Sky Sports signs up for racing data

cheltenhamSky Sports Digital Media (SSDM) is now a distributor of official British horseracing Pre-Race Data (PRD), joining Press Association, SIS and Timeform as partners with the Racecourse Data Company (RDC).

RDC – a joint venture with 57 racecourses set up to licence and control PRD – has licensed SSDM to use the data, which is generated by Weatherbys and is the key component of information required to take a bet. It includes information on a racecard, such as final fields, owners, trainers, jockeys, weights, colours, draw and ratings.

The contract allows Sky Sports to distribute official racing data to its customers. These include bookmaker sports books, TV, newspapers and mobile networks.

SSDM is the fourth data provider to sign up with RDC in the last two months and ensures that nearly  all those customers who received official and reliable PRD via the previous licensor, Racing Enterprises Limited (REL), will continue to do so under RDC’s licensing.

Richard FitzGerald, Chief Executive of Racecourse Media Group and Tony Kelly, Managing Director of Arena Racing Company, who are both RDC Directors, said:  “It is essential for the sport that racecards are distributed from a licensed source, such as Sky Sports Digital Media, and we are delighted to be working with them.

“These contracts provide customers with the peace of mind and assurance that the most crucial element of data that facilitates the placing of a bet is official, reliable and accurate.”

David Gibbs, Director, Sky Sports Digital Media, said: “Working with RDC will ensure that Sky Sports can continue to develop and deliver a superb portfolio of horse racing products to our own network and commercial partners.”

RDC was assigned the PRD licence from Racing Enterprises Limited (REL), with effect from January 1, 2014 to 31 December 2018. The switch has not been without controversy. At the moment the daily racing newspaper Racing Post does not have official racing data via RDC because it has balked at paying an additional £500,000 fee on top of its previous £150,000 deal.

However the RDC is adamant that the paper has been paying below the odds, claiming that licensing is applied via a transparent rate-card, which has industry backing and is utilised across all customers. RDC says it has aligned its licensing principles with FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and non-discriminatory), which is widely used by standards-setting organisations and in licensing.

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