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baracoudafan
02 Feb 18 11:36
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Date Joined: 08 May 10
| Topic/replies: 91 | Blogger: baracoudafan's blog
Big blow for ATR that. Don;t have much else to cling to.

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/at-the-races-loses-rights-to-broadcast-irish-racing-as-racing-uk-steps-in/318036
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Report screaming from beneaththewaves February 3, 2018 4:01 PM GMT
I think you'll find it's more that one in 10,000 jump racing fans who reckon the form from 20-runner maiden hurdles at Clonmel currently lacks credibilty. Particularly when you can't actually see what certain characters are getting up to in them.
Report McCoy Carp February 3, 2018 4:04 PM GMT
Agree. makes our racing look straight.
Report west zai February 3, 2018 4:05 PM GMT
Great to have the Irish in hd. Atr the only major sports channel not to offer hd pathetic. Deserve to lose it.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves February 3, 2018 4:06 PM GMT
I wouldn't go that far, McCoy Carp.Laugh
Report aberdonia February 3, 2018 4:07 PM GMT
maiden hurdles in the uk are full of horses not trying.
Report McCoy Carp February 3, 2018 4:09 PM GMT
Lol
Report screaming from beneaththewaves February 3, 2018 4:09 PM GMT
Fully agree, aberdonia. But in most British cases you have pictures good enough to watch those races and make a judgement on who the non-jiggers are.
Report MJK February 3, 2018 4:11 PM GMT
I'm assuming then you don't watch big field maidens from places like Chepstow where there are horses 20L behind at the first hurdle?
Report screaming from beneaththewaves February 3, 2018 4:12 PM GMT
What I'm trying to say is that Irish racing, thanks to the lousy ATR pictures, gives the impression that the non-triers are not something you're supposed to be able to look for. Hence it becomes a betting medium which is unattractive and lacks credibility. It discourages punters from trying to follow it.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves February 3, 2018 4:20 PM GMT
I'd like to see Chepstow off ATR too, for that very reason.

I'm trying to be even-handed here, MJK. (I'm only half-English, if that helps.)
Report jmdc February 3, 2018 4:27 PM GMT
^ ARC track
Report MJK February 3, 2018 4:31 PM GMT
I understand screaming. I had assumed you were one of the anti green brigade on here. Apologies.
Report stratfordman February 3, 2018 4:59 PM GMT
Think it's a sad thing personally...means we'll have to listen to more cr@p from the likes of Nevison, Freemantle, the Dick Suns etc.
Report sparrow February 3, 2018 5:51 PM GMT
Yes all those split screens will look great in HD Cry
Report portmanpark February 3, 2018 7:12 PM GMT
was talking to this bloke in the he betting shop today.....know he has RUK..............so I told him atr were losing the irishracing .... told him they were  moving their racing to RUK so I suggested they may charge him more..............he said he has had RUK for a few years but never paid a penny..........got some sort of box.............what is that and where can I get one??
Report ribero1 February 3, 2018 8:57 PM GMT
Meanwhile RUK happy to send Nevo to the other end of Great Britain to stand in front of a few bookmakers and tell us whats happening on here,their contempt for their members subscriptions knows no bounds.
Report McCoy Carp February 4, 2018 11:28 AM GMT
Do what I did then, knock it on the head. They might be professional as someone above said, but they are definitely not a likeable bunch.
Report differentdrum February 4, 2018 11:45 AM GMT
I wouldn't go as far as saying I like any presenter/gravy trainer but Gary O'Brien is about as professional as it gets on either channel.

There are plenty of absolute rubbish on both channels but there is by far a bigger whiff of smugness about those who currently steal a living on RUK.
Report buddeliea February 4, 2018 12:01 PM GMT
Yep,one of the reasons why i do not have RUK.

I will have a decision to make now though it seems.
Report spyker February 4, 2018 12:05 PM GMT
... And the fact that they spend 7 seconds washing the film through a bowl of dirty dishwater before broadcasting it.


It's still amazes me the (amount of) people on here who (probably) regard themselves as 'clued up' yet still don't know how and why there is a delay to all satellite broadcasts (all sky sports bbc news etc etc etc) and not RUK that uses other means - as highlighted by the changeover of Leicester pics last year. Personally if i were one of the few ir punters that is genuinely bothered by the delay I'd inform myself better about these things.........
Report ribero1 February 4, 2018 12:11 PM GMT
Would love to ditch them McCoy,unfortunately I want to watch racing most days on my television,also I record most of the replays which is another thing I don't like about RUK,you have to put up with endless interviews which take up far too much recording space,just recorded last years Cheltenham festival,half of it is the racing and half of it listening to McNae pontificating ffs!
Report differentdrum February 4, 2018 12:34 PM GMT
If you read some of this you wouldn't believe it was actually possible to make a selection before a race.

Most punters away from here wouldn't give a stuff about picture delay. They would far sooner be viewing races for no additional charge.
Report kavvie February 4, 2018 12:38 PM GMT
its too bad an idea to happen i think.the brits voting for brixit pales into insignificance as wrong decisions go..the turnover on irish racing will drop by at least half.  the atr channel will struggle for advertising.all irish advertisers will surely disappear.  the decentexposure of irish racing will be gone.  the casual viewer of whom make up the biggest part of the viewership will not miss it as they are only casual anyway..and ruk wont be as intrested and the presenters wont know(and wont want to know) 5% of what kevin o ryan,kevin blake and gary know..
Report McCoy Carp February 4, 2018 12:40 PM GMT
I have come to the conclusion that I would be better off not watching live racing at all especially where I have had a bet - although it is extremely difficult to do. I would be better off, studying form in the morning, putting bets on, then doing something else with my time and then just checking the results later in the day or next morning. Replay races for form purposes if need be, otherwise don't bother watching it. Watching live racing where you have had a bet is just too emotionally draining at times and that's something you don't need when you're trying to make a profit. It's not just the fallers, bad rides, horses being pipped on the post etc, but I don't need a pre race commentator tipping up my horse & it is suddenly shortening in odds, the value is gone, my bot misses the bet, and the horse wins - just one scenario. It's definitely something I intend focusing on, as I start working again soon and we look forward to the better weather of Spring and Summer.
Report TheFear February 4, 2018 1:30 PM GMT
any chance it could be stopped kavvie?
Report Rider February 4, 2018 1:36 PM GMT
Most punters away from here wouldn't give a stuff about picture delay

you wont see a better example of a self-fulfilling prophecy than this
Report stephaniebot February 4, 2018 1:40 PM GMT
Punters here who don't do in running don't give a stuff about picture delay either!
Report TheFear February 4, 2018 1:49 PM GMT
punters who don't get restricted dont care about restrictions... but it's best to stick together
Report kavvie February 4, 2018 1:52 PM GMT
picture delay is insignificant to 99.99% of people. .all sports on tv are delayed  i was loking at a soccer game in a pub a while back and had betfair on ..the market suspended 10 seconds before a goal was scored..so its common.i think it has to be reversed,and i think thetes moves a foot to, but you never know what will happen
Report Rider February 4, 2018 1:55 PM GMT
really always amazes me how anonymous posters try to give themselves kudos by implying they only bet pre-race, its about profit, keep your options open they are not mutually exclusive, if you want to lay one and know statistically it trades short ir to good volumes why wouldnt you want the option of doing just that?

on delayed pictures you are cannon fodder leaving lays up late or near fences etc and dont have the option
Report ribero1 February 4, 2018 1:58 PM GMT
Just the 4 of them for Musselburgh today.
Report pablo-fanque February 4, 2018 2:04 PM GMT
picture delay is insignificant to 99.99% of people

probably for the very reason that they are delayed that not many people care about delayed pictures.

in running betting ( just my opinion ) is the most exciting aspect of horse racing as a betting medium , and it is what will attract the youngsters to the sport . but when pictures are delayed by the amounts they are, betfair can't advertise just what a great product it is at the moment .
Report TheFear February 4, 2018 2:08 PM GMT
the punters betting on footy are protected by the suspension. Unlike racing. You can't hoover money on football as far as i know.
Report pumphol. February 4, 2018 2:08 PM GMT
There was talk a while back about BLV whether pictures were faster from ATR or RUK, at least on BLV if its an ATR race you get the full screen, from RUK on a busy day you don't get that privilege.
Report sageform February 4, 2018 2:34 PM GMT
The ability to back or lay was a great improvement and so is in running. You just have to adjust your strategy to allow for the delay. Pictures are even slower if you watch ITV via Sky or watch any channel online of course. I tend to back early in a race and lay off at roughly half the price if I have had a speculative bet. I remember
talking to Jim Old about in running soon after it started and he said that Fred Rimell (for whom he rode) always said that you could make a fortune betting in running as many horses tell you after half a mile if they are on a going day. That is probably why it has never been available on course unless a brave bookmaker starts calling prices at half way as some used to do.
Report Jack Bauer '24' February 4, 2018 3:28 PM GMT
It baffles me why anyone who considers themselves to be a good judge and is a serious punter does not chose to bet in-running where you have much more information available to make a judgement on the outcome.

Every single punter on here should care about picture delays, you are only doing yourself a disservice and limiting your options otherwise.
Report G Hall February 5, 2018 10:52 PM GMT
Fair comment jack
Report jmdc February 6, 2018 4:32 PM GMT
Ratpack just announced it's official.
Report differentdrum February 6, 2018 4:35 PM GMT
Couldn't wait to blurt it out could he? Funnily enough the gravy trainer didn't mention all the negatives including the massive price hike.

Weasels 1 ATR 0
Report jmdc February 6, 2018 4:37 PM GMT
I believe their gloating to be a little premature.
Report geordie1956 February 6, 2018 4:42 PM GMT
Surely they will have to put up subscriptions substantially
With all of the extra racecourses they will need to milk their subscribers otherwise the divi (profit) they distribute will be diluted significantly
They won't get many more customers so the existing ones will pay the price (I won't & I don't pay the full price now)
Report Lampus February 6, 2018 4:54 PM GMT
When RUK first started they said it will be fr  to that

if it  goes past £600 a year
loads will  just  drop it
Report duffy February 6, 2018 4:55 PM GMT
Totally agree with Jack, the concept of betting pre race to me now seems horrific, the less you have to deal with LV (although it has been massively improved the last year) the better....it's great news!!
Report duffy February 6, 2018 4:55 PM GMT
you can afford it LampusWink
Report Lampus February 6, 2018 4:57 PM GMT
do not know what happen to my post

When RUK first  started  it said it will be free   to view
after a couple of years   eerrmm what happen to that
Report john92 February 6, 2018 4:57 PM GMT
https://www.racinguk.com/news/irish-rights-q-a-what-does-this-mean-for-racing-uk-members


Q: How will Racing UK show all this racing on one channel?
A: We do not envisage any problems.


Q: Will the membership cost remain the same?
A: There are no plans in place to increase the Racing UK membership


And so on
Report Lampus February 6, 2018 4:58 PM GMT
Comrade  Duffy
U got think  abouth others  who  can not
Report GEORGE.B February 6, 2018 5:16 PM GMT
all races and reaction will be shown in full on the Racing Replay highlights programme on the same day; another service which is not available on At The Races.

For people who like to review the racing at their leisure, that is worth the subscription fee alone and gets a ten from Len!
Report GEORGE.B February 6, 2018 5:19 PM GMT
All that's left to do is to sign up St Hugh as their official Flat Turf & AW Expert, cuz Hugh likes a bit of Dundalk too
Report anxious February 6, 2018 5:30 PM GMT
disgraceful decision and more proof its all about the money and the rip off system
Report duncan idaho February 6, 2018 6:07 PM GMT
No second channel for Irish racing as Chelmsford joins exodus to Racing UK

By Richard Forristal
5:49PM, FEB 6 2018

Racing UK will not create a second channel to cater for Irish racing but it will be rebranded ahead of its January 1 launch after it emerged that Chelmsford is also to join its roster.

The Association of Irish Racecourses on Tuesday ratified the deal that will see At The Races lose all of the Irish fixtures.

When Horse Racing Ireland and AIR renewed their contract with SIS in March 2016, SIS was for a first time granted the right to sell the pictures to the broadcaster of its choice ahead of the new five-year arrangement kicking in on January 1, 2019.

The Racing Post revealed on Friday that a deal had effectively been done with RUK’s parent company Racecourse Media Group, and, while AIR had it within its power to veto the deal, to do so would have jeopardised its contract with SIS.

"This agreement means for the first time viewers can enjoy the major storylines of both jumps and Flat seasons in Ireland and Britain on one HD channel," said RUK's chief executive Richard Fitzgerald.

"Our 50,000 members and 6,000 pubs and clubs in Britain and Ireland will also enjoy the increasingly popular racing from Chelmsford, which continues to grow in quality and consistently attracts the best horsemen."

Adding to the detail, RUK's director of PR Seb Vance said: “We will rebrand to reflect the importance of Irish racing and we will look to recruit the best Irish talent available.

“We already work closely with Ruby Walsh and Donn McLean and will continue to do so, and we will reveal the new talent along with the brand when the time comes.”

Many of the concerns expressed by those with a stake in Irish racing turn on how much the increased volume of fixtures on RUK will compromise its coverage.

The 26 Irish racecourses have 363 scheduled fixtures in 2018, with RUK already broadcasting more than 800 fixtures from 37 British racecourses, with Chelmsford joining its roster next year.

Vance confirmed that the Racing Extra option, which is available on its online platforms, will be extended to Irish venues, meaning that a live feed can be accessed from every Irish meeting.

It is not available via satellite television but it can be “cast” or “mirrored” on smart television sets.

“We'll work closely with everyone on race times,” Vance added of the possible congestion issue.

“We do show top-class racing from multiple fixtures on Racing UK at the moment so we do have an excellent track record in giving the fixtures the coverage they deserve.

“We'll come on air earlier and go off air later and will have a highlights replay programme every evening.

“If we have to wait half an hour before we show a post-race interview, then we'll do that, but we do want to make sure all the previews and fallout are covered extensively.

“We’ll look to do some decent features, going behind the scenes of Irish racing’s heartlands. Everyone is really excited at Racing UK about being able to work on Irish racing and we’ve got some really good ideas. I’d hate people to think Ireland would be playing second fiddle.

“At The Races had seven of our racecourses in their pomp, along with the Irish fixtures, and they coped with it on one channel and it wasn’t to the detriment of UK or Irish racing, so it can be done.

“We have a lot of blank afternoon and evening sessions on Racing UK, and at the moment have got 25 blank days. Based on this year’s fixtures, in 2019 that will be reduced to 11, and then we've a further 12 blank afternoons which will be filled and a further 87 evening slots which will be filled.

“According to our customer research, the optimum number of fixtures for our viewers is three in a session, and there will be only 43 afternoons where it will be more than three throughout the year.”

Asked about the potential conflict of interest when it comes to schedule clashes as a result of its 37 British racecourses being shareholders in RMG, Vance replied: “Our board, which represents our racecourses, feel there are strong strategic and financial benefits to having Irish racecourses on Racing UK. We’ll have this amazing bundle of brilliant racing for Ireland and the UK to package together now.

“It makes it more of a definitive, complete racing channel. Obviously there are financial benefits [for RMG] as well. We stream the racing for bet-to-view bookmakers and now have this amazing bundle, so we can go to the bookmakers and say we’ve got Irish racing as well and package it all.

“That will be more appealing for the online bookmakers, and we can package it to sell overseas, so there will be really good exposure for both. For example we could sell a ten-race Classics package. For the first time last year, remember, we got the Derby on NBC."

Vance added: “All of us need to make this a success, so we will have cross-promotion and so on and that will benefit Irish racecourses as well.”

Increased usage of split screens has been among the concerns expressed, but Vance insisted that RUK use split screens only as a last resort and that pictures will be delivered with less of a delay than is currently the case on ATR.
Report TheFear February 6, 2018 7:04 PM GMT
pictures will be delivered with less of a delay than is currently the case on ATR.

Ambiguous. Doesn't say it will be the current RUK delay. SIS will try and extend the delay.
Report kavvie February 7, 2018 5:29 PM GMT
it now seems the the all new brilliant ruk  2019 service at 300e a year wont show 5% of irish racing at all?
Report ashleigh February 7, 2018 5:57 PM GMT
mike cattermole bitter about the switch, well he would be working for atr. 
reckons rmg are paying 39 million euros a year for irish racing, double what was previously paid.Wink
Report differentdrum February 7, 2018 6:41 PM GMT
He'll soon cheer up if they offer him a job. I don't think gravy trainers do loyalty. If they took Broonie they'll take anyone.
Report geoff m February 7, 2018 6:47 PM GMT
Gary Obrien has to be a must signing for RUK.
No doubt Fitzy will be trying to get his snout in the box(hopefully not)
Report GEORGE.B February 7, 2018 6:52 PM GMT
Yes RUK, listen to your subscribers, Gary O'Brien a must signing. Not the other one. Please.
Report ashleigh February 7, 2018 6:59 PM GMT
don maclean does the irish for ruk at present, much prefer kevin blake who i hope gets a job along with gary o'brien.
Report GEORGE.B February 7, 2018 7:03 PM GMT
Yeah, like KB as a pundit
Report geordie1956 February 7, 2018 7:17 PM GMT
they won't have time for presenters because of the saturated racing coverage will they?
Report GEORGE.B February 7, 2018 7:21 PM GMT
It doesn't stop them currently, Geordie

Take a busy Saturday for example in the summer, they'll have presenters / pundits at 2 or 3 meetings, along with Nevo and a roving interviewer / paddock judge Crazy
Report impossible123 February 7, 2018 7:22 PM GMT
Is this the beginning of the demise of ATR now that Irish Racing has been lost and several All-Weather tracks switching allegiance? Not a good start to 2018 for Mr Chapman losing DOI and now ATR clinging on for dear life.
Report wondersobright February 7, 2018 7:25 PM GMT
KB is completely different gravy to DM imo
GOB would be a pleasing addition to RUK also
Report sageform February 8, 2018 9:42 AM GMT
Interesting that Fred didn't know it had happened until he read the RP when he owns Chelmsford plus 12.5% of SIS! Too busy increasing the margins from the Tote perhaps.
Report duncan idaho February 8, 2018 9:43 AM GMT
totally agree, wonder


also..there's no getting away from fact RUK is going to be busier than ideal on certain days, but currently at other times it's like tumbleweed blowing on there...Dec-Feb this season they had 39 days covering either none or 1 meeting (from total of 88 days racing ie 44%!)..and that's before any cancellations
Report TheFear February 8, 2018 10:42 AM GMT
https://www.irishracing.com/news?headline=Atr-Planning-To-Grow-And-Diversify...
Report jmdc February 8, 2018 11:09 AM GMT
I've known a Saturday afternoon at Haydock when Mark Howard has assessed the first race and we've not seen him for the rest of the afternoon!
Report jmdc February 8, 2018 11:14 AM GMT
Despite the setback, ATR chief executive Matthew Imi remains optimistic that future plans for the channel, which has also lost broadcasting rights to cover Chelmsford City, will not suffer as a consequence.

As usual, Imi is living in cloud cuckoo land.  The faceless genius behind ATR!
Report onlooker February 8, 2018 12:30 PM GMT
An RUK spokesman said ...

"Those realities, allied to the popular bet-to-view proposition with our soon-to-be 25 online bookmaker partners,..."
-------------

1. What is, "popular," about having to, "bet to view," ?

2. How many of those, "25 online bookmaker partners," will punters be able to get a bet on with.?

Arrogant nonsense from the spokesman, wouldn't you say.
Report the dealer February 8, 2018 12:32 PM GMT
90% plus of the UK gambling population dont care who,how or on what station the racing is shown. unfortunately this deal will now deprive them of that pleasure.
Report sparrow February 8, 2018 12:43 PM GMT
Spot on, dealer.
Report anxious February 8, 2018 1:02 PM GMT
More of the same old rip off culture
Report sparrow February 8, 2018 1:07 PM GMT
switch to Racing UK
Andrew Coonan: Irish Jockeys Association secretary has particular concerns over scheduling
Andrew Coonan: Irish Jockeys Association secretary has particular concerns over scheduling
Alain Barr
1 of 1
By Richard Forristal
UPDATED 12:40PM, FEB 8 2018
   
Irish Jockeys Association secretary Andrew Coonan has expressed disappointment on behalf of his members that they and other stakeholders were not consulted during the negotiations that have led to At The Races being replaced by Racing UK as the main broadcaster of Irish racing from next year.

Over the past week, high-profile owners, trainers and industry figures have expressed strong reservations about how the move to RUK will affect the exposure of Irish racing.

The IJA has added its voice to those misgivings, pointing to the logistical issues that might arise out of RUK having an extra 363 fixtures to fit into its programming schedule in 2019, and saying it would welcome a chance to speak with the broadcaster.

“What is reflective of the concern is that some of the senior riders have voiced apprehensions about how this would work into the future and how it might impact on them, and I haven't been able to assuage those concerns or calm any anxiety they may have,” said Coonan.

“Anything that's going to enhance the value of the racing product is going to benefit riders, but this deal, at this point in time, lacks the clarity, or any degree of certainty with regard to scheduling, and that could create problems for riders here.”

He continued: “The issues particularly in regard to scheduling I don’t think have been sufficiently clarified for us to have confidence with regard to how this will work come January 1, 2019.

"The function of broadcasting Irish racing is extremely important to not just those within the industry but to those looking in from the outside as well.

"One would have thought that, while this discussion was taking place, which in many respects is purely financial, negotiations with other parties involved, including jockeys, needs to also take place.

"I think a lot of stakeholders are still in the dark as to how this is going to work, and for us how that relationship between jockeys and Racing UK will work and develop.

"I'd welcome the opportunity to have that discussion, but it hasn’t happened yet. That isn't an ideal situation in an industry that is worth what it is with the amount of stakeholders involved in it."

Coonan added: "We don’t necessarily think this is a bad deal for racing, but I don’t think anybody has been provided with the clarity that's needed as a result of the press releases on Tuesday and discussions which have taken place."
Report screaming from beneaththewaves February 8, 2018 1:40 PM GMT
I can imagine quite a few jockeys in Ireland being concerned about clarity going forward - particularly clarity in the pictures.
Report isleham February 8, 2018 1:40 PM GMT
if fred thinks its not a good idea it must be good for racing
Report duncan idaho February 8, 2018 2:34 PM GMT
Grin
Report Barton Bank February 8, 2018 2:44 PM GMT
RUK have struck the deal without working out how they are going to deal with the amount of racing they have to show imo.
Report lord skywalker February 8, 2018 2:50 PM GMT
£25 a  month, youre having a  laugh when ATR is part of virgin/sky package, i can get replays for free for ruk/atr and bet mostly via bookies interface anyway if i want to watch live, £25 is a waste
Report salmon spray February 8, 2018 2:51 PM GMT
Good luck to those of you paying £40 per month to watch the chaos.
Report lord skywalker February 8, 2018 2:53 PM GMT
never bet on irish racing anyway so no loss to me but you do need competition otherwise they charge what they want
Report dave1357 February 8, 2018 6:20 PM GMT
http://www.attheraces.com/news/2018/February/05/stride-data-launched-on-attheraces.com

At least atr are making an effort to provide punters with novel info.
Report elvissss February 8, 2018 7:21 PM GMT
Brian O'Connor's Latest Blog
The Brakes Are Gone

Horse Racing Ireland's purpose is the governance, development and promotion of the industry. The Association of Irish Racecourses states its role is to promote the sport of horse racing generally and the specific interests of those who own or operate racecourses. So each overtly acknowledges its role in maintaining and increasing racing's profile. Yet there is widespread apprehension the new deal which sees pictures broadcast on 'Racing UK' from next year will have an adverse impact on Irish racing's exposure levels. And what's more there's little or nothing can be done about it.

That's the real big picture story: how HRI's Media Rights Committee, which manages media rights for racecourses, signed a deal in 2016 that basically handed over control of Irish racing's prized asset to SIS. Technically an AIR general meeting on Tuesday can veto the SIS decision to go with RUK rather than 'Attheraces' from 2019. Most everyone agrees though that's little more than a rubber-stamp exercise. SIS paid for the right to do what it likes with these pictures and is doing so. Those in charge of Irish racing are incapable of applying any kind of brake.

Details are vague on how much better off racecourses will be from the RUK deal but apparently it's not much. It's the original rights deal that's the financial beano. That's the thing with a straightforward tot: as Jerry Maguire outlined its show me the money. In contrast profile is vague and imprecise. But it does matter. In fact it might be argued it matters enough to get the money train all revved up in the first place. And there's no knowing yet what kind of long term impact on Irish racing's public depiction will occur from one short-term deal that fattens the racecourses.

Having to pay a secondary fee to subscribe to RUK rather than coughing up for a standard package that provides free ATR will deter some. There's certainly a touch of elitism to this. But it's not the major problem. Apparently ATR's rebrand to Sky Racing included plans to go behind a pay-wall too. Anyway there are punters out there loudly proclaiming how they won't pay €400 a year for RUK yet think nothing of having the same on a horse any day. It's part of the grand old racing tradition of paying nothing but expecting everything.

What's of real concern is the quality of coverage Irish racing gets on RUK. The huge plus of ATR is that Ireland is the big dog. That means it gets both time and priority. It also gets resources. There are boots on the editorial ground which helps provide a level of everyday coverage it's hard to imagine RUK can emulate on a much busier schedule. Will every Irish race be shown live? I have heard a suggestion that over five per cent won't be. Will some meetings be parked behind a button? Will it just be pictures alone with no time for interviews, analysis and background?

Maybe RUK's coverage will be a huge improvement and such concerns will be academic. Details are non-existent at the moment bar suggestions RUK will be rebranded to reflect its new acquisition. Anyway RUK and SIS are hardly to be blamed for doing whatever they like with a product they've paid for. They're in the business of totting profits.
But HRI and AIR are supposed to have a wider brief. These are promotional questions that should be of major importance to them. The idea is to sell racing to as wide an audience as possible. Except by grabbing the original 2016 SIS deal so enthusiastically they appear to have forfeited any kind of leverage.

Anyone who owns even a mundane apartment and decides to rent it out for period wouldn't just allow a renter to sub-lease it at their leisure. There would have to be at least some consultation. And it should hardly be beyond anyone's business wit to insert clauses which allow the actual owner exert some say or influence on what remains their property.

Such brakes seem entirely absent from a deal which appears to allow SIS do whatever it wants. And if that wasn't attractive enough for them, they even get to deliver a competitor a potentially devastating commercial blow with the potential to put them in an even stronger position next time everyone sits around the negotiating table. It's hard to play tough without an 'or else.'

The financial importance of media rights is huge. Dermot Cantillon's recent observation that 80 per cent of Naas racecourse's revenue comes from media rights was no surprise to anyone. But administration is not just about money. Racecourses may feel they are looking out for themselves but they're part of a bigger picture here. It's certainly a picture HRI should appreciate. It has a responsibility to take an overall view for the overall good of the industry.

But here it seems to have had eyes only to cut a deal with SIS which pays off in money terms but otherwise has the potential to backfire. No doubt there are a lot of fingers being kept crossed this works out. And it may pay off. But when it comes to valuable contracts, keeping fingers crossed is hardly good enough. And it surely isn't good enough to sign over a valuable asset without retaining some sort of brake to preserve an industry's overall interests.

ATR might not have been offering as much money but it offers levels of profile RUK may not. In terms of boosting a sport's exposure it is currently pretty much a win-win on both sides. It seems Irish racing has signed that away and is left without any say in the matter.

As for the 'Dublin Racing Festival' it turned out to be a bit of a curate's egg in terms of attendances. 14,105 for Saturday was encouraging and above expectations: so Sunday's crowd of 12,031 was a let-down considering it was generally anticipated to be the bigger draw.

And as an aside it's worth pointing out that Saturday's positive crowd figure was rushed up to us in the press room before racing had even finished. There was no similar sprint with Sunday's figure, which tells its own little story as to how relevant crowd figures are to some people at least.

As for what story the festival tells us generally about attendances, the figures suggest it might be worth re-examining the tired trope about Saturday racing being a dead-duck in terms of popular interest. Is the prospect of going to good racing - and giving it a bit of welly on the social front without worrying about work the following day - a lot more attractive to people than generally assumed?

And although plenty encouragement was taken from the Day One figure there's no getting away from how an attendance of 26,136 over two days for the best National Hunt racing this country can throw up is disappointing. Because, by the way, the racing was superb. It doesn't get better. A couple of thousand more than originally predicted showed up to watch it. But anyone pretending this was near full-house stuff is just cheerleading.

One final festival thought is that part of its brief is to promote racing. Yet in the Sunday Independent sports supplement there wasn't a single word about Saturday's Leopardstown action. That's nothing, nada, niente, nichts, which in any language is remarkable.

There was a brief bit of copy about Ruby Walsh and even a snippet on Buveur d'Air winning at Sandown. But nothing at all about one of the biggest days on the Irish racing calendar. The Sindo isn't everyone's cup of tea. And referring to a print edition may be hopelessly old-school media. But such an omission is a stark reminder of how profile of any kind isn't guaranteed.

As for a final, final festival thought; wasn't Samcro fantastic. If he's really only going to come into his own over three miles and fences, we could be looking at something very exceptional indeed.
Report differentdrum February 8, 2018 8:00 PM GMT
Who is Brian O'Connor?

Really good piece. I managed to read three paragraphs before giving up.
Report RothmanMike February 8, 2018 8:18 PM GMT
Too many vested interests here with hidden agenda.
Wait and see what happens,cannot possibly worse than the ATR presentation in my opinion.
Report geordie1956 February 8, 2018 8:59 PM GMT
I'll be surprised if RUK show such extensive coverage of Irish racing as ATR have done - presentation of the big Irish meets has been very good for the most part - Gary O'brien is a great presenter and RUK will undoubtedly attempt to secure his services but their coverage will surely by driven by UK commitments excepting for Sundays
Report portmanpark February 8, 2018 9:38 PM GMT
few trips over the irish sea for nev
Report RothmanMike February 8, 2018 10:30 PM GMT
I think Dave likes a few days out,and he likes Scotland but Ireland,I don't think so.
They will surely get one of the natives and like many others on here,I would hope Gary O'Brien applies for the position.
Report Pinza February 9, 2018 9:01 AM GMT
Home racing is enough I never bother with Irish racing
The data base couldn't take any more!
Report sageform February 9, 2018 9:07 AM GMT
I hope that taking Irish racing does not mean that they will stop paying for coverage of France or Dubai.
Report ribero1 February 9, 2018 9:20 AM GMT
Sky Sports Racing to launch early next year-interesting?
Report ribero1 February 9, 2018 9:23 AM GMT
"An all singing all dancing High definition channel which will be available to all 14 million subscribers,going after Ascot and Chester.
Report workrider February 9, 2018 10:44 AM GMT
Whoever handed the rights to Irish Racing to SIS should be named and shamed imo.
Report grayhawk February 9, 2018 2:43 PM GMT
First time i've seen in print that SKY intended charging for live racing after they re-brand ATR.....
Report isleham February 9, 2018 6:03 PM GMT
in print where please
Report grayhawk February 9, 2018 8:00 PM GMT
Just reading Brian O'Connors blog from Irish racing site that elvissss posted at 19:21 isleham....
Report cardifffc February 9, 2018 9:15 PM GMT
gray...........the way things are going SKY wont have any racing to charge for
Report isleham February 9, 2018 10:53 PM GMT
thanks grayhawk
Report xmoneyx February 10, 2018 7:46 AM GMT
the sun

matt chapman

Sold

Its

Soul
Report xmoneyx February 10, 2018 8:15 AM GMT
atr - promised HD

still lost it
Report MJK February 10, 2018 12:39 PM GMT
People have to remember that the same organisation, HRI, are the only people in racing who couldn't see that the Derby should have been ran elsewhere while the Curragh was a building site. Anyhow good to see Chapman being his usual Me Fein. He says he will miss doing Irish racing as he feels like a movie star when he's over with everyone wanting to meet him. He has no shame
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