Independent News & Media has agreed a three-year deal, from 2013-14 to 2015-16, with the Irish Greyhound Board governing body to show live races via the Irish media company’s website.
According to the Irish Independent newspaper, audiences will also be able to place bets on races through the publication’s Independent.ie website. The service will begin streaming coverage in October.
The deal will form part of the governing body’s five-year strategic plan to promote and support greyhound racing in the country. It aims to boost cash resources by €3.7 million ($4.6 million) between now and 2017.
Greyhound racing in Ireland supports almost 11,000 jobs and is worth around €500 million to the country’s economy each year.
In 2011, revenue at the governing body dipped to €31.8 million from €32.8 million, while it recorded a surplus of €524,000 in comparison with just under €3 million the previous year.
Adrian Neilan, the body’s chief executive officer, said that the new partnership would offer huge potential, with the Independent.ie website claiming to attract more than four million unique users each month. He explained the service will allow punters to read about a race, bet on it and watch it all in one place – rather than use bookmaker services instead.
He added, “Why wouldn’t the media partner and the racing partner just keep people within their own ecosystem and monetise that?
“Media companies are coming up with new ways of generating income, and this is a way of doing that.
“We have to evolve as an organisation. Where before we wanted people to pay their admission and come to places such as Shelbourne Park, they now want to dictate when they want to watch.
“They want to do that at home or in a pub, and they don’t necessarily want to come to a stadium. We have to appreciate that.”