British bookmaker William Hill has signed a long-term media rights deal with The Racing Partnership (TRP), gaining access to a host of British and South African races.

The agreement with The Racing Partnership, a joint venture between Arena Racing Company (ARC) and seven independent racecourses, marks the first time that William Hill has purchased betting shop media rights directly from racecourses, rather than via an intermediary.

The deal commences on January 1st with TRP coverage being shown in William Hill’s 2,371 UK betting shops.

Including William Hill, more than 4,100 betting shops in the UK and Ireland have now signed up for the TRP TV channel, which launched on September 1st.

In addition to UK racing from TRP’s 22 racecourses, including 15 ARC-owned racecourses, the TV channel also broadcasts coverage of South African Racing, providing William Hill customers with a broad variety of jump, turf flat and all-weather flat racing.

“ARC and its independent partner racecourses are delighted to be part of a truly ground breaking deal with William Hill,” said ARC chief executive Martin Cruddace. “We have a clear vision of wanting to create the most efficient deal for all parties, based on content that has real value, and we believe we have achieved just that with this deal.

“We are committed to working with William Hill to develop, improve and deliver the racing product that their customers want. It is essential for the long term health of British Racing that there is a strong and vibrant retail betting sector.”

William Hill’s interim chief executive Philip Bowcock said the agreement will allow the bookmaker’s customers to enjoy the full range of horseracing coverage from the UK and abroad.

“This agreement continues to evolve the commercial partnership between betting and racing as this represents the first time William Hill has entered into a direct media rights agreement with racecourses,” he said. “I look forward to working with The Racing Partnership to ensure William Hill betting shop customers get the best possible racing service.”

Shares in William Hill plc (Co. Data) (LSE:WMH) were trading down 0.20 per cent at 292.10 pence per share in London early Friday.

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