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The latest news from the bookmaker Betfred tells about an agreement signed with the At The Races, beginning January 2020. The deal hails a change in the model regarding watching racing events live and directly from Betfred’s website.
Up until now, punters had to place a bet first before streaming a race online, but now, it is not the case. All visitors can now watch the races for free and, hopefully, feel like placing some bets.
The deal aims at bolstering the two companies towards becoming even more creative in offering different streaming options. The same goes for betting coverage.
The business agreement puts At The Races in a position of companies that operate as affiliate marketers for Betfred. This move will see them get a share of all bets people who watch their streams place, instead of pence-per-stream basis. After Betfred lost the Tote, this move is a way of reigniting interest in horse racing.
What Does the Deal Entail?
The deal resides on entirely new model companies refrained from using. As we said, the previous model only let the players who placed the bets watch live streams. Now, all players can watch the streams for free and place their bets while watching the live racing action.
With this deal, The Races will receive a proportion of all bet turnover punters generate. This agreement is contrary to the regular price Betfred used to pay them for their live feeds. This could very well be the signal to other betting companies to switch to this model they previously shunned away.
Giving Horse Racing Its Well Deserved Value
Although some in the industry see this ATR and Betfred move with scepticism, others consider it natural and long in the making.
The ones to gain the most from this deal are certainly the racecourses. They will see horse racing finally tapping into the vast potential that online business offers. The desire of racing aficionados to watch the races in real-time is undoubtedly undeniable and a step closer to fruition.
Of course, there are specific issues with online streams. There is a delay between what viewers see on their devices and what happens on the track in real life. This issue is something all streaming and betting companies have to address.
Also, there is the issue of odds players can opt for as a result of that delay. Are the odds going to reflect the live event or the moment available to online viewers and punters? Тhis can easily be the source of controversy down the stretch.
What Do the Companies Have to Say About the Deal?
The executives on both sides of the deal have nothing but praise for the new partnership level between ATR and Betfred. Rakesh Chablani, the managing director of Betfred, and Matthew Imi, the CEO of ATR, spoke of how delighted both companies feel in regards to this new deal. They claim it will deepen the relationship between the companies and help them with maximising turnover of the horse racing product. Furthermore, players will experience a new dimension of watching and betting on horse racing.
Which Racecourses Jumped the Bandwagon?
ATR’s own streaming platform, Mediastream, will be in charge of delivering live feed to interested parties. The Raceday data is also a part in the package, and ATR currently sells this data as a licensee. As far as the racecourses that form a part of this deal are concerned, much remains vague at the moment.
ATR is a joint venture between Sky Sports and Arena Racing Company and 16 out of 24 horse racing event broadcasts available on Sky Sports are run by ATR. With this fact in mind, it’s safe to say that most racecourses will be a part of the deal. However, neither ATR nor Betfred confirmed it yet.
Also, another of the raised questions focuses on the connection between the funds on a player’s account and free streams. It asks whether punters will need to have money on their accounts before they can watch the races. Even if they don’t need to place any bets to watch the streams, this issue needs clarification.
Betfred’s Change of Hearts About Horse Racing
In February of 2018, Betfred lost all exclusive access to totalisator betting. At the time, all pundits interpreted it as the end of all connections between the bookmaker and horse racing. A great part of the horseracing industry was against Betfred purchasing Tote, which is why they opted for Tote’s rivals. By doing so, they avoid dealing with Betfred’s owner Fred Done whom they accused of buying Tote solely for their physical betting shops.
The entire situation, luckily, hasn’t escalated despite Fred Done’s threats of withdrawing sponsorships of racing events. Betfred finally sold Tote to Alex Frost and UK Tote Group in October 2019. However, even after selling Tote, they realised there is more money horse racing can generate, and no companies want to overlook that.