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    Television Broadcasting of Greyhound Racing in the United Kingdom
Television Broadcasting of Greyhound Racing in the United Kingdom
Wolverhampton Racecourse. Source: https://translated.turbopages.org/

Television Broadcasting of Greyhound Racing in the United Kingdom

Television coverage of greyhound racing in the UK traces back to 1967 at Clapton Stadium. Despite the stadium's closure in 1974, televised broadcasts continued, marking the onset of widespread public viewing. Today, numerous sports channels offer greyhound racing coverage, often accessible via subscription services. Notably, RPGTV stands out as a popular channel, airing live dog racing seven days a week. Additionally, select races are featured on platforms such as Sky Sports, SIS Greyhound, and others.

When it comes to betting on greyhound racing, a significant portion is facilitated through BAGS (Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service). Established on September 8, 1967, BAGS organises daytime dog races tailored specifically for bookmakers, with these races being televised in bookmakers' offices.

SIS (Sports Information Services), founded in 1986, is the oldest company providing content for betting companies. SIS revolutionised betting broadcasts by introducing live racing streams, initially launched in May 1987 in Bristol. Specialising in "fast bets," SIS ensures races are held every three minutes during broadcasts, maximising betting turnover and bookmakers' profits. Apart from greyhound racing, SIS offers a diverse portfolio including virtual racing, horse racing, e-sports, and lottery. Notable bookmakers in SIS's client base include Bet365, Betfair, Betfred, Betway, William Hill, and League of Inserts.

In 2015, SIS collaborated with BAGS to launch the online streaming service SIS Stream, catering to the growing demand for accessible racing coverage. This initiative expanded the reach of British racing internationally, attracting a broader audience of dog racing enthusiasts and bettors.

Merger Creates Premier Greyhound Racing Program

In 1997, the Roumain brothers, David and Simon, hailing from one of England's most affluent families, embarked on a venture that would redefine greyhound racing in the UK. Their brainchild, Arena Leisure, quickly emerged as a dominant force, acquiring a diverse portfolio of assets ranging from racecourses to golf courses, hotels, and entertainment centres. Meanwhile, Northern Racing, founded by another set of entrepreneurial siblings, made significant investments in sports facilities, thereby sharing a similar trajectory.

The merger of Arena Leisure and Northern Racing in 2012 birthed the formidable Arena Racing Company (ARC), which swiftly ascended to become the largest operator in the greyhound racing domain. With strategic acquisitions, such as Nottingham Greyhound Racing in 2020, ARC cemented its status as an industry powerhouse, hosting over half of all BAGS matches at ARC Stadiums. The launch of the Racing Partnership (TRP) television service in 2017 further solidified ARC's position, offering compelling competition to existing broadcasters like SIS.

Entain, a juggernaut in the global gaming arena, entered the fray with its diverse array of brands, including Coral, Ladbrokes, bwin, Party Poker, and Sportingbet. With a sprawling empire that spanned continents, Entain's foray into the greyhound racing scene added another dimension to its already impressive portfolio. From Canadian sports betting to Croatian bookmaking and Dutch ventures, Entain's reach was unparalleled.

The pivotal moment arrived in 2022 when ARC and Entain joined forces to unveil the Premier Greyhound Racing (PGR) programme. This landmark merger signalled a significant investment in both prize funds and research initiatives, propelling greyhound racing into a new era of innovation and growth. Moreover, the collaboration granted Entain bookmakers exclusive access to content from all ARC-owned tracks, enhancing their offerings and market reach.

As the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2024, PGR assumed control of daily live broadcasts from 14 prestigious racecourses across the UK, including Central Park, Crayford, Hove, and more. Meanwhile, SIS retained broadcasting rights to several other esteemed venues, ensuring a diverse and competitive landscape in the greyhound racing sphere.

In the fiercely competitive realm of content provision, industry leaders must remain agile and responsive to evolving market dynamics. With a keen focus on meeting public preferences and embracing technological advancements, greyhound racing continues to captivate audiences worldwide, thanks to the innovative strategies of companies like ARC and Entain

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