UK and Irish horse racing broadcaster At the Races (ATR) has agreed a deal with Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) and the Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) to gain exclusive cross-platform media rights to all Irish fixtures.

The two-year agreement, which begins in January 2014, is described as including “significantly improved terms” for multiple media rights with ATR expecting returns to racecourses to more than double next year. Revenue is also expected to be positively impacted by the option to offer domestic and international distribution through online and new media.

ATR’s partner, broadcaster and data supplier SIS will retain all domestic and international betting shop rights under its existing contract with HRI.

As part of the agreement ATR will offer HRI and AIR a seat on its board of directors, described as “a significant and important new development that will help further the effort to coordinate and align strategies and keep the Irish racing industry integrally involved in the management and direction of its rights exploitation.”

The company’s chief executive Matthew Imi said he was “delighted” that the relationship with the two associations would continue, describing Irish racing as “a significant part of [ATR’s] business.”

“HRI and AIR made it very clear that not only did they feel ATR had done a great job monetising their rights across our current distribution platforms but that they were also excited about the long term potential of the business and we look forward to welcoming their representative onto the ATR Board as we start to roll out our growth strategy,” he explained.

AIR CEO Paddy Walsh added that he was “very pleased” to have agreed the new deal with ATR and SIS, saying that he looked forward to “all parties benefiting from the partnership approach that we have always adopted in the past.”

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