With horse racing, as with nearly each different extensively adopted sport, there’s typically fierce competitors over who will get the appropriate to broadcast fixtures and supply evaluation on TV. Over the previous decade alone, the printed rights for main British horse races comparable to Royal Ascot and Cheltenham have handed between the palms of a number of channels, with the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 all having held the primary broadcasting rights at one level or one other. At this time, the broadcasting contract for British horse racing is held by ITV, as a part of a £20 million multi-year settlement. Nonetheless, its future as the house for televised horse racing is way from assured. In spite of everything, renegotiations for the contract practically collapsed late final yr with Racehorse Media Group, which represents the entire main race occasions. It is clear that ITV is just not capable of see eye to eye with the organisation on a number of fronts. As such, it appears effectively throughout the realm of chance that ITV will now not obtain the printed rights as soon as its present contract expires in 2023. However what occurs after that? Whereas it is attainable that the sport of musical chairs will proceed and that the contact will go to one of many different massive broadcasters, it is essential to have a look at different tendencies at play so as to decide what the way forward for British horse racing will appear to be. For one, it is attainable that the ever-encroaching recognition of on-line sports activities broadcasts and evaluation will erode the worth of the TV contract. In spite of everything, a number of the world’s high horse racing betting websites like bet365 provide stay broadcasts to all members, alongside each day information and evaluation on all main British horse races. This can be a service that members of bet365 shouldn’t have to pay additional for and it is a function that’s changing into more and more frequent throughout the booming on-line sports activities betting business. As sports activities TV continues to see fierce competitors from digital opponents, the broadcasters would possibly discover themselves much less and fewer prepared to shell out tens of hundreds of thousands of kilos for a contract within the close to future. In the meantime, it is additionally price pondering whether or not the massive three broadcasters will even be within the operating for the contract by the point that it comes up for renewal.
Smaller, for-pay channels are more and more asserting themselves throughout the sports activities broadcasting area. Simply check out the Olympics, for instance. The Worldwide Olympic Committee determined to award all the European broadcasting rights for Tokyo 2020 to not public broadcasters just like the Beeb, however to the cable US community Discovery, which has put most of its Olympic content material behind a paywall. Whereas this would possibly end in fewer viewers total, it is virtually actually a serious boon to the community’s earnings. Within the years to come back, there is no such thing as a motive why smaller, for-pay broadcasters will not start severely competing for the Racehorse Media Group contract.
It is clear that the world of horse racing is presently in flux, and the way we devour this nice British pastime could change within the coming years. Keep tuned to seek out out.