RMG pays out £109.7m in UK racecourses in 2018
Racecourse Media Group (RMG) will pay out £109.7m (€127.1m/$141.6m) to 37 UK racecourses after reporting an 18% increase in revenue from media and data rights in 2018.
RMG, which acts as the umbrella organisation for the 37 racecourse shareholders and also parent company of Racing UK, said the payments were derived from a number of sources.
These included the racecourse retail business, whereby it supplies pictures and audio of racing to licensed betting offices (LBOs), distributed via Sports Information Services since March last year.
Revenue also came via the Racing UK multi-platform subscription channel, which has now rebranded as Racing TV following the acquisition of Irish racing rights, with coveraged launched in January of this year.
RMG also generates revenue from its Racing TV International global television betting and pictures service, as well as through a rights deal with UK commercial broadcaster ITV.
Other revenue comes from bet-to-view streams shown on bookmakers’ digital platforms, non-betting TV sales and distribution overseas and the licensing of pre-race data.
“Racecourse Media Group has enjoyed another productive year, not only by generating record financial results for our shareholder racecourses, but also by forging many exciting new partnerships and relationships,” RMG chairman Roger Lewis said.
However, Lewis also acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead for RMG and its racecourse partners in terms of new legislation for fixed-odds betting terminals and how this will impact the financial contribution from the LBOs to UK racing. From the start of April, the maximum stake on such machines has been cut from £100 to just £2.
Lewis also cited “political and regulatory uncertainty” as an on ongoing concern, but added that the RMG and its partners are well placed to meet such challenges.
As part of this effort, the RMG this month appointed Jim Mullen, former group chief executive of Ladbrokes, and Britt Boeskov, previously of the Kindred Group, as independent non-executive directors.
“RMG is actively considering a wide range of new opportunities to significantly benefit all of our shareholder racecourses over the coming years; this work is firmly in hand,” he said.