Bookies are closing ranks in anticipation of the PaddyPower takeover by Sky and Virgin Media.
With the launch of the new PaddyTV deal at the end of the month, they have taken out more than £7 million worth of betting contracts with bookmakers.
PaddyTV, launched last week, is a direct-to-consumer pay-per-view channel that features the best bets from the bookmakers and offers a £1.5 billion return on investment.
As well as offering a huge number of high-quality bettors, it is also the only channel to be offered by bookies that offer free bets on sports.
“This deal has been a huge success for bookies across the UK and the US, with bets on top sports events up to the Grand Final on Monday night going up 50 per cent,” said Steve Dangle, the head of sports at bookmaker Paddy.
“[The deal] provides a huge revenue stream for our bookmakers, and it is a fantastic way to give back to the game.”
PaddyPower chief executive Mike Coughlan said the deal would allow the company to invest in its business and bring back profits to the industry.
It was “another big win for the industry”, he said.
“With this deal we can now invest in our team to ensure we keep making the best sports betting experience possible.”
The deals were announced in a joint statement from Sky and the Virgin Media group, which together run the Virgin Atlantic channel.
Sky and Virgin Atlantic announced the deal in a statement on Wednesday.
The deal with PaddyPay will see bets on the Grand Prix, the Ashes, the Rugby World Cup, the Australian Open and the Olympics being placed on the channel, making it the first channel to offer all four sports on a single platform.
The deal comes amid concerns about the financial health of the sport betting industry in the UK, with betting revenue falling in the first half of the year to £1 billion.
In the UK the biggest losses for bookmakers came from betting on football and rugby union, which have been knocked off the TV screens for some time.
Last year, bookmakers lost £11 million on bets on rugby league and £8 million on rugby union.
Virgin Media, which owns Sky, is in a strong position in the market, with an estimated 2.2 million households subscribing to its broadband service.
It is also in a position to draw on its massive subscriber base.
In a statement, Virgin Media said the new deal was a “win for everyone”, adding that it was the first time it had been offered directly to its customers.
The UK betting market is worth £5 billion and the UK bookmakers’ industry has seen a record £21 billion increase in revenue in the last two years.
The Virgin Atlantic deal is a significant win for Paddy and the bookies who will now be able to attract a bigger audience to their channels, which will help to make the channel a better value for their shareholders.
Virgin Atlantic said it was happy to “provide further support” to PaddyPoker in its future growth plans, and said it hoped to attract more customers from the new channel.
PaddyPay, which is based in New Zealand, said it will continue to offer bettor-only options.