racing from all 26 Irish racecourses, plus Chelmsford City, will be shown on Racing UK from 2019 after the Association of Irish Racecourses on Tuesday ratified an agreement between Racecourse Media Group and Sports Information Services. SIS holds the rights to all Irish racecourses, and its rights will be added to Racing UK’s television and digital platforms, streaming services for online bookmakers and international offerings. In adding 93 new evenings and 12 new afternoons of live racing to its lineup, Racing UK will now broadcast 92% of all pattern races in the UK and Ireland on one HD channel.
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said, “This deal is a very positive one and is in the best commercial interests of Irish racing. It secures income streams for media rights for the next six years and aligns all of our rights across all platforms with the same strong partners. The bulk of those income streams will go to racecourses with the balance going to Horse Racing Ireland, but all of the income will go back into Irish racing. The benefits of this deal will be seen across the entire industry. This deal means we have moved from a situation of uncertainty in relation to direct to home, streaming and international rights, to arrangements that now have been agreed and locked down until the end of 2023.”
Irish racing has historically been broadcast on At The Races, and there has much concerned expressed industry-wide since SIS and RMG announced their new partnership last week, including the movement of Irish racing broadcasts to a subscription-based channel and overcrowding of fixtures.
“We are conscious of the concerns that have been raised, but are confident that this arrangement is in the overall best interests of the Irish racing industry,” Kavanagh said. “We look forward to working with RMG and SIS to address any concerns and to ensure that the coverage of Irish racing is of the highest possible standard. I would like to thank At The Races for their positive contribution to Irish racing and wish them every success going forward.”