Ascot Racecourse and At The Races have announced that they have agreed to extend their partnership on domestic pay TV and digital platforms. The new agreement covering non-terrestrial television in the UK & Ireland will see Sky Sports Racing broadcast live coverage from all of Ascot’s 25 annual fixtures until at least 2024.
At The Races will continue to manage licensing and distribution of Ascot races for live streaming to UK betting operators under a separate long-term agreement.
The renewal with Ascot is a further boost to Sky Sports Racing’s global rights portfolio which includes the Breeders’ Cup, Kentucky Derby, Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Longines Hong Kong International Races and Melbourne Cup Carnival as well as over 700 domestic fixtures including the St Leger Festival, Boodles Chester May Festival and Coral Welsh Grand National.
Royal Ascot, held behind closed doors this year, helped Sky Sports Racing attract a month reach audience of 2.2m UK viewers in June (BARB).
Sky Sports Racing’s current rights agreement with Ascot lasts until the end of this year and the three-year extension now commits Ascot rights to the channel until January 1st 2024.
Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer at Ascot, said: “We have developed an excellent partnership with the whole team at Sky Sports Racing since re-joining the refreshed channel last year. The growth in their audiences across our time as our Pay TV partner has supported our desire to bring Ascot and all our annual racing to a broader, wider consumer base alongside our Terrestrial partner ITV; reaching new audiences is an important part of our brand strategy. Alongside the excellent racing broadcast we benefit from the strong digital audiences with attheraces.com and the broader promotional support from the Sky Sports portfolio. It is a huge pleasure to be announcing this extension to the end of 2023 prior to my departure from Ascot.”
Rob Webster, Managing Director, Sky Sports, said: “We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with Ascot Racecourse for an additional three years. Sky Sports has supported horse racing for over two decades and it’s a sport we’re very passionate about. Sky Sports Racing continues to provide a platform for the best of international horse racing and meetings from Ascot Racecourse are a key part of our offering to our customers.”
Matthew Imi, Chief Executive, At The Races, added: “Sky Sports Racing has been a real success in just a year and a half and our partnership with Ascot Racecourse has been an important factor. 3.3m UK viewers tuned into the channel between April and June and over 1.9m on average each month this year, despite the obvious impact of Covid-19 on domestic racing. We have helped Ascot grow some of its key media rights revenues in a short time and we will continue to use our pay TV and digital platform as well as the support of Sky Sports and Sky Sports News to drive profile and exposure for all Ascot events.”