Racecourse Media Group (RMG) and Arena Racing Company (ARC) are set to join forces and create a single production centre for their picture and data feeds of horse racing events from around the UK.
ARC’s production centre in Milton Keynes is currently provided by SIS.
Its contract with SIS expires at the end of 2016, so if ARC joins forces with RMG it will move into the latter’s Ealing facility in readiness for the start of the racing season in 2017.
RMG said the joint venture could help to share production costs, with pictures and data from British racecourses delivered into the production facility, which would be co-owned by RMG and ARC.
ARC operates 15 race courses while RMG is responsible for the media and data activities of 34 racecourses.
RMG is hopeful that the 10 remaining non-RMG and ARC racecourses - nine of which are associated with Independent Racecourses Limited - will follow suit so that pictures and data from all 59 UK tracks will flow through the Ealing facility.
Chief executive of RMG Richard FitzGerald said: “This shows how far we’ve come in our ability to unify as an industry to ensure we are fit for the future and can give our customers, whether they are racing broadcasters or bookmakers, the pictures and data they need from a single source.
“This announcement is about more than driving down costs; it’s about sharing future investment, facilitating innovation and creating a platform that works for the future commercialisation of our racecourses’ media and data rights.”
The two companies also intend to unify their on-course production operation, including outside broadcast facilities.
RMG’s OB partner is Racetech, while ARC works with SIS Live, which is a subsidiary of SIS.
ARC managing director Tony Kelly added: “Sharing facilities and unifying our operations will create a single, world-class operation for our pictures and data from UK racecourses.
“This move will also enable us to work more constructively with the bookmaking industry in the promotion of betting on horseracing.
“In addition, it’s about bringing greater control over the sport’s rights which is hugely important as we look to the future.”