More good news for SIS as independents sign up to new deal
The prospect of a major media rights standoff between independent bookmakers and SIS appears to be over after SIS revealed they have now reached agreements for 99 per cent of all UK betting shops to take their service.
It is further good news for pictures supplier following last week's announcement that Racecourse Media Group had extended their existing LBO partnership to encompass international pool betting and fixed odds rights.
SIS announced a relaunch of its retail television service for independent bookmakers late last year to account for the introduction of horseracing content from the RMG stable of tracks, which include Jockey Club Racecourses and major independents like Ascot and York, from April 1.
However, the influential Bookmakers Technology Consortium (BTC), which represents independent operators, made a number of demands of SIS saying that while it was happy to take the RMG pictures it was not happy with the price it was being asked to pay owing to other content such as Irish horseracing and greyhound racing that was bundled with it.
At the time bookmakers representing around 500 shops said they would not subscribe, a move that would cost the racecourses involved £3.6 million in media rights payments, BTC claimed.
However that threat appears to have dissipated. SIS product director Paul Witten said: "Subsequent to concluding deals with UK majors last year, now after ongoing discussions with UK independent bookmakers, we are very pleased to announce that 99 per cent of the total LBO [licensed betting office] market have now signed up to take SIS's retail TV service and the bookmakers are very much looking forward to taking the RMG horseracing content from April.
"We have worked to ensure that the SIS service schedules are optimised for customers' needs and will maximise value for bookmakers."
Among the independent firms still holding out are Chisholm Bookmakers and Roar Betting.