|William Hill PLC (‘William Hill’) announced today the proposed start date for ‘Channel 425’, it’s new digital interactive television channel which will be available, free to view, on the Sky platform from Wednesday 6th October.|
The initial focus of the channel is to capitalise on the strong fan base for UK greyhound racing that has developed through Sky’s excellent coverage of the sport in recent years with other betting opportunities being provided by live US horseracing and a number of simple random number generated products.
This initiative will allow William Hill to further develop its already successful interactive business via a growing platform that currently reaches over 7million homes in the UK.
Commenting on the launch of the channel, David Harding, Chief Executive of William Hill, said:
‘This initiative cements William Hills position as the market leader in the UK betting industry in terms of exploiting interactive television, which is gaining growing acceptance as a transactional platform. Our well known and trusted brand, ability to cross-promote the service to customers in other parts of our business, and choice of partner in DITG, a proven operator in this field, should provide us with significant advantages in pursuing this new profit stream.”
Initially set to show live greyhound racing from Tuesday through to Saturday nights inclusive, Channel 425 will launch with a series of minor competitions from its two tracks at Brough Park and Sunderland. The honour of screening the first race of the new channel, the Welcome to Greyhound Racing On Channel 425 Stakes (coincidentally worth £425 to the winner), will fall to Sunderland.
It is expected that the channel will move to providing live greyhound racing seven days a week within a matter of months and talks are already underway to bring other live sporting content to the channel as well.
“We have already received numerous enquiries from other sports and particularly from promoters who wish to showcase their greyhound racing live on Channel 425,” said David Hood, Public Relations Director at Hills. “But, we would rather walk before we run with this enterprise. We can bring a considerable wealth of expertise to the channel in terms of greyhound racing and bookmaking, but this is very much a learning curve for the company in terms of managing a TV station. We do not expect Channel 425 to produce the type of Sky Sports spectaculars that viewers have become used to, there won’t be too many bells or whistles on Channel 425, but it will be a professional show with good betting content and available on a nightly basis.”
“We are bringing together a wealth of experience from the sport, both in front and behind the camera, and what I can tell you, is that armchair viewers can definitely expect to see some new faces with some solid opinions, on their screens throughout the coming months.”
Viewers to Channel 425 will still be able to play a series of random generated number games like roulette, keno and virtual racing via the red button. Channel 425 is planned to launch on Wednesday 6th October 2004, with a live programme from 7pm to 10.30pm.
David Hood, Director Of Public Relations
Tel: 07803 233689