A Cork company has won a major TV contract to provide coverage from Irish racecourses.
IRIS, run by the Arnold family in Bartlemy, will continue to run the services for an initial four-year period, with an option to extend on an annual basis up to a maximum of 10 years.
The contract, one of Horse Racing Ireland’s largest deals, includes roles such as supplying raceday integrity services to the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB), racecourse CCTV, and providing race coverage to Sports Information Services (SIS) and Racing TV, as well as working alongside terrestrial broadcasters across each of Ireland’s 26 racecourses.
New initiatives to enhance the viewing experience will see the provision of raceday tracking cameras and the use of drone cameras.
“There has been a favourable reaction to the trials of the tracking cameras at a number of racecourses and we expect the drone coverage will add another exciting dimension to the viewer experience,” said HRI CEO Brian Kavanagh, who oversaw the EU tender process alongside the Association of Irish Racecourses.
“The delivery of new facilities within the Stewards’ Room and additional cameras at our racecourses will assist the IHRB to deliver a best in class integrity service.”
IRIS, a sister company of the Arnold’s TVM operation, which also provides outside broadcasting services, has run the HRI’s TV coverage since 2005.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity of continuing to support Horse Racing Ireland and the Association of Irish Racecourses in the provision of televised services to Irish horse racing, said Bart Arnold, managing director of IRIS.
“There are several new technologies being introduced which will create innovative ways of viewing, entertaining, and informing racing fans around the world.
“The new arrangements will see the introduction of best in class facilities for the raceday stewards, enhancing the integrity of Irish horse racing into the future.
“A superb team of people are in the background, delivering a quality service with professionalism, commitment, and enthusiasm.”
Paddy Walsh, CEO of the Association of Irish Racecourses, added: “We look forward to continuing to work with the team at IRIS in continuing to deliver a top-class service across all Irish racecourses. The introduction of some new technologies and additional cameras will further enhance this service.
“IRIS is a valuable partner to the racecourses in providing content to our media rights partners and engaging our customers on course.”