Racecourse Media Group (RMG) has announced it will pay £117.6m (€133.3m/$147.0m) to British racecourses from the sale of their media and data rights in 2022.
Payments were derived from a range of RMG businesses including via betting shops, online bookmaker streams, the Racing TV pay TV channel, international betting, non-betting distribution, the mainstream TV agreement with ITV and data sales.
The payment total represents a 6.9% increase from £110.0m paid out in the previous year.
“The RMG model has once again proved to be resilient and reliable – in the face of significant challenges – producing record results, and performing ahead of expectations,” RMG chairman Roger Lewis said.
“The results are a testimony and tribute to the vision and dedication of those racecourses who came together and stuck together to create, grow and develop the RMG business.”
Lewis will step down from the RMG board this year and will be replaced by former Flutter UK and Ireland chief executive Conor Grant. The change will come into effect from 1 October.
Looking ahead to the future, RMG chief executive Martin Stevenson said innovation will be key for both RMG and racecourses to grow appeal and engagement with the sport, as well as provide a platform to deliver growth in licence fees to racecourses and racing.
“A fundamental building block in technical innovation for the business is the deployment of a highly reliable and accurate tracking system, which we have achieved via the award-winning Coursetrack,” Stevenson said.
“Beyond purely providing timing, the importance of tracking is that it provides a wealth of real time data that the business can now utilise to develop new products and innovations. These include the roll-out of in-play betting on RMG’s content, currently deployed by BetVictor and William Hill, and with more bookmakers in the pipeline.
“Another key application of tracking data is to help create stimulating, insightful data – a suite of new facts and statistics – to engage our audiences and support betting markets.”
Stevenson also referenced the upcoming roll-out of RMG’s self-service betting terminal racing product this month, as well as improvements to broadcast output, including the introduction of augmented reality graphics and gradual move to remote production.
He also noted the impact of the #Raceday social media initiative, which has surpassed 20 million views and helped engage with a young demographic. In addition, free-to-play games, run in conjunction with Paddy Power, have generated two million entries.
“With media increasingly being consumed through digital channels, driving innovation is key to growing audiences and engagement through these platforms,” Stevenson said. “This approach blends well with our focus on strengthening the core capabilities which have enabled us to grow to where we are today, ensuring the business remains ready for the future.”