Betfred reveals details of "revolutionary" TV channel
Derek Thompson, Alan Brazil and Ronnie Irani are some of the well-known faces who will be appearing on Betfred's new TV channel, which launches on Friday.
The Warrington-headquartered bookmaker has given Prolific North exclusive details of its new television channel, which will initially be beamed into all of Betfred's 1,365 betting shops across the UK.
Betfred TV will be broadcast from SIS' state-of-the-art MediaCityUK studios, with SIS providing full production, voice-over booths, gallery with editing suite, and a two-tier studio presentation.
Connie McLaughlin, currently on Sky Sports News Radio and formerly a newsreader on Daybreak Scotland, has been hired as a presenter and she will be joined by Paul Rickerby and John Hill, who move over from Betfred's audio service in Warrington.
Among the guest presenters to be anchoring programmes include veteran racing commentator Derek Thompson and Gary Wiltshire, the BBC racing and Sky Sports greyhound pundit who famously lost £1million as a bookmaker when Frankie Dettori won all seven races in a day in 1996.
Other pundits who will be regularly appearing include Talksport's Alan Brazil, former England cricketer Ronnie Irani and ex-Manchester United footballer Mickey Thomas, and "a whole host of stars" are being lined up for the future, according to the company.
The channel, which will broadcast every day except Christmas Day from 8am to 9.30pm, will show live horse-racing and greyhounds using feeds from SIS and Turf TV, and will also air preview programmes created in-house. Twenty technical and editorial staff have been hired.
Mark Pearson, head of media, said that Betfred TV "will completely revolutionise the betting shop experience in the way we package events, promote events and preview events".
The channel is certainly throwing itself in at the deep end as its first full week on air will include the Cheltenham festival - the biggest week of the year for the industry. Pearson added: "If you're hoing to launch a new project, why not in the biggest week of the year?"
Betfred TV's festival coverage will start on Tuesday with "comprehensive previews and analysis" from the likes of top trainers Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls and David Pipe.
Other regular programmes in the schedule will include Bonus Hour on Saturdays 10-11am, when company founder Fred Done will be giving special offers, and Bonus Lunch every day from 12pm to 2pm, which will be a mix of live action, exclusive previews and special offers.
Pearson added: "It's a big moment for Fred because he started with one shop in 1967 just half a mile away (in Ordsall), so to now have his own bespoke TV channel is a huge moment for the company."
All studio and programme graphics have been designed internally, while the channel's idents and logo have been produced by Manchester's 422.