Ascot Signs TV Deal With Racing UK, Gives Channel Near Monopoly On Races
Racing UK, which broadcasts action from 33 of Britain's horse racecourses, "will gain a hugely significant addition to its roster of tracks from June '14 following a decision by Ascot, the country's premier venue, to join Racecourse Media Group, RUK's parent company," according to Greg Wood of the London GUARDIAN. The move is "a significant setback for At The Races, which is RUK's only competitor as a broadcaster of live TV coverage of day-to-day racing, and is left with a portfolio composed mainly of middle- and low-grade courses." Ascot's switch to RUK "will give the channel a near monopoly on the best races." The St. Leger at Doncaster, which is owned by ARC (formed recently by the merger of Arena Leisure and Northern Racing), "the only obvious omission." Ascot's new deal will begin on June 14, 2014, just before the course's Royal meeting. At The Races "has already lost Exeter, Kelso and Perth to RUK during '12, and will lose Folkestone and Hereford when the two courses, both owned by Arc, close at the end of the year" (GUARDIAN, 12/14).