|BskyB and Arena Leisure, two of the partners in the now-defunct Attheraces TV broadcaster, will this week submit written proposals to acquire the TV rights to UK horse racing to the proprietors of the UK’s 59 race courses. Attheraces, a partnership between BskyB, Arena and Channel 4, the UK TV channel, closed three weeks ago due to disappointing revenues from its iTV operations. BskyB and Arena, which retains the Attheraces name, are going head to head with the Horse Racing Channel, an entity which would be jointly owned by the race courses. |
The Horse Racing Channel has the backing of eight courses, and the Racecourse Holdings Trust, owner of 13 courses including Aintree, Newmarket, Cheltenham and Sandown Park, has indicated its support.
“This is an opportunity for racing to take control of its own media rights to ensure that the best interests of racing are served,” Andrew Brown, head of the Horse Racing Channel group.
A BskyB executive said the company has had talks with the race courses before and after the demise of Attheraces. BskyB and Arena are also believed to be discussing the provision of interactive betting with bookmakers.