ITV set for major change of its racing coverage when new deal kicks in next year | The Sun
ITV Racing is set to undergo a major change when its new deal kicks in next year – with punters being treated to even more live action.
The BHA's revolutionary new 'premier' schedule will see Sundays now used as major racedays.
And it looks like ITV bosses are more than happy to cater for the new fixtures as part of the 100 core days of racing already shown.
Punters are used to friendly faces Ed Chamberlin, Francesca Cumani and Co fronting the main channel coverage.
Oli Bell and Sun Racing's Matt Chapman also share hosting duties of the Saturday morning Opening Show.
But it looks like there will be more of everything from January 1, when the new deal comes into force.
ITV's racing editor Richard Willougby told the Racing Post he expects some of the premier Sunday meetings to feature strongly.
He said: "Going forward, you'll see far more Sundays than currently exist on ITV, subject to other events taking place in our sports portfolio.
"The days are increasing in the new contract, with 100 core days, of which about six are flexible."
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ITV already aired the Sky Bet Sunday Series, while 1000 Guineas day and the Greatwood Hurdle card at Cheltenham were aired on Sundays.
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But a new midweek fixture could also make its way onto screens in 2024.
Willoughby added: "Last year we showed the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter and while that's not the case this year, I'd be keen to go back there next year as part of a narrative around West Country jump racing."
Punters face getting the beers in earlier than ever next year after the BHA introduced the earliest ever start times for new morning meetings.
To keep the golden window of 2-4pm free for the 'premier' fixtures, a seven-race morning card will now be off as early as 10.30am.
These newly-christened 'premier' meetings, which are essentially the traditional major fixtures already in place, will receive a fresh injection of cash after the Levy Board bumped up its prize-money contribution by £3.2million.
It is hoped that increasing the purses around the biggest race days will stem the flow of talented horses going overseas and improve competition.
In addition it is hoped they will drive-up revenue by as much as £90m over the next five years.
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