ITV to take over from Channel 4 as the terrestrial home of horseracing

 
James Nickerson
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2014 Crabbie's Grand National
ITV last broadcast horseracing 31 years ago (Source: Getty)

After pipping Channel 4 to the post, the home of horseracing is set to become ITV in a move worth £30m over four years, according to reports.

ITV will be come the sport's new terrestrial partner to become to home of the Grand National, Cheltenham Festival, Derby and Royal Ascot, after having secured an exclusive contract, the Racing Post reported

The move will bring the end to more than three decades of racing coverage on Channel 4 will come to an end when the network televises Newbury's Challow Hurdle card on 31 December 2016.

Read more: ITV to bring Britain new pay-TV drama channel

The next day ITV will showcase the New Year's Day card at Cheltenham.

The biggest events are expected to be broadcast on ITV, while the majority of racedays are anticipated to be shown on ITV4.

The particular details of how ITV will split coverage between its main channel and ITV4 are expected to be confirmed when the new deal is officially announced.

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Since 2013, when Channel 4 began to broadcast the Grand National, the Derby and Royal Ascot, after having won the "crown jewels" from the BBC, audience numbers have been falling.

Royal Ascot has lost half its viewers, while the Derby's figures last year plummeted to a record low.

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