Channel 4 has increased its horse racing output with a new deal with the Racecourse Media Group in association with Jockey Club Racecourses, Ascot Racecourse and other independent racecourses.
“We are delighted Channel 4 is to become the sole destination for British horseracing after securing such iconic events as Royal Ascot, the John Smith’s Grand National and the Investec Derby.
“These will sit alongside our established coverage of The Cheltenham Festival and major flat meetings such as Glorious Goodwood and the Ebor Festival and means we can extend our distinctive approach to all the crown jewels of the sport.” Said Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer.
Channel 4 will now exclusively broadcast all the crown jewels of the racing calendar as from 2013 – Aintree’s three-day John Smith’s Grand National meeting, the Investec Derby Festival from Epsom Downs, Royal Ascot and the QIPCO British Champions Day from Ascot come to the Channel. They will sit alongside long-established coverage of Cheltenham Festival, Newbury, York, Chester, Glorious Goodwood racecourses and the Flat Season QIPCO British Champions Series. The four-year partnership will deliver around 90 days a year of terrestrial coverage of horseracing on Channel 4.
Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4’s Sports Editor, adds, “I am delighted Channel 4’s 28-year association with racing has now arrived at the point where the industry has demonstrated such confidence in our ability to showcase its complete portfolio.
“This is an opportunity for us to work together to grow the sport, painting the full picture of both the flat and jumps seasons to attract new viewers whilst rewarding those loyal viewers we value so highly. Channel 4 fully understands the heritage and cultural importance of British racing, but also the sport’s thirst for a bright future, and we relish the challenge ahead.”
Over the next four years, Channel 4 will use its distinctive approach to marketing and promotion to bring the sport to committed racing fans and strengthen its relationship with younger and broader audiences alike. Channel 4 will seek to introduce a new innovations and enhancements to the production values of its racing programming over the course of the new rights period.
Negotiations were led by Racecourse Media Group (RMG) alongside The Jockey Club, Ascot Racecourse and British Champions Series Ltd as rightsholders with Martin Baker, Director of Commercial Affairs, at the helm of the Channel 4 team.
The new arrangement will see all 35 races in the QIPCO British Champions Series of premier Flat racing broadcast on Channel 4. As a result, the BBC will no longer showcase British racing on its terrestrial platforms.