Media Deal to be Renegotiated in Great Britain

The record-breaking media deal agreed up in June 2001 by the majority of Great Britain's racecourses and broadcaster attheraces has collapsed.

A clause that guaranteed 20% profitability on Tote pool betting has triggered renegotiations, which probably means the 49 racecourses involved are receiving far less than the previously agreed £307 million over 10 years.

The British Tote reduced the takeout from bets last year in order to be more competitive. That means pool betting profitability for the attheraces racing and betting channel fell below 20%.

The fact the contract can now be renegotiated is a relief to attheraces, Arena Leisure, Sky, and Channel 4 as sports rights have become less valuable but racecourses wait anxiously to see how much their projected earnings, on which they have based future expenditure, will fall.

The Racecourse Association, trade body for the country's 59 tracks, has taken on PricewaterhouseCoopers to advise and participate in the new negotiations.