Channel 4 Racing

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The Channel 4 Racing logo

Channel 4 Racing is the name given to the horse racing coverage on the British television station Channel 4.

History[edit]

The first transmission of racing on the channel was on 22 March 1984 from Doncaster, as it took over midweek coverage which had previously been on ITV. On 5 October 1985, it took over ITV's Saturday afternoon coverage (previously The ITV Seven) when World of Sport finished. From the beginning of 1986, however, the amount of racing covered, especially on Saturday afternoons, was substantially reduced, and not until the late 1990s would it reach the scale it had enjoyed when it was on ITV.

When Channel 4 was a co-owner of the At the Races satellite channel, that brand was also used on Channel 4's horse racing coverage, but when At the Races was sold to BSkyB, the Channel 4 Racing brand was restored. Following the transfer, live coverage was produced by a consortium called 3on4 Productions (as some ITV companies, such as Anglia, assisted with production). It was previously produced by Highflyer Productions but production has since transferred to IMG Sports Media.

Withdrawal threat[edit]

Channel 4 announced that it was threatening to withdraw from coverage of racing in May 2005 [1] due to spiralling costs. A controversial deal was signed with bookmaker Totesport which ran its lucrative Scoop6 bet, which secured the future of Channel 4 Racing.[2]

However, Channel 4 Racing was thrown into doubt again in July 2007 when Totesport announced it was withdrawing its £2½ million per year sponsorship deal which subsidised the coverage, partly due to another dispute in the sport regarding Turf TV.[3] Dubai Holding (a Middle-East based private hedge fund) have since taken over the sponsorship.

Coverage[edit]

Major events covered by Channel 4 have included the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket (throughout its history), the St Leger at Doncaster (throughout its history) and the Cheltenham Festival (since 1995; previously it was covered by the BBC). It also covered the Derby and Oaks from Epsom from its inception up to and including 2000. From 2001 those events moved to the BBC.

Internationally, it has covered a number of events over the years, including the Breeders' Cup between 1990 and 1992 on location in the United States and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in France between 1986 and 1994, as well as in 2001.

Current portfolio[edit]

Channel 4 Racing mainly, but not exclusively, features meetings from the Racing UK courses having initially signed a three-year contract which ran between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2009 - the contract guarantees 80 days of racing each year on Channel 4.[4] Coverage is sponsored by Dubai Holding.

From 2013, Channel 4 Racing became the exclusive home of free-to-air televised racing, having signed a four-year deal in March 2012. Coverage includes all major races including The Derby, Cheltenham Festival and for the first time on Channel 4, the Grand National and Royal Ascot.[5]

The Morning Line[edit]

The Morning Line is a Saturday morning look at the day's live horse racing on Channel 4. It provides tips and advice for the forthcoming day's racing. The show features contributions from a panel of racing pundits. Every Saturday the team of pundits have a virtual £100 with which they make their charity bet selections for the day.

Presenters[edit]

The line up was refreshed by new production company IMG Sports Media in 2013. Presenters:

Commentators:

References[edit]

External links[edit]