Horseracing players issue Sky warning

Major players in British horseracing have issued a warning about the potential dangers of ditching terrestrial TV and handing exclusive broadcasting rights to Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB.

Moët Hennessy, a major sponsor of the sport, and the Racehorse Owners’ Association (ROA) have reinforced the concerns of sponsors Vodafone and Capel Cure Sharp that a switch from Channel 4 will slash the potential TV audience.

The warning comes in the same week that Whitbread announced it will be pulling out of the sport after failing to reach its 18- to 24-year-old target market.

Rupert Lendrum, director of sponsorship and corporate events at Moët, sponsor of the Gold Cup at Newbury, says: “If it went solely to Sky, we might have something to say. We would have to take a look at the implications.”

ROA chief executive Michael Harris says: “The move to Sky would be a major concern for the whole industry because it could limit sponsorship opportunities.”

Negotiations are taking place between the “Super 12” race courses – which control the lion’s share of the coverage – and the two broadcasters: C4 and Sky.

The Super 12 aim to secure a ground-breaking deal to include TV rights and future interactive betting opportunities. The 47 smaller courses have said they will abide by their decision.

One sponsorship source says: “Some believe Sky will boost racing in a similar way to its Premier League football coverage. But football already had a solid customer base, and racing is desperate to attract a new, younger market, so it needs maximum exposure.”

A decision is expected next week.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here