Sky Sports Racing bags Ascot rights

11 Jul 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

Ascot Racecourse has agreed a deal that will see all 25 of its annual fixtures broadcast on the new Sky Sports Racing channel from 2019.

As part of the arrangement, Sky’s At The Races will also manage UK streaming for remote UK betting outlets.

The agreement, which will run until at least 2021, adds to Sky Sports Racing’s growing international rights portfolio.

The dedicated racing channel has already signed up Boodles Chester May Festival, William Hill St Leger, Coral Welsh Grand National as well as the Breeders’ Cup, US Triple Crown, Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Sky Sports Racing was launched earlier this year, replacing Sky’s At The Races at the media giant's 11th sport-specific channel. It will be available free to Sky customers in the UK and Ireland.

Commenting on the agreement, Juliet Slot, chief commercial officer at Ascot, said: "We have decided to begin a new journey with Sky Sports Racing because of the significant investment and commitment to the sport that they have demonstrated, their reach capacity on the basic package (14 million), and the brand alignment and cross promotional opportunities that come with the major sports that Sky cover.

"Sky Sports Racing will have a strong global portfolio going forward including Ascot, the Breeders' Cup and Victoria Racing Club (Flemington). Three quarters of the new World Horseracing partnership is therefore on the same satellite TV UK network."

Barney Francis, managing director at Sky Sports, added: “Horse racing is a hugely important sport for us - one that we’ve been supporting for more than 20 years. In Sky Sports Racing, we are creating a new dedicated home for racing fans, and an 11th Sky Sports channel. We’re thrilled to be able to add Ascot to what is already a stellar line-up.”

The announcement comes amid reports that Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has upped its takeover bid for Sky to £24.5bn.