The present agreement between ITV and Ascot Racecourse was brought to the spotlight after it was reported that Ascot had been requested by the broadcaster to come to a decision as to whether a three-year partnership extension would be agreed upon.
According to the Racing Post, the partnership between the two was highlighted by bookmakers, punters and sponsors, who stressed that inability to extend the contract could lead to suffering for the racing industry.
A Saturday date for the racecourse has allegedly been released by the broadcaster, although the deadline is anticipated to extend to September.
If the duo failed to extend the partnership, ITV proposed that it would continue its participation with UK horseracing, which Betfair–Ascot’s main sponsor–stressed would make TV coverage important for the future of its two main sponsorships.
Betfair, Head of Media Relations, Barry Orr remarked: “When you come to assess a sponsorship, the exposure you receive through ITV is a significant factor, the coverage of which brings you into so many more homes. It’s really very important. The perfect situation is to have races on Earth TV as well as a dedicated channel. We hope to see that in the future.
“If our races are televised on the ground or not, it would have a very significant impact on the attractiveness of any future sponsorships. It’s a no-brainer to say that if races were not on ITV in the future, they would become increasingly less appealing from a sponsorship point of view. “Coral also created a partnership with the racecourse, and PR leader David Stevens added:” As there is a direct correlation between terrestrial race television coverage and enhanced betting turnover on the sport, the present comprehensive ITV agreement is in place.
“While we were rightly unable to comment on specific ongoing trade negotiations between Ascot and ITV, Royal Ascot is in betting terms the biggest week of the flat season and, together with the other top-class fixtures under both codes, is a key part of the terrestrial programme. We would hope that this position could be maintained in the future.