Channel 4 faces renewed contest

Door open for BBC to re-bid for horse racing

Clare BaldingThe BBC is being encouraged to bid for a return of horse racing to the corporation after losing all its coverage in the last round.

Channel 4 has been praised for its coverage since winning the £15 million exclusive deal to show all the major meetings.

It revamped its format and brought in Clare Balding, one of the Beeb’s top sports presenters. The three year deal which expires next year and Jockey Club chief executive Simon Bazalgette says that while being delighted with Channel 4 the door is open to the BBC to make another offer

“Channel 4 have been a good partner, they’ve really promoted racing. Equally, I think racing is probably a more attractive sport than it was four years ago so I think there will be competition for it,” he told The Guardian.

The ratings for the Grand National, which peaked last year at 8.9m, compared well with recent audiences on the BBC.

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