At the Races
|At The Races|
Arena Leisure Plc
|Audience share||0.1% (November 2012, BARB)|
|Virgin Media||Channel 534|
|Smallworld Cable||Channel 415|
|UPC Ireland||Channel 418|
At The Races is a British television channel, originally co-founded with Channel 4, but now owned by a partnership between British Sky Broadcasting, Arena Leisure Plc and 27 (out of the 60) UK racecourses.
The station is focused on horse racing from the UK, Ireland, North America, France and (overnight) Australia, showing many live races and related shows. The station is a commercial station, running advert breaks, and is "affiliated" with various betting companies, since the channel's live picture feed is used by betting shops and gamblers are generally its main audience.
The channel was partly revamped in June 2006 and then again in June 2012. Up until June 2012, the channel ran from a main studio, and a production area called 'The Booth'. From 27 June 2012, ATR moved to new studios in Milton Keynes and 'the booth' was history.
At the Races was originally a venture between BSkyB, Channel 4 and Arena Leisure who owned six racecourses at the time. In 2001, they agreed to pay £307 million for a 10-year deal to broadcast coverage from 49 of the 59 UK courses- the remaining 10 courses were contracted to The Racing Channel, which subsequently folded as a result of lost revenue in 2003.
By 2004, the deal was looking severely overpriced and At The Races served a 60-day termination notice on the Racecourse Association (RCA). Channel 4 exited the joint-venture and the courses were left to re-negotiate television deals. This led to a joint-venture from the courses themselves, 31 of which subsequently contract their coverage to Racing UK (which in turn sub-contracts terrestrial rights to Channel 4 and the BBC), which launched later in 2004.
At the Races virtually vanished from screens on 29 March 2004, but continued to broadcast a few meetings from the United States in the evenings and following the re-negotiation of contracts, the existing At the Races channel re-launched on 11 June 2004.
The channel starts broadcasting at 9am every day. In the mornings on the hour, Racing News is shown, followed by reviews of previous days racing. This format is repeated several times and updated with interviews. Presenters change over in the early afternoon and the lead presenter is joined by a guest to discuss the afternoon's racing.
- The Sunday Forum
- Monday Review (Mondays only)
- World of Racing (Tuesdays only)
- The Form Factor (Wednesdays only)
- The Irish Angle (Thursdays only)
- The Friday Focus (Fridays only)
- Raceday Live
- Evening Racing
- At The Races Stateside
- Australian Racing
- Robert 'Sir Bob' Cooper – Studio presenter and on course reporter
- Sean 'Boycie' Boyce – Studio presenter
- Matt Chapman – Studio presenter and on course reporter, usually Windsor on Summer Monday evenings
- Darrell Williams – Studio presenter
- Tony 'Enzo' Ennis – Studio presenter and commentator
- Luke Harvey – Occasional studio work and on course reporter. Also jointly presents "Get In" with Jason Weaver
- John Hunt – Studio presenter (also BBC Radio 5Live commentator)
- Steve Millar – Studio presenter (Stateside)
- Simon Mapletoft – Occasional studio presenter and on course reporter
- Jason Weaver – Studio presenter and on course reporter
- Mike Cattermole – Studio presenter and on course reporter (was also formerly presenter/commentator for Channel 4 Racing)
- Zoey Bird – Studio presenter and on course reporter
- Alex Hammond – Occasional studio presenter and on course reporter (also a presenter on Sky Sports News)
- Derek 'Tommo' Thompson – Studio presenter (was also formerly a presenter/commentator for Channel 4 Racing)
- Gareth "The Voice" O'Brien – Ireland correspondent
- Kevin O'Ryan – Irish racing on course presenter
- Martin Kelly – Studio presenter and on course reporter
- John McCririck – Betting pundit (usually appears alongside reporter at the racecourse)
- Jim McGrath – Reporter (was also formerly the BBC's main commentator)
- Mick Fitzgerald – Jump racing reporter (also a Channel 4 pundit)
- Gina Bryce – Studio presenter and occasional racing reporter
- John Blance - Studio presenter and also race commentator
The partner racecourses are:
Exeter, Kelso and Perth were featured by ATR, but from May 2012, races at these courses are now shown on Racing UK.
From June 2014, the coverage of the Ascot races will move to rival channel Racing UK. ATR pictures are over 7 seconds behind the live action meaning the channel is useless for in-running betting purposes.
Racing UK pictures are only 1 second behind the live real-time action. Picture quality is also superior on Racing UK.