Report: Entain Australia targeting status as ‘fully fledged media business’

Entain Australia is developing a media arm, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, which will manage a suite of online television channels.

The newspaper reported today that Entain has created four online horse and greyhound racing channels and is producing both written and video content – the latter in the form of documentaries. 

One of the documentaries will focus on the growth of the basketball scene in Australia, whilst a series with three-time Melbourne Cup winner Glen Boss is also under production. 

Additionally, reports indicate that the new media division consists of three divisions – live channels, long form video and digital media and broadcast, with content developed so far for the FSE100 global gambling group’s Ladbrokes and Neds holdings in Australia. 

Speaking to the Herald, Dean Shannon, Entain Australia CEO, said: “Our ambition is to have wall-to-wall Australian and international racing broadcasts for customers and build a lot of bespoke content around that. It’s a unique thing that we were doing in Australia.

“A lot of streaming services are taking up a lot of people’s time and places where people might have ordinarily watched the races, like Sky Channel, are probably declining in audience.

“We, as wagering operators, need to keep innovating in this space and we need to keep the races in front of the customers to make sure it’s relevant. We are competing for that disposable income.”

The reports follow on from Entain Australia’s renewal of its partnership with Racing and Sports (RAS) for a further five years, utilising the latter’s racing content across the Ladbrokes, Neds, Betstar and Bookmaker brands. 

Lauding the deal with RAS, Shannon stated that provision of ‘the best, most accurate and up-to-date information, displayed in an easily accessible format’ is crucial to Entain Australia’s ‘customer centric’ operating strategy. 

Reportedly, Entain is putting together a 30 strong content creation team to support its new media ambitions, recruiting commentators and writers for online and social media content as well as pre-race programmes. 

The programme will apparently be headed by Andy Hoad, Entain’s GM of Content and Entertainment, who was quoted in the Herald as saying Entain plans to become a ‘fully fledged media business’.

Meanwhile, Adam Hamilton will serve as Entain’s Head of Talent and Racing. Hamilton seemed to confirm the reports by sharing the Herald’s story on Linkedin whilst quoting Bob Dylan – “The times they are a changin.”

Entain’s desire to bolster its standing in media, streaming and content creation may stem from a need to compete with rival bookmakers such as Tabcorp, whose Sky Racing media holding recently signed a distribution deal with Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV).

The two firms went up against each other in a bidding battle for ownership of Western Australia’s WA TAB bookmaker office in February of this year. Meanwhile, in 2021 Entain unsuccessfully attempted to buy Tabcorp’s TAB wagering unit for AUS $3 billion (€2bn) – the offer was described by Tabcorp as ‘grossly undervaluing the TAB’.

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