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ITV expands Cheltenham coverage to six races per day

15 February 2021

ITV Racing’s coverage of this year’s Cheltenham Festival will be expanded to include six races per day for the first time.

The broadcaster will fit the races into a daily programme running from 1pm to 4:30pm, with each afternoon’s opening contest being brought forward to a provisional time of 1:20pm. In addition, each day’s main event will take place at 3:05pm.

Meanwhile, in order for the races to fit this tight schedule, the gap between each meeting has been reduced from 40 minutes to 35 minutes.

Racecourse Media Group – the rights holder to the week-long festival – usually allows its mainstream partner ITV to broadcast five races, as the final two are a pivotal part of the contract with subscriber-based Racing TV.

However, as it becomes increasingly clear that this year’s edition of the festival will be the second to be held behind closed doors, RMG has reached an agreement with ITV to ensure maximum audience exposure.

“We’re really grateful to RMG and ITV for enabling all those who will be enjoying the festival from home to enjoy a sixth race in this one year,” said Ian Renton, Regional Managing Director of the Jockey Club.

The Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle will now be shown live on ITV1 at 3:40pm on Tuesday 16 March 2021.