Betfair at War with channel 4

Tensions between Betfair and Channel 4 have reached boiling point at Cheltenham, with the betting exchange's founders furious at the broadcaster's failure to credit it during its extensive Festival coverage.

Betfair officials were particularly unhappy yesterday when, having passed on details of the in-running prices available during the first race on the eventual winner Noland, C4's exchanges expert Tanya Stephenson referred generically to "the exchanges" rather than Betfair by name.

With 97% of the exchanges market Betfair believes it should be credited in the way the major bookmakers are when traditional prices are mentioned. C4's production team claim there is no bias and that Betfair and its rival Betdaq are both regularly mentioned.

Betfair is unconvinced and suspects lobbying by traditional bookmakers including totesport, £3m supporters of C4 racing, is behind the failure to mention its brand in the same way the traditional bookmakers are credited by John McCririck and Co. Indeed Betfair is considering withholding the £100,000 it promised to C4 as part of the totesport sponsorship deal that ensured racing stayed on terrestrial television.

The issue is one of several facing C4's new head of sport Andrew Thompson, who will be loth to lose the goodwill of a potential financial partner as he seeks to extend C4's commitment to the sport beyond this year's Festival

ATE Online - 2006-03-16 11:57:40

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