February 7, 2018 at 09:54 #1341115
What should Sky do with ATR now?
1) Carry on with the channel as it is now and hope it can be sustained with just 22 tracks.
2) Incorporate other sports such as Greyhound racing
3) Show racing from other countries like South Africa
4) Rebrand as Sky Racing and possibly just show the meetings on Sky Sports Mix
5) Close down at the end of December 2018 and admit they can no longer compete in this market.
6) Stop showing irish racing immediately and let the Irish racing go blank in protest at the decision
7) Close down now and not bother going with horse racing anymore.
8) Try & use what they have and work together to provide a big bid in 2023 to get the irish racing back by taking a few years to plan for the future.February 7, 2018 at 10:11 #1341117
I think they need to downsize for the time being have the rebrand offer the tracks left on Sky Sports Mix which is free to air with your subscription, then Sky Sports get their heads together and plan for what they can do post 2023 to get back into the bidding as credible candidates.February 7, 2018 at 10:13 #1341118February 7, 2018 at 11:10 #1341122
I reckon Sky would be sued if it closed ATR now because it would be in breach of contract. ATR could carry on with increased overseas horse racing but it’s a long time until 2023, during which the ATR channel may lose a lot of its advertising revenues, and who knows what else will have changed by then and there is no guarantee its bid would be successful. So, unless it can entice back Ascot and one or two others, I think rebrand as Sky Racing on 1/1/2019 and become part of Sky Sports Mix.February 7, 2018 at 12:26 #1341131
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Option 7 please.February 7, 2018 at 12:50 #1341134
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Can see them showing a lot more South African and French racing.
For all the things they do really well, what a pity ATR never embraced HD years ago, its really lessened their appeal and given the operation an ambience of being bargin basement, undeservedly so imo.
Their website still kicks ass though. Stride data for six courses available now on their websiteFebruary 7, 2018 at 13:36 #1341137
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My personal views:
1) Carry on with the channel as it is now and hope it can be sustained with just 22 tracks. YES (SEE BELOW)
2) Incorporate other sports such as Greyhound racing YES, ALSO POINT TO POINT RACING
3) Show racing from other countries like South Africa YUCK NO!!!
4) Rebrand as Sky Racing and possibly just show the meetings on Sky Sports Mix GOOD IDEA
5) Close down at the end of December 2018 and admit they can no longer compete in this market. IF NOT 2, THEN YES
6) Stop showing irish racing immediately and let the Irish racing go blank in protest at the decision NO, GO ON SHOWING IT AND SHOW THEY MAY HAVE MADE A MISTAKE
7) Close down now and not bother going with horse racing anymore. NO
8) Try & use what they have and work together to provide a big bid in 2023 to get the irish racing back by taking a few years to plan for the future. YES, HIGHLIGHT ON GETTING HD PICTURES AND CHANGE IN COMMENTATORS: DROP DES SCAHILL, MARTIN HARRIS, MARK SLATER AND ARTHUR COOPERFebruary 7, 2018 at 17:40 #1341151
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I think they need to be patient,I can see plenty of courses getting fed up with being squeezed out on the busy days.
I know they are going to work hard to avoid clashes but there’s no way you can expect The wooden tops at the BHA to achieve thatFebruary 7, 2018 at 18:12 #1341155
AtTheRaces speaks out about the loss
Is Matthew Imi living in a dream world – our plans for atr remain on track, we will continue to grow and diversify our business
Also AIR have said 95% of Irish races will be live 95%?February 7, 2018 at 19:46 #1341165
The specifics of Imi’s plans for ATR remain a secret so plans may well not exist.
That’s revealing from AIR. Rereading RUK’s statements they do not actually say 100% of Irish races will be live on the main channel and they keep referring to all meetings being live on RUK Extra! So I believe that a small percentage of Irish races will not be shown live on the main channel, I expect those races will be minor ones where a clash is unavoidable.
To know these percentages AIR and RUK must have spent ages creating a model of the potential British and Irish fixture lists, right down to off times, for the whole of 2019 and figured out what tweaks from 2018 need to be made to minimise direct clashes. They have likely sounded out the courses for willingness of compliance. And have ended up with 5% of Irish races that are immovable clashes.February 7, 2018 at 19:51 #1341167
Mike Cattermole has stated in his column that ATR will rebrand as Sky Sports Racing and become HD
So ATR will not survive much longer as a brand which is probably a good idea move forward rebrand and change.February 7, 2018 at 20:07 #1341173
Cattermole writes better than he commentates!
Imi has no plans for ATR, then, because SSR HD will replace it! It will have access to 14 million homes and a product that will interest about 50,000 of them!February 7, 2018 at 20:56 #1341181
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I hope ATR survives. Kavanagh is a Bertie Ahern type, and while he gives the impression that the sport is awash with money, you can’t help feeling that he’s gone for the quick buck at every turn. He should not be in the position he is in now, had correct procedure been followed, and he will certainly be gone by 2023.February 9, 2018 at 09:15 #1341354
ATR will be rebranded next year and Sky are battling to win the rights to Chester (and persumably Bangor as they are both owned by same company)
The Times is also reporting Ascot executives have been visiting Sky.
I did like Jason Weaver’s comment last night about Chelmsford on Thursday he said it’s a bit like being dumped by your missus.February 9, 2018 at 09:19 #1341356
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Times Paywall so delete if necessary. From Mark Souster.
Sky is set to launch its dedicated racing channel early next year as the ground war intensifies between the two main media rights groups in the sport.
Sky Sports Racing was first mooted more than a year ago when the satellite broadcaster took a strategic 51 per cent controlling stake in At The Races (ATR). Now it appears that the idea will become a reality as Sky prepares, according to one insider, for “an all-singing, all-dancing” high-definition channel that will be available to its 14 million subscribers.
After The Times revealed the change in shareholding, Sky said: “We have been long-term partners and investors in ATR and have decided to strengthen that partnership.” Yesterday it declined to comment further.
ATR is working hard to persuade Ascot to join them when their current deal endsATR is working hard to persuade Ascot to join them when their current deal ends.
The Sky development follows moves in recent weeks by Racecourse Media Group (RMG) to strengthen its ties with Sports Information Services. This has seen them break away from the joint venture with ATR to sell the international rights to British racing and win an exclusive but controversial deal to cover Irish racing for five years from next January. These rights are licensed to ATR at present.
The battle lines have thus been drawn, with the two entities going head to head in what could result, in the long term, in a consolidation of the sport under one umbrella company. Sky would like to think it could be them.
In an effort to strengthen its portfolio, ATR is working hard to persuade Ascot and Chester to join them when their present contracts with RMG expire next February. Ascot recently put out three tenders for rights, including one for pay television. As part of that process executives from the Queen’s racecourse have been shown around Sky’s facilities in an attempt to demonstrate how valuable a partner the broadcaster could be. It is assumed that the production for the new channel would be taken in-house.
“ATR will become Sky Sports Racing,” the source said. “It has been and remains very much the case and is set to be launched next year.
“It will have the financial, production and marketing clout of Sky. It will be able to cross- promote with, for instance, its football and golf channels. It will be an all-singing, all-dancing channel. Sky might have the ability at some stage to bring all the racecourses together under one media partner and act as a valuable showcase.”
RMG, whose broadcast arm is Racing UK, is owned entirely by the 37 UK racecourses in its stable. It has the betting shop, bet-to-view streaming, and international rights to all of those courses. Racing UK subscribers pay £300 per year.
ATR has the 15 Arena Racing Company tracks in its group, plus eight smaller venues, which equate to about 45 per cent of all fixtures. It also has three quarters of greyhound fixtures and reciprocal international deals with America, Australia and South Africa.
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