Betfair, the betting exchange business, has bought an American horse-racing television network, for just over £47 million.
The gambling group said it had bought HRTV from Stronach Group, a racecourse operator, and would combine it with TVG, Betfair’s US subsidiary. Following the deal, Betfair will control the rights to broadcast events from Santa Anita, Pimlico, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park and Golden Gate Fields for seven years.
It will also have the broadcast rights for Churchill Downs, which is home to the Kentucky Derby. Some of the biggest horse racing events in America are shown on terrestrial TV in the US.
Breon Corcoran, the Betfair boss, said: “This deal strengthens TVG’s position as a significant player in the US horseracing industry, bringing together the US’s leading racetracks under a single TV network for the first time.”
In December, Betfair upped its dividend by 50 per cent and announced a £200 million cash return to shareholders after reporting a 51 per cent rise in underlying earnings in the first half.