Turf TV Litigation Finally Concluded

United Kingdom

This article was produced by Olswang LLP, which joined with CMS on 1 May 2017.

The two year court battle between BAGS, William Hill and Ladbrokes and the racecourses that established the Turf TV service has finally ended. 

Turf TV broadcasts horseracing to licensed betting offices (LBOs) in competition with Satellite Information Services (SIS).  It was established in late 2006 through a joint venture, AMRAC, of the betting shop technology provider Alphameric and over half of the UK's racecourses, including all the Racing UK courses.  The bookmaker and racing sides have engaged in extensive litigation following the bookmakers' challenge to the closed, collective and exclusive LBO rights deals that were the foundation of AMRAC - AMRAC counter-claimed by challenging exclusive rights agreements entered into by BAGS and the other broadcasters and also alleged that the bookmakers had operated a cartel to exclude Turf TV from the market. 

All claims by both sides were dismissed in two judgments in 2008 and the Court of Appeal dismissed the bookmakers' appeal in July 2009.  Now the UK Supreme Court (successor to the House of Lords) has refused leave to the bookmakers to make a further appeal, so that the case is finally closed with no impact on any of the existing LBO rights agreements.