Dispute between bookies and racecourses over media rights impacts betting shop coverage
A bitter dispute between bookies and racecourses over media rights payments spilled over into retail betting shops coverage Monday, blacking out punters' viewing of the races across the country.
And it is unlikely that the disagreement will be resolved in time to prevent another black-out in the shops today (Tuesday), according to local media reports.
The Telegraph newspaper observed that the black-out, allied to a drop in ITV Racing viewership numbers and the ongoing controversy over Rule 4 deductions which kicked off at Cheltenham on 1 January, does not get 2017 off to an auspicious start.
The media rights payment battle has been an on-going source of friction for some time as the racing industry attempts to leverage funds for media coverage from the land and – increasingly – the online bookmaker fraternity.
The Telegraph also points out that drastic cuts to the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals from GBP100 to GBP 2, or a reduction in the number of FOBT machines per shop, could result in a decline in racing's income via media rights as a consequence of betting shop closures. It is thus imperative that the contribution to the horseracing levy issue be finalised to avoid racing suddenly being faced with a reduction in betting shop viewership.
Another threat could be a reduction in advertising hours allowed for gambling promotion on television. That could have a serious impact on ITV Racing, which has paid GBP 30 million for a four-year monopoly on horse racing.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa