What will the new British racing television deal mean for Irish viewers?

ITV are to take over the coverage from Channel 4 in 2017

BY Daniel Kelly 09:14 Tuesday 5 January 2016, 9:14 5 Jan 2016

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

The way fans view British horse racing meetings on television next year is to change at ITV take over the broadcasting rights from Channel 4.

The move means that the events such as the Aintree Grand National, the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Epson Derby will now be broadcast on a new channel. The station have promised to show a minimum of 34 days annually on ITV1 with the remaining 60 show in ITV4.

While the move brings more money into the coffers of British horse racing, it may come at a cost to Irish fans. Some Irish television providers do not broadcast ITV after UTV Ireland was created last year.

Johnny Ward of the Racing Post spoke to Off the Ball last night about the move and what it may mean for Irish fans wanting to watch the big events cross-channel. "Everyone who wants to watch a race now can watch it on their smartphone. There's obviously digital media, your laptop, bookmakers themselves. Terrestrial tv coverage is not as significant as it was."

"It definitely has negative connotations for Irish fans of British racing" but Ward added that Irish coverage already broadcasts all of the main events from England including the Grand National and Cheltenham Festival. 

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