Taking over from Channel 4 as the UK’s horse racing broadcaster, ITV has announced it will show 40 days of racing in 2017.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]aking over from Channel 4 as the UK’s horse racing broadcaster, ITV has announced it will show 40 days of racing in 2017.
ITV racing has announced that 40 days of racing will be shown on ITV’s main channel.
The UK-based commercial broadcaster, which takes over from Channel 4 as the sport’s exclusive terrestrial partner from New Year’s Day, had already committed to showing a minimum of 34 days on its main channel.
Sandown’s Tingle Creek meeting, the Coral Welsh National and Cheltenham Trials Day are three of the most high-profile absentees from the schedule and will instead be broadcast on ITV4.
ITV will not broadcast a day of racing on its main channel between Cheltenham on New Year’s Day and the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, almost two-and-a-half months later.
Last week the broadcaster confirmed that its ‘main-channel’ racing content would be hosted by Ed Chamberlain (main-host) and Francesca Cumani (Anchor). Its ‘Racing Team’ will be further supported by ‘betting expert’ Matt Chapman who joins the broadcaster from ‘At The Races’.
The July Cup plus valuable meetings from Ascot and York will all be shown on what ITV have billed ‘Super Saturday’, for now ending the possibility of any of those fixtures moving to a different date on one of the most congested days of the season.
Another winner is Newmarket, whose Craven meeting in April, not shown by Channel 4 in recent years, will be broadcast free-to-air on ITV4.
Newmarket has also benefited with two of its key days, the 1,000 Guineas on Sunday, May 7 and the Saturday of its Future Champions meeting on October 14, among the six added to ITV’s original roster for its main channel.
Cheltenham’s New Year’s Day fixture, Sandown’s jumps finale, Super Saturday and Haydock’s Sprint Cup are the other four days added to the original schedule.
A total of 14 days of jumps and 26 days of Flat racing will be shown on the main channel.