And they're off as Racing UK takes advantage of Freeview IPTV back channel

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 13-03-2012

The UK's free to air DTT service Freeview has undergone a significant enhancement with the addition of horse racing subscription TV channel Racing UK.
Set-up in 2004 and is dedicated to broadcasting more than 650 live race meetings a year, Racing UK claims to be the premier independent horseracing broadcaster in the UK and Ireland. Available via internet-connected Freeview devices, the service is claimed to introduce new, unique interactive channel features for subscribers and is the first channel to harness new interactive IPTV features delivered to internet connected television sets and devices by the Vision247 content delivery platform.
Vision247 uses a ConnectTV MHEG application to deliver interactive data and linear high quality broadcast video over the internet and onto the Freeview platform. It also supplies subscriber authentication for Racing UK, meaning once users have signed up for the service they will be automatically recognised when selecting the channel and given instant access, a key facet for an audience for whom immediacy and security are crucial.
Older devices, non-compliant or FreeviewHD devices not connected to the internet will receive a call to action message displayed on screen advising users on what is required to view the new internet delivered Racing UK channel. The result, says Racing UK, is that fans not only receive the broadest selection of live horse race action, they also receive the picture on the screen and can view details of all the day’s races.
All the information on the runners and the riders is on the screen enabling subscribers to check the latest form without ever switching away from action on the course. Commented Clive Cottrell, Marketing Director of Racing UK: “Horse racing fans now have access to the best racing without installing expensive satellite equipment, or paying for a cable service. This is an exciting new way to watch and interact with the races, whether from the comfort of their living room or their favourite sports bar.”
Luke Kennedy, head of DTH of Vision247 added: “Although Racing UK appears in the Freeview onscreen programme guide alongside existing digital channels, the viewing experience is different. Each racing fan is able to choose how they want to watch their horse racing, taking control of a linear broadcast television channel in a way that was not possible before now.”