ITV set to retain racing rights – report

UK commercial broadcaster ITV is poised to extend its deal for exclusive coverage of top British horse racing, according to The Times.

The UK newspaper said negotiations with Racecourse Media Group over a new four-year deal worth £30m (€34.9m/$39.6m) are at an advanced stage.

In January 2016, ITV secured a four-year deal, from 2017 to 2020, to show British horse racing on free-to-air television, dislodging commercial rival Channel 4 following a competitive tender process. The extended contract would run through to 2024.

The Times said ITV is confident of seeing off interest in the rights from Sky Sports Racing, the new identity for pay-television channel At The Races.

In the proposed new deal, ITV will again reportedly divide its live coverage between its main channel and DTT platform ITV4. In 2019, ITV4 is showing 60 days of live racing, with 34 on ITV including every day of showpiece meetings Cheltenham, the Grand National and the Derby.

Read this: Racing and football the likely beneficiaries of TV marketing blackout by UK gambling firms