At The Races, now part of the Sky Sports Racing platform, and Betfred have announced a potentially game-changing partnership that will see the bookmaker broadcast live footage from the broadcaster at meetings around the world.
Starting in January 2020, the deal will form part of a new ‘watch and bet’ model, where punters can stream live races for free without having to have placed a wager beforehand.
This is the polar opposite to the current ‘bet and watch’ model, and the hope is that the new format will help to stimulate increased betting revenue from engaged punters.
The managing director of Betfred.com, Rakesh Chablani, said:
“We’re delighted to strengthen our partnership with ATR and we look forward to working together in growing our horseracing product.”
As part of the package, Betfred will get the right to stream footage from Sky Sports Racing’s 24-strong selection of tracks, and while the finer details on which will be available to punters on any given week, the likelihood is that the bare minimum will be the 16 courses overseen by the Arena Racing Company will be on board from the get-go.
Racing is Better Together
It’s a potentially win-win deal for Betfred and the horse racing industry as a whole, with At the Races receiving a share of the turnover from bets placed, rather than the current fees model which is costing the bookmakers huge sums each year. Those funds can then be poured back into racing, which helps to explain why the partnership has been generally met with a positive response.
However, some bookies believe that these changes to how streams are paid for could be ‘horrendous’ and actually increase their costs, meaning that they would have to pull promotions such as Best Odds Guaranteed from the shelves in order to bridge the gap.
The chief executive of At The Races, Matthew Imi, said:
“Our partnership with Betfred is one to which we attribute great value and we’re naturally delighted that this deal will not only deepen this relationship but unite us in working together, with a common goal, to maximise turnover on our horseracing product.”
The content will be delivered to Betfred customers via their browser and app by Sport Mediastream, the streaming platform owned by At The Races.
The latest announcement comes in the wake of previous investment from Sky Sports Racing into new markets. They announced earlier in November that they have acquired exclusive rights to show all races from Woodbine, Saratoga, Belmont Park and Aqueduct in the UK.
This gives Sky subscribers access to an additional 219 fixtures per year, including more than a hundred graded races including the Turf Triple Series, now one of the most prestigious ‘competitions’ in racing with more than $5 million in prize money available.
Feature races include the Jockey Club Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Turf qualifiers, which are well contested by British and Irish horses and trainers.
Woodbine, meanwhile, is the most prestigious racecourse in Canada, hosting the annual Queen’s Plate – the longest-running Stakes race in North America, as well as 36 other graded renewals throughout the year.