Huge £40million bust-up over rights sees 'significant' change to TV coverage with rebel racecourses to be back on Sky | The Sun
RACING coverage in Ireland is set for a big shakeup with five tracks likely to rejoin Sky.
Those five tracks spectacularly rejected a massive new £40million deal that was offered earlier this week.
Members of the United Irish Racecourses (UIR) – Kilbeggan, Limerick, Roscommon, Sligo and Thurles – voted against a deal that would have seen all 26 Irish tracks being broadcast on Racing TV.
Instead, they can now negotiate their own deal and it looks increasingly likely that Irish racing will return to Sky.
Sky Sports Racing, who previously showed Irish coverage, are now set to swoop in.
In a statement, Arc said: "Arena Racing Company and Sky Sports Racing are delighted that the opportunity to develop a partnership with the five United Irish Racecourses is now possible.
"We welcome the prospect of engaging in the very near future in detailed discussions with UIR, Horse Racing Ireland and the Association of Irish Racecourses on the media rights for these five racecourses.
"We are excited at the prospect of establishing a significant, valuable and long-term partnerships."
Conor O'Neill, chairman of HRI's media rights committee, told the Racing Post earlier this week: "Although it's disappointing that it [new media rights deal] was not approved by all, today is a very positive day for the future of Irish racing, let's not take away from that."
All 26 tracks are currently broadcast on Racing TV, which costs a minimum of £24.98 per month
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Racing TV began showing coverage of Irish racing in 2019, with the At The Races' Irish presenter Gary O'Brien switching over at the time alongside Kevin O'Ryan.
The Racing TV team also includes Ruby Walsh, Fran Berry, Jane Mangan and Kate Harrington.
Racing TV has come up for criticism by punters on the big days, with the amount of tracks being shown forcing big races to be split-screened.
One said: "Split screen is a nightmare on RacingTV – absolute joke."
Another said: "Its 2023 and RacingTV still hasn’t got a 2nd channel! This splitscreen stuff is awful and always has been!"
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