Richard FitzGerald has stepped down as CEO of Racecourse Media Group – the media and data rights holding company for the UK and Ireland’s leading racecourses – after nearly 12 years in the position.
During FitzGerald’s tenure, for more than a decade the Group recorded year-on-year increases in licence fees payable to its racecourse shareholders.
"It has been a fabulous and rewarding 12 years working for RMG," FitzGerland said. "The business has flourished and delivered on the vision of the founding shareholders around a collective approach to commercialising their media and data rights.
“There is never a good time to step down but with resumption of racing, the new Watch & Bet deals, the terrestrial TV renewal and launch in Italy of fixed odds, and a new cycle of renewals starting shortly, it seems the right time to step down.
“It has been a great journey and I have enjoyed working with a strong, capable, committed and stable team to deliver the results we have been able to achieve consistently over the last decade.”
Roger Lewis, Chairman of RMG, paid tribute, saying: “On behalf of the Board of RMG, I thank Richard for his exceptional leadership of the RMG team for almost 12 years.
“During this period RMG has produced great returns for our Racecourses, generating over £800m of licence fees during his tenure of office.
“The recent renewal of the RMG contract with ITV until 2023, the successful launch of our new Watch & Bet Service in June, and ensuring RMG is fully operational following the Covid-19 outbreak and so generating significant revenues for our racecourses, has created the right moment for Richard to announce his decision to step down.
“The achievements of RMG, which have driven its financial performance with Richard as CEO are significant, and include a ground-breaking data licensing and production service, an innovative LBO deal with SIS, the securing of the rights to Irish racing, the rebrand and launch of Racing TV, enhancing its HD service, and the expansion of RMG opportunities across the world.
“Richard leaves RMG with our sincerest thanks and best wishes for having delivered an outstanding performance over a considerable period of time.”
FitzGerald will be stepping down gradually over the course of the next six weeks. RMG Finance Director, Martin Stevenson, will become acting CEO.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS DURING FITZGERALD'S TENURE
ITV deal and renewal (2017-2023) – RMG leads negotiations on exclusive domestic TV rights
Watch & Bet service (2020) – New streaming service leads to significantly increased turnover
Irish Rights (2019-2023) – RMG secures Irish rights for DTH, International and streaming
Racing TV International (2019) – Launch of new tote service for overseas betting operators
OTT services (2018) – RMG launch dedicated, produced racecourse feeds (RTV Extra)
Rebranding to Racing TV (2018) – Racing UK is rebranded to reflect international content
LBO deal with SIS (2018-2023) – Contract brings enhanced terms and greater transparency
MENA TV (2015-2023) – New sub-licencing model generates increased revenues
Racecourse Data Company (RDC) (2015) – RDC formed to manage licence of pre-race data
Meydan (2015-2021) – RMG signs distribution and production contracts with Meydan
Pubs and Clubs (2013) - RMG appoints Sky Business as agent (now in 10,000 premises)
HD pictures (2010) – RMG fund OB fleet to enable HD pictures from its racecourses
Formation of GBI Racing (2009-2018) – Unified racing wagering service launches in 40 countries
Relaunch of Racing UK as stand-alone channel following Setanta collapse (2009)
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