ITV will continue as the exclusive free-to-air broadcaster of British horseracing after the network announced on Tuesday that it had agreed a new deal until 2023.
The new deal, which begins in 2021, will see the channel broadcast nearly 100 days of racing each year including marquee events such as the Cheltenham Festival, the Grand National, the Derby and Royal Ascot.
As part of the agreement, The Opening Show will continue to air each Saturday morning as well as broadcasting on each day of the Cheltenham Festival, the Grand National meeting and Royal Ascot.
Niall Sloane, ITV’s Director of Sport, said: “ITV is delighted to announce the continuation of free to air coverage of a sport that is loved and followed by so many. To do so following a successful resumption of the sport with wide audiences returning to our coverage after such a long lay-off is particularly welcome and we look forward to bringing the very best this wonderful sport has to offer to viewers over the next few years.”
Nick Rust, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, welcomed the announcement of the new deal and said: “It’s good news that an agreement has been reached to secure mainstream terrestrial coverage for our sport for another three years.
“ITV do a great job in showcasing British racing. They welcome new audiences, without alienating long-standing fans, and bring to life the sport’s many characters, including those who work behind the scenes to care for our horses and owners who invest so much to support the industry.
“Everyone at the BHA will look forward to supporting ITV’s production team and its presenters headed, by Ed and Francesca, to push the coverage of our sport to further engage and entertain viewers.”