bet365, Ladbrokes and William Hill will be Channel 4’s betting partners for its horse racing coverage next year after submitting successful bids in a “blind” auction held by the broadcaster.
The channel is now the only terrestrial broadcaster of horse racing in the UK after it won four-year exclusive rights in March of this year. The BBC brought the curtain down on its 64 year-long association with the sport on Saturday at Ascot, where legendary colt Frankel ended his 14-race career unbeaten with victory in the Champion Stakes.
The three bookmakers’ commercial partnerships with Channel 4 will launch in earnest on 1 January, when the broadcaster will air coverage of the New Year’s Day fixture from Cheltenham, according to MediaWeek, which first reported the deals.
A spokesman however declined to give the publication more detail on the individual packages of spot and dual-screen advertising each bookmaker had been awarded via the auction process, which Channel 4 emphasised had been “transparent and fair and overseen by an independent adjudicator.”
The betting brands will benefit from the exposure provided by Channel 4 broadcasting 87 days of racing during 2013, weather permitting of course, including March’s Cheltenham Festival, April’s Grand National and Royal Ascot, held in June. Clare Balding has been brought across from the BBC to front the coverage.
Agency principal at C4 Chris Braithwaite said the channel would “continue to develop advertising innovations including split screen and live odds.”
bet365′s live odds partnership with Channel 4 is reportedly unaffected by the new deals, but the operator will have to participate in another auction process from April 2013 when its existing deal expires, if it wishes to hold onto the contract.
Article written by Stephen Carter