Richard FitzGerald: oversaw a significant increase in media rights payments
Racecourse Media Group
By Peter Scargill
FitzGerald, 58, led the media rights organization for 34 UK racetracks after joining Aston Villa Football Club, where he was CEO, in September 2008.
During this period, the license fees for media rights and data at RMG affiliated racetracks increased significantly. In 2009, racetracks were paid £ 29.1million, while that figure had climbed to £ 109.7million in 2018.
FitzGerald has also played a leading role in negotiations between racetracks and terrestrial racing television partners, his last major deal before its release being the renewal of the deal with ITV for the race to air on the channel until ‘at the end of 2023.
He said: “It has been a fabulous and rewarding 12 years working for RMG. The company has flourished and has materialized the vision of the founding shareholders around a collective approach to marketing their media and data rights.
Huw John, Cardiff
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Roger Lewis: President of the Racecourse Media Group
Huw John, Cardiff
“It has been a great trip and I have enjoyed working with a strong, knowledgeable, committed and stable team to deliver the results that we have been able to consistently achieve over the past decade.
In addition to the commercial successes during his tenure at the helm of RMG, FitzGerald was also embroiled in a controversy, for example leaving GBI Racing, a joint venture between RMG’s then Racing UK and At The Races, to extend a partnership. with SIS.
The deal, which sparked furor at Arena Racing Company, a major shareholder in GBI Racing, brought all Irish races and Chelmsford City into the Racing UK team, renamed Racing TV last year.
FitzGerald will be replaced by RMG CFO Martin Stevenson, who will become the organization’s interim CEO.
Roger Lewis, Chairman of RMG, said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank Richard for his exceptional leadership within the RMG team for nearly 12 years.
“RMG’s achievements, which have boosted its financial performance with Richard as CEO, are significant and include a revolutionary licensing and data production service, an LBO deal with SIS, securing the Irish racing right, the rebranding and launching of Racing TV, improving its HD service and expanding RMG opportunities around the world.
“Richard leaves RMG with our sincere thanks and best wishes for delivering an exceptional performance over a long period.
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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 6:00 p.m., AUGUST 5, 2020