ITV4 To Show Irish Racing this Weekend but future contract Not Clear
ITV Racing will transmit five races from Thurles in Ireland on ITV4 on Saturday provided by its regular anchor Ed Chamberlin and utilizing “the tiniest possible team” at a studio in Britain to produce the programme.
The relocation follows the choice by Horse Racing Ireland to stage one race meeting each day from Friday, which is under everyday review to guarantee it does not effect on the Irish government's technique to deal with the effect of coronavirus.
If the meeting goes ahead it is likely to draw in maximum fields for almost all 7 races as it has brought in a big overall of 221 initial entries.
The first occasion on the card is the Grade Three Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase, while a two-and-a-half hour programme starting at 1.30 pm will likewise include a review of the Cheltenham Festival and the 2019-20 dives season.
” There will be no [early morning] Opening Show,” a representative for ITV Racing said, adding: “ITV Racing wish to thank Horse Racing Ireland and Racecourse Media Group for making this possible.”
The last sentence is a reminder that settlements are continuing in between ITV Racing and Racecourse Media Group, which manages the sale of British tracks' media rights, over an extension to ITV's four-year agreement for terrestrial coverage of the sport that ends at the end of 2020.
As just recently as last week, when senior figures from both sides fulfilled on the very first day of the Cheltenham Festival, a final arrangement on an extension appeared to be inching closer.
Both within and without the racing industry, however, events have actually moved so quickly it is tough to see how any further progress can be made up until a minimum of a degree of confidence returns.
British racing decided to cancel all meetings until completion of April 2 days earlier, following a relocation by the French authorities to suspend all racing till 16 April at the earliest, leaving Ireland as the only significant racing nation in Europe still staging race meetings.
There is little optimism in the sport that racing will resume in early May, when the Guineas meeting at Newmarket would generally be swiftly followed by 2 more of the spring's major events: the three-day May Festival at Chester and the three-day Dante conference at York a week later on.
Having lost the second of racing's four huge events when the Grand National conference at Aintree was cancelled earlier today, ITV Racing will already be concerned about the potential customers for the Derby in early June and Royal Ascot simply over a fortnight later.
The Derby in specific seems extremely likely to be lost or a minimum of delayed, as the open nature of the downland track– where around 100,000 people typically show up to watch the Classic for complimentary– would make it all however impossible to stage behind closed doors if, as appears particular, limitations on public events are still in location.
RMG acquired the right to show Irish racing on its subscription-based Racing TV digital channel from the start of 2019 and it is motivating that a deal has actually been done to get live action from the only significant sport still running in Europe onto ITV4 this weekend.
ITV is an organisation and not a charity, nevertheless. When– or even if– settlements resume about the next four-year contract, ITV is most likely to be in a much stronger working out position than it was even a fortnight ago.
RMG had the possibility to sign a brand-new offer more than a year ago but stalled. It is a decision that its member tracks might ultimately concern bitter regret.
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