Coral uses TV channel to boost shops' appeal

Bookmaker Coral is to launch an in-store TV channel in an effort to arrest a decline in footfall at its betting shops.

Coral TV: launching during the World Cup
Coral TV: launching during the World Cup

The company is to introduce Coral TV during the World Cup at all its 1600 outlets, with content filmed at a purpose-built studio in Milton Keynes.

The bookmaker is keen to improve the image of its betting shops, which, like rivals William Hill and Ladbrokes, have suffered a decline in custom over the past decade as gamblers have moved online.

Coral wants to replicate the atmosphere of live sporting events through its improved display screens, as well as encouraging customers to stay in its shops for longer.

Comment and analysis will come from pundits such as Sky Sports News presenter Jeff Stelling,  former England cricket coach David Lloyd and Spanish football expert Guillem Balagué.

Screens will display live coverage from Sky Sports and horse racing through a partnership with betting channel Turf TV.
The bookmaker said the launch of Coral TV placed it in a ‘unique position' to provide bespoke online and mobile content around big horse races and football games. By streaming races and games live at Coral.co.uk, the bookmaker hopes to create a ‘betting shop on the laptop'.

Coral hired branding agency Dave, part of Engine, to create a visual identity and brand proposition for the channel. The project was overseen by Gala Coral Group marketing director Chris Edginton.

In September 2007, the de-regulation of the betting ind­ustry through the Gambling Act allowed bookmakers to open as many shops as they wished. Coral said this has increased the imperative to differentiate to win market share.

William Hill began broadcasting its own content in betting shops last October, with Five News-style programmes presented by Carla Hilton and Ross Brierley.

Coral trails behind market leader William Hill, which operates about 2300 shops, and Ladbrokes, which has a chain of just under 2100.

The three biggest bookmakers own more than two-thirds of the country's betting shops between them.

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