02 May 2002 Pre-2014 Releases

Reacting to the news of the widely reported picture rights agreement between racecourses and the major bookmakers, BHB Chairman Peter Savill said today:

“The agreement reached is a betrayal of Racing’s interests and racecourses should not ratify it. The deal grossly undersells the value of the picture rights and is also on terms which will cause huge damage to Racing in the longer term. Based on a fee per fixture, it effectively hands control of the Fixture List to the betting industry in the way that the greyhound racing industry has done with BAGS.

“The racecourse negotiating team has caved in to the bookmakers and reached an agreement without consulting all of the courses they purport to represent and without gaining the support of the wider Racing industry.

“Those racecourses with the most terrestrial television coverage will be severely hit and Epsom, Aintree and Ascot cannot be happy that they will be getting absolutely nothing for the Derby, Grand National or Royal Ascot.

“The price the RCA has negotiated is almost half of what they were asking for two days ago. That alone tells you how weakly they have negotiated. They were urged to roll over the existing SIS contract for 30 days but instead hit the panic button.”