Channel 4 to broadcast all British racing

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The Grand National and Royal Ascot will be shown on Channel 4 from next year after it won a bidding war reportedly worth £15 million to screen horse racing. In doing so it is now the only free-to-air channel that equine insurance customers can enjoy racing on.

Channel 4 outbid the BBC, which currently shows the Grand National and Royal Ascot – as well as The Derby meeting and British Champions Day.

Racing is Britain's second largest spectator sport and it attracted almost five million extra viewers to Channel 4's racing coverage from 37.4 million in 2010 to 42.2 million last year.

BBC funds will reportedly be directed towards retaining the likes of the Six Nations and Formula 1 in the future and the organisation admitted it had put in as "competitive a bid as possible".

Richard FitzGerald of Racing Media Group added: "This new deal will not only deliver increased revenues for British racing, but with all of our sport's crown jewels in its portfolio, Channel 4 offers a vision to innovate the way racing is broadcast."

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