Racing TV - Q and A

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Q: Why have you rebranded?
A: Racing TV has been agreed as the new brand name to better communicate and market our combined British and Irish racing content from 2019, making it the definitive racing channel for Britain and Ireland. In addition, irrespective of how our members choose to watch the channel these days, racing television is at the heart of what we do and it seemed fitting that this is reflected in the new name. We are also proud of what the Racing UK brand has achieved and what it represents, so wanted a new name, look and feel that retains some of Racing UK's brand heritage.

Q: When will the brand be introduced
A: The brand will be gradually introduced throughout December ahead of January 1.


Q: What does the relaunch mean for Racing TV members?
A: It is great news for Racing TV members, as the channel will broadcast significantly more live and exclusive racing. Racing TV will become the home of British and Irish racing, so members can enjoy the storylines of both Jumps and Flat seasons in Ireland and Great Britain all on one definitive racing channel. Our members will also benefit from the increasingly popular racing from Chelmsford City, which continues to grow in quality and consistently attracts the best horsemen. It all means that over 70% of racing in Britain and Ireland and nearly 90% of British and Irish Group and Graded races will be on Racing TV from next year. Live British and Irish Racing is what our members want, over and above other international racing


Q: What is the schedule looking like?
A: We’re very pleased with it. Racing TV will have only one day without any live racing outside of Good Friday and four days at Christmas. This is compared to 26 ‘blank days’ in 2018. The Channel will only have four further afternoon sessions with no afternoon British/Irish racing (when there will be twilight/evening content in any event). There is excellent continuity of evening racing on the channel, with twilight or evening fixtures for 42 Wednesdays, 43 Thursdays and 50 Fridays across the year. The Irish and British scheduling complement each other nicely.


Q: Will the membership cost remain the same?
A: There are no plans in place to increase the Racing TV membership, which also offers benefits such as our Club Days (free admission for two and the chance to enjoy our VIP Club Day area) in Britain and Ireland, regular racecourse discounts and the Club Magazine. In addition, as part of the membership, customers can view the channel on unlimited platforms and on the go via mobile, tablets and laptops and do not need to subscribe to Sky to watch.


Q: Are there plans to make the channel more accessible, in terms of cost, to prospective viewers in Ireland?
A: We will offer free trials and free-to-air periods to Irish audiences to ensure viewers can watch and sample the channel.


Q: Can you enlarge on your free-to-air periods?
A: To celebrate the launch of Racing TV in Ireland, the channel will be free-to-view during live racing for Irish residents on a regular basis in January. In addition, Irish residents will be able to take up a free one-month trial at any time during that month.


Q: How will Racing TV show all this racing on one channel?
A: We do not envisage any major problems. It is important to remember that ATR showed racing from 56 racecourses not too long ago and we will be broadcasting racing from 61 racecourses without having to commit to 12 minutes of advertising per hour. The new Irish content fits in well with the current Racing UK schedule and much work has been undertaken to ensure minimum congestion and clashes on race fixtures and times. Racing TV members can also benefit from a live dedicated racecourse feed from every Irish and British racecourse, including paddock, ‘going down’ and unsaddling pictures. This exclusive service will be broadcast via Racing TV Extra.


Q: What about when you have six meetings or more in a session?
A: For the really action-packed days, such as New Year's Day, we will look at employing a second gallery to provide a fully-produced dedicated second channel for Irish racing, available via Racing TV Extra.


Q: Which races, British or Irish, will take priority if there is a clash?
A: We will endeavour to show all races in their entirety on the linear channel. However, where there are unavoidable clashes, the finishes and/or recordings of the race (whole or in part, depending on time availability) will still be shown on the linear channel. If there are direct race-clashes, to a large extent, common sense will prevail as to which race is shown. All races in their entirety will be shown via Racing TV Extra.


Q: How will Racing TV improve Irish racing in terms of coverage?
A: The coverage will be in HD, with minimal commercial messaging (we are not committed to 12m advertising p/h) and latency. Racing TV Extra is a significant point of difference, with no need for disruptive split screens (unless exceptional circumstances), missed paddock build-up or going to post coverage. In addition, all races and reaction will be shown in full on the Racing Replay highlights programme on the same day, another service previously unavailable for Irish racing.


Q: Can I watch Racing TV Extra on the TV?
A: Our website apps can be cast to the TV through Airplay (Apple devices) and Chromecast (Android apps). We have also launched an app for Apple TV, and are working on bespoke apps for Sony, Samsung and LG Smart TVs, which should be ready in the first half of 2019.


Q: What platforms are Racing TV available on?
A: In Britain, Racing TV is available on Sky 426, Virgin 536, BT TV, TalkTalk, Freeview, YouView 261 and Apple TV app). 'Casting' is available via Airplay (Apple devices) and Chromecast (Android apps). Bespoke apps for Sony, Samsung and LG Smart TVs should be ready in the first half of 2019. In Ireland, Racing TV is available on Sky 426, Virgin 411 and Apple TV app. We are hopeful that other platforms will be available in the near future. 'Casting' is available via Airplay (Apple devices) and Chromecast (Android apps). Bespoke apps for Sony, Samsung and LG Smart TVs should be ready in the first half of 2019


Q: Will you have time to preview and review the racing in-depth?
A: Racing TV will ensure the premium content on both sides of the Irish Sea is showcased via on-site presentations, detailed previews (Mark Your Card will move to a daily slot), insightful analysis and reviews, plus extended broadcast hours, in addition to every race being shown in full in Racing Replay.


Q: Who will Racing TV’s Irish experts be?
A: Presenters and pundits will include Gary O’Brien, Kevin O’Ryan, Kate Harrington, Ruby Walsh, and Donn McClean.


Q: Will those five cover all the Irish racing between them?
A: It is likely we will add to the roster in due course


Q: How many days will you have a presenter at the course in Ireland?
A: Around 170 days


Q: Will you be making any changes to your British presenters and pundits?
A: The team will broadly be the same. The presentation will be led by HWPA Broadcaster of the Year nominees Nick Luck and Lydia Hislop, and also include Nick Lightfoot, Niall Hannity, Tom Stanley, Gordon Brown, Angus McNae, Rishi Persad and Alex Steedman.


Q: What’s the programming looking like?
A: Full SP will air every Saturday and be studio-based, but with regular reporting from racecourses in an ‘around-the-grounds’ style with dedicated preview and analysis. It will be presented by Tom Stanley with regular contributions from Dave Nevison, Niall Hannity, George Baker and Angus McNae. The Friday Club will air on Friday evenings, incorporating Dundalk (with an on-course presence) and British evening racing in the summer. It will be hosted by Rishi Persad and Derby-winning jockey Martin Dwyer and invite social media interaction and focus on some of the key stories, as well as a few alternative ones. Mark Your Card, the Saturday preview show, will move to a daily slot to offer the latest news, betting moves and previews for the day’s racing. Luck On Sunday, the highly-acclaimed Sunday morning free-to-air show, hosted by Nick Luck. is in the midst of a second season. Viewers will also be able to enjoy This Racing Life, the weekly feature programme hosted by Tom Stanley and Nick Lightfoot, which goes behind the scenes of some of racing’s heartlands. St Leger-winning jockey George Baker will be the regular contributor to Thursday night racing from Chelmsford, while Racing Replay will show all races in full, plus reaction, on the same day.


Q: What shop window can Irish racing expect under the new service
A: Racing UK is available to Sky and Virgin customers in Ireland, and Sky, Virgin, Freeview / YouView customers in Britain. We are hopeful of adding further viewing platforms in Ireland in the near future. The channel is also available to broadband users around the world via the website, which attracts between four to seven million visitors per month, and the Apps. Racing UK’s members are truly engaged fans, 66% of which watch daily. Racing UK is broadcast to 14 million homes in Britain and Ireland, when the channel goes free-to-air, and has a 58m reach in Britain and 4.3m in Ireland through IP-based services such as via Freeview platforms, Apps and the website. Racing UK also has a wide social media reach via Facebook (115,000 likes) and Twitter (143,000 followers). Racing TV will facilitate coverage of Irish racing via 6,000 pubs and clubs across Britain and Ireland, and via non-betting broadcasters and betting channels in more than 40 countries. Around 30,000 betting shops / outlets around the world will broadcast Irish races via Racing TV International, while nearly 10,000 betting shops broadcast Irish racing in Ireland and Britain via SIS. In addition, 50 online bookmakers will stream live coverage of Irish racing around the world.


Q: What is happening to the international service?
A: Following the cessation of our international joint venture, GBI Racing (all British and Irish racing), the new International service will be aligned to the new brand name and called Racing TV International. The RMG international team are working with our new partner, SIS, to ensure the smooth implementation of the new international service, which will incorporate 61 Irish and RMG racecourses, from January 1. Two channels will be in operation; a fixed odds channel and a pool betting channel.