Betfair top bookie for racing live streams

6 March 2018

In the second of’s monthly benchmarking of bookmaker performance across key metrics, the leading tipster site puts horse racing live streams under the microscope

Live streaming has quickly become a popular and expected feature with most bookmakers now offering a variety of sports and racing events broadcast live, all accessible via their betting platforms.

While many bookmakers share similar live streaming platforms, streaming the same sporting leagues and competitions, not to mention live streams of daily racing coverage with minimal charge, there are subtle distinctions that make all the difference to punters seeking the perfect bookmaker for their sports or racing needs.

Bookmaker Cheltenham live streaming - a comparative analysis
With the UK bookies’ biggest racing event, the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, fast approaching, we at conducted an analysis of 15 live streaming platforms offered by some of the world’s biggest bookmakers with a focus on horse racing live streams:

Paddy Power
William Hill

We analysed each bookmaker across eight criteria:

• Number of events streamed
• Access requirements
• Access requirements for horse racing
• General minimum bet to access
• General minimum deposit when signing up
• Number of horse racing countries covered
• Virtual horse racing offered
• Minimum number of sports covered

At first glance, there did not appear to be much to differentiate each live streaming platform, particularly when it came to sports coverage. However, on closer analysis, we were able to make valuable distinctions between the various live streaming platforms, particularly when it came to horse racing.

The top bookies for horse racing live streams
To determine which bookmaker we believe offers the best live streaming platform, we assigned each bookmaker a ranking and points value across each of the eight criteria. Of the 15 bookmakers in our analysis, Betfair was found to provide the best live streaming platform for horse racing.

Why did Betfair rank so highly? Firstly, the number of events streamed live at Betfair exceeds every bookmaker in our analysis, and in many cases, by a substantial margin. This is mostly due to Betfair’s historic horse racing focus and coverage.

Secondly, in common with other bookmakers, Betfair ranks well in terms of these streams being easy to access. To regularly view sporting events, a bettor only needs to have a funded account, while to view horse racing events you need only to have placed a bet on the race you want to watch. A minimum win bet of £0.50 or minimum £0.25 each way will give players access to the live stream for that race.

The minimum deposit is also a mere £5, compared to £10 for most bookmakers, meaning punters can potentially sign up, make the minimum deposit and be watching live sports or horse racing within a matter a minutes.

Betfair also ranks highly when it comes to horse racing coverage with nine countries covered, and also offers upwards of nine sports to watch via their live streaming platform.

Paddy Power’s live streaming platform came in second place, not far behind their competitor Betfair. While Paddy Power may not broadcast a similar volume of sporting and racing events as Betfair, it ranks highly in terms of access requirements and minimum bet requirements. To access live sport streams at Paddy Power, customers again just need a funded betting account or if they wish to watch a particular horse race, make a minimum win bet of £0.50 or minimum £0.25 each way. Paddy Power also ranked highly for horse racing coverage.

In third we have Coral. While they may not compete with Betfair in terms of sporting and racing events to view, they are competitive in terms of viewing requirements with the only requirement being a funded betting account or in the case of horse racing, placing a bet of at least £1 on the race punters wish to bet on.

Coral also ranks highly when it comes to the minimum deposit required to access its live streaming platform.

Most streamed events
Before we declare which bookmakers ranked highly in this category, it has to be said that the majority of bookmakers are, to put it mildly, reluctant to provide precise figures on the number of live streaming events they broadcast each week, month or year.

Having said that, Betfair, William Hill, Ladbrokes and bet365 all ranked highest among the bookmakers subjected to our analysis, offering the highest number of sporting and racing events for viewing. While some bookmakers offer live streaming across a broad range of sporting events, others, such as Paddy Power and Coral, retain a horse racing focus.

Access requirements
The majority of bookmakers offer two options when it comes to accessing their live streaming platform. Firstly, users can place a minimum bet within the previous 24 hours or secondly, they can simply have an account with a positive balance. It should be noted however that a number of bookmakers have a minimum balance requirement.

Fortunately, the majority of bookmakers in our study allow customers to access their live streaming platform by simply having a positive betting account balance, while others such as Betsafe, Boylesports, 888sport and BetVictor require their customers to have placed a minimum bet (typically £1) within the previous 24 hours.

When it comes to horse racing, each bookmaker in our study requires customers to have placed a bet on the race that they wish to watch. In most cases this is a minimum bet of £1, however in the case of Betfair, Paddy Power and bet365 customers only need to make a minimum win bet of £0.50 or a minimum each way bet of £0.25.

Minimum stakes and minimum deposits
While the positive account balance may be the preferred requirement among the majority of bettors, a minority prefer to have simply placed a bet within the previous 24 hours. But let’s face it, an active bettor on any major site offering live streaming such as bet365, Betfair, William Hill or Ladbrokes, will likely have placed a bet within the previous 24 hours, giving you access to that bookmaker’s live sports streams.

Of course, for any punter wishing to watch live racing will in the majority of instances be required to have placed a bet on the race they want to watch.

It’s also worth noting the minimum first deposit. Why? Many people accessing bookmaker live streams have no interest in placing bets, but are simply interested in watching live streams of their favourite football leagues, basketball and ice hockey tournaments not to mention of course, major horse racing events such as Cheltenham.

So which bookmakers demand the lowest minimum first deposit? The majority of bookmakers have a minimum deposit of £10, while others such as Betfair, Coral, Marathonbet, Betfred, Ladbrokes, Unibet and BetVictor require a minimum deposit of just £5. This is particularly good news for casual punters just wanting to watch their favourite sporting leagues or a once-a-year punter wanting to watch live streams of major racing events such as the Cheltenham Festival.

Horse racing coverage
So which bookmakers in our study offer the broadest range of racing events? While some such as Sportingbet, Betway, BetVictor and Marathonbet offer a limited range of racing events, others such as Betfair, William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfred, Betsafe and Boylesports offer horse racing from at least six countries, with racing from the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, USA, Australia and select Asian racing events the most common among bookmakers in our study.

With the Cheltenham Festival approaching, many racing fans will be keen to access live streaming of the great event. Most of the big online bookmakers will be providing live broadcasts of the Cheltenham Festival such as Betfair, bet365, Paddy Power and Coral, with standard access requirements, meaning in most cases, punters will only need to have a positive balance in their accounts or have placed a bet on the Cheltenham Festival race that they want to watch.

Sports coverage
While many punters access bookmaker live streams simply to enjoy the live racing coverage, a growing number also use the platforms to view live sports events from around the world, at little expense.

Bookmaker live streams offer punters access to sporting leagues and tournaments that are not available via alternative online subscription streaming services or via local satellite television providers. With access to major football leagues and tournaments around Europe and the world, major basketball competitions and tournaments from both North America and Europe, popular ice hockey leagues and competitions, not to mention live tennis action across both the ATP and WTA tours, it’s no wonder bookmaker live streams are becoming increasingly popular way to enjoy live sport from around the world.

In our study, bet365 led the way with a minimum of 20 sports available, while Betsafe, Betfair and Marathonbet also exceed the average number of sports offered across the bookmakers in our study.

While the majority of bookmakers are reluctant to provide precise figures when it comes to their live streaming service, a comparative analysis can still glean insights. Our analysis across 15 leading bookies found Betfair to have the strongest offering, followed by Paddy Power and Coral.

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