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SBD Global/September 6, 2012/Media

Channel 4 Denies Accusations In Regards To Horse Racing Production Contract

U.K.'s Channel 4 has "denied complaints that the tender process for the multi-million-pound contract to produce its horse racing coverage was unfair," despite allegations one bidder poached staff from a rival to sweeten its pitch, according to Plunkett & Sweney of the London GUARDIAN. Yorkshire-based Highflyer Productions "lost out to IMG Sports Media for the contract to produce the broadcaster's hugely expanded coverage" from '13. Last month Highflyer wrote Channel 4 CEO David Abraham calling for an inquiry after raising what sources described as "very serious concerns" about the tender process for the contract. One of these concerns relates to two Highflyer employees, who have been suspended, after it was alleged "they were offered substantial financial inducements, said to be in the region of" £500,000 ($795,350), by IMG to assist in its pitch document for the contract. Channel 4 has now concluded its inquiry and given the tender process "a clean bill of health." A Channel 4 spokesperson said, "The contract to produce Channel 4 racing coverage was awarded following a rigorous and fair tender process." A spokesperson for IMG declined to comment (GUARDIAN, 9/5).
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