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Friday, June 10, 2005



AT THE RACES CELEBRATES FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF RELAUNCH TOMORROW, SATURDAY, JUNE 11




At The Races, the UK and Ireland's leading horseracing and betting channel, celebrates the first anniversary of its relaunch tomorrow, Saturday, June 11.


With the backing of 28 leading British racecourses, all 27 Irish racecourses and British Sky Broadcasting, At The Races now comfortably occupies the number one position amongst UK horseracing channels not only in the British and Irish Pay TV marketplace but also in the domestic internet, broadband, 3G mobile space and the broader, international marketplace.



First Year Highlights
Corporate

* £2million will have been passed back to At The Races' racecourse partners.


* No funding has been requested by At The Races of its racecourse shareholders.


Distribution

* Domestically, At The Races is distributed by Sky, NTL, Telewest Broadband, NTL Ireland and Chorus in their most widely distributed packages. At The Races is currently available to 10 million multichannel subscribers across the UK and Ireland.


* Outside the UK and Ireland At The Races distributes its content into over 20 countries by means of its own international channel and through its agreement with SIS. Territories include Holland, Germany, the Caribbean, Sri Lanka, the UAE, Italy, South Africa and Australia. This number will increase in coming months as At The Races' international channel secures increased distribution.


Domestic Audience

* Over 1.2 million individuals tune into the channel every month.


* A record 360,000 individuals have tuned into the channel on one day.


* An average of 40,000 to 50,000 viewers are watching at any time during live UK and Irish racing.


Coverage

* At The Races will cover over 1,000 UK and Irish race meetings in 2005.


* At The Races has had no blank days since August 2004.


* At The Races is the only UK channel broadcasting live racing from the USA on a daily basis.


* At The Races also broadcasts high quality racing from France, Italy, Spain, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Dubai and Germany.

Production

* At The Races is a 'channel' in the real sense of the word. It is on air 24 hours a day with an offering of live horseracing and up to the minute betting information commencing at 9am most days.


* Through its successful partnership with SIS, the quality and variety delivered by the At The Races production and presentation teams is now unrivalled amongst daily horseracing channels. We have a dedicated team of highly experienced professionals both behind, and in front of, the camera and the feedback from our viewers is that their diligence has now established clear water between ATR and the chasing pack.


* At The Races regularly invests in the production of 'features' focusing on Owners, Trainers, Jockeys and other industry related subject matter. We aim not just to offer high quality coverage of live UK and Irish racing but also to focus on the personalities in racing, equine and human, and the issues facing our sport. We hope striking this balance will also assist in popularising the sport and drawing new viewers in.


* At The Races has enjoyed particular success this year by establishing its betting shows 'Get On' and 'Get On Tonight' as well as its US racing slot, 'Stateside', as real 'appointment to view' programming.


Interactive Betting

* At The Races now generates up to £2million a week in turnover from interactive red button betting on the Sky platform alone.


* At The Races has agreements in place with UK cable companies NTL and Telewest to quickly develop similar interactive betting applications.


Valued Betting Partners

* At The Races has commercial agreements in place with a range of valued bookmaker partners including Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral, Tote, SkyBet, Bet365, Boylesports, Blue Square, Stan James, Victor Chandler and BetDirect.


* Where possible, but particularly on US racing, At The Races will work with its wagering partner, TRNi, and the many domestic betting partners who are now signed up to TRNi's FastBet software, to facilitate the flow of bets from UK punters back into the domestic pools of international rights holders.

* As a widely distributed, cross-platform, punter-friendly business At The Races is well positioned to add considerable value to its bookmaker partners by driving traffic to our partner businesses and yielding incremental betting turnover through new and exciting betting-focused products.


Innovation

* At The Races successfully developed and launched, in March 2005, its online 'Bet and Watch' service in partnership with Ladbrokes and has now agreed terms with a large number of other bookmaker partners to launch a similar service. Further announcements will be made in due course.

* In May 2005, in partnership with William Hill, At The Races was the first UK broadcaster to launch a live, daily sports service to 3G mobile users in the UK. At The Races 3G is now available on the 3 and Vodafone platforms which means that the vast majority of 3G customers in the UK can now access the service daily.


Attheraces.com

* Attheraces.com, run in partnership with SkySports.com, has quickly established itself as the No.2 domestic horseracing website, behind RacingPost.co.uk, and is closing the gap fast with approaching 300,000 monthly unique users and over 20 million monthly page impressions.


* Attheraces.com is the only horseracing website offering a comprehensive video based archive for detailed form research. Since the archive video facility launched in April, our website has streamed over 200,000 video clips to users.


Exporting the Best of British and Irish Racing

* At The Races has successfully launched At The Races International, a thoroughbred-only racing channel targeted at existing and emerging pari-mutuel betting territories and, importantly, managed by the At The Races team from within the UK.


* In February 2005 , At The Races concluded an important agreement with the UK Tote which facilitates the flow of international betting turnover back into the UK's domestic pools. The benefits to the industry are numerous but include making our domestic pools larger and more attractive to UK punters and also driving increased revenues back to At The Races' racecourse partners.


Importing International Racing

* In May 2005, together with its US wagering partner, TRNi, At The Races concluded an agreement with Magna Entertainment Corporation and Churchill Downs Simulcast Network to acquire exclusive UK and Ireland simulcast rights to racing from some of America's top tracks including Churchill Downs, Pimlico, Gulfstream Park, Great Lakes Downs, Golden Gate Fields, Lone Star Park, Portland Meadows, Remington Park, Santa Anita Park, The Meadows, Thistledown, Flamboro Downs, Hollywood Park, Ellis Park, Calder and Hoosier Park.


* At The Races recently signed an exclusive agreement with the Japanese Racing Association to broadcast seven of their most prestigious races in 2005.

* At The Races has various agreements in place to broadcast top quality racing from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Dubai, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Casino and Poker

* At The Races successfully relaunched its branded casino and poker sites - attheracescasino.com and attheracespoker.com - with the objective of occupying the position of 'racing's online casino'.


2005 Racing Charity

* At The Races proudly supports Retraining of Racehorses as its racing charity for 2005.


Quotes

Matthew Imi, Chief Executive of At The Races, said: "We've done what we promised we would do. Produced the market leading racing and betting business at home and abroad, passed considerable cash payments back to our 55 racecourse partners from day one, encouraged more viewers and punters to engage with our racecourse and betting partners via a widely distributed, cross platform, rights based business and spearheaded new and innovative, technology driven revenue streams which benefit our industry as a whole."

"I'd like to thank the ATR team, our racecourse, betting and industry partners for their continued support of At The Races and also the million or so viewers and punters who interact with us on a monthly basis regardless of which media platform best suits them."

Douglas Erskine-Crum, Chief Executive of Ascot Racecourse, said: "Although controversial at the time, we felt it was important to go with At The Races and after a year of broadcasting I'm pleased to say that our decision has been fully vindicated.


"The expertise of the team across the spectrum, not just in production terms but in all departments, has been a pleasure to witness.


"It is crucial to us to make use of the backing and commitment of Sky, which is currently trailing the Royal Meeting across its sports network, and the non subscription policy of ATR enables Ascot's racing programme to reach the widest audience. We firmly believe that we have a responsibility to maximise exposure of horseracing beyond the inner circle and ATR continues to do just that."

Ian Penrose, Chief Executive of Arena Leisure, said: "We are delighted to be involved with At The Races and under the leadership of Matthew Imi ATR has exceeded our initial expectations. It is vital that horseracing is made available to the widest possible audience, for free, in order that our sport continues to flourish. The 1.2m viewers a month speak volumes for the success of the channel, its presenting and production teams and the role At The Races is playing in growing the appeal of racing in general."

Simon Clarke, Deputy Chairman, Northern Racing Plc, said: "Northern Racing is delighted to be a part of At The Races, we believe the first year has been a tremendous success and that we have definitely backed the right horse".


Chris Palmer, Chief Executive of GG Media, said: "We are extremely happy with the progress to date. It has been a very successful year and those of us involved are totally committed to the success of ATR."

Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horseracing Ireland, said: "In seeking to have Irish racing broadcast on a daily basis on a satellite and cable channel, HRI had two principal concerns. Firstly, that the majority of Irish meetings would be shown rather than a select few and, secondly, that the racecourses received a fair return. It is pleasing that after one year the At The Races model has fulfilled both criteria. The quality of Irish racing has never been stronger and through ATR this has been exposed to the widest audience possible. I wish ATR well and I look forward to a positive association in the future."

Nigel Payne, Chief Executive of the The Horseracing Sponsors Association, said: "ATR's considerable reach added to their strong daily audience figures are already attracting interest from sponsors. There is no doubt that free to view platforms can provide very worthwhile exposure."


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