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Channel 4 makes big offer to take control of UK free-to-air horse racing rights

UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4 submitted an offer of £15 million (€17.6 million/$23.8 million) over three years, from 2013 to 2015, for the free-to-air rights for three of the country’s showpiece horse racing events, according to the Guardian.

The events – Royal Ascot, the Derby and the Grand National – are currently shown by public-service broadcaster the BBC, and if successful the deal would mean Channel 4 would take a dominant position in horse racing broadcasting on free-to-air television in the UK.

The Guardian said Channel 4’s offer was exactly double the £7.5 million per year currently paid by the BBC in a three-year deal, from 2010 to 2012.

The BBC scaled back its coverage of horse racing in the current deal, cutting back to 13 days of racing per year from 29 in the previous deal.