SPORTS VIEW: Channel 4 Racing at the Grand National… Encore!

April 8, 2013

SOTB’s regular contributor Vernon Grant has his say on Channel 4’s first ever Grand National broadcast.

After almost 30 years in the business, Channel 4 took over as the home of horse racing on free-to-air television at the beginning of 2013, bringing to an end the BBC’s 60-year reign on the sport’s crown jewel events, including the Aintree showpiece.

Since 1980, Vernon has been a producer of a number of televised sports programmes for major broadcasters, including Sky Sports, ITV and Channel 4, as well as several independent production companies.

He now runs the sports betting website VG Tips and here he gives us his unique and informed take on how Channel 4 handled their first attempt at the covering ‘The People’s Race’.

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RACING: Channel 4 launches ‘Horse Tracker’ app

April 5, 2013

Channel 4 has launched a brand new second screen app which for the first time will allow viewers to track the position and speed of the horses in the John Smith’s Grand National.

As part of its commitment to broadcast the showpiece event for the first time in 2013, Channel 4 has introduced this ground-breaking innovation to bring viewers even closer to the world’s most famous horse race at Aintree this year.

The free Channel 4 Horse Tracker app is available to download immediately from the Apple App Store while a non-synchronised version of tracker will also be available online via the Channel 4 website.

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RACING: Channel 4 stages horse race through streets of Liverpool to promote Grand National coverage

March 19, 2013

Liverpool’s iconic city centre is the backdrop for a horse race as Channel 4 filmed a brand new marketing campaign ahead of its first ever Grand National, featuring a 10 horse race through the streets of the city.

Ahead of the 2013 John Smith’s Grand National meeting which takes place on April 4-6, the race featured horses and jockeys racing through the streets around Everton Park in the city – including jumping through back gardens, allotments; over cars and picnic benches.

Over 50 hours of footage was captured from 25 cameras that has been encapsulated into a 90-second trailer which premiered on all Channel 4 networks (C4, E4, More4 and Film4) at 9.00pm on Tuesday, March 19.

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RACING: Racing UK takes Ascot from At The Races

December 17, 2012

Racing UK will gain a hugely significant addition to its roster of televised tracks following a decision by Ascot to award them the broadcast rights for all events at the famous racecourse from June 2014.

The country’s premier venue, home to Royal Ascot every June, will link up with Racecourse Media Group, the parent company of Racing UK which already broadcasts action from the majority of the UK’s major racecourses, including Cheltenham, Aintree, Epsom, Newmarket, York and Goodwood.

The move is a significant setback for rival channel At The Races, which has held the rights to Ascot race meetings since 2004, and is now left with a portfolio mainly consisting of middle and low-grade courses.

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RACING: Channel 4 unveils new horse racing team

October 25, 2012

Channel 4 has confirmed its full line-up of presenters, commentators and reporters for its exclusive coverage of horse racing on terrestrial television from 2013.

Having already secured the services of Clare Balding as lead presenter, experienced racing broadcaster Nick Luck will take on a key presenter role supporting Balding on all the sport’s major events.

Members of the current Channel 4 team including Emma Spencer, Jim McGrath and Simon Holt have been retained, and they will be joined by new names and faces on a refreshed Channel 4 Racing on January 1st 2013.

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RACING: No terrestrial TV coverage of 2012 Arc

September 27, 2012

The 2012 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe will not be shown on free-to-air television after the BBC and Channel 4 decided against picking up the rights to the event.

Dedicated racing channels At The Races and Racing UK will pick up coverage of Europe’s most prestigious flat race live from Longchamp, but none of the meeting will be broadcast on a free-to-air network for the first time in many years.

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