RTÉ Sport and Horse Racing Ireland have agreed on a new broadcasting deal for live coverage of Irish racing for the next three years.

The new agreement will deliver a record number of free-to-air live racing days in Ireland.

There will 31 days of live racing in 2021, rising to 32 in 2022 and in 2023. Included in these will be coverage from the biggest meetings including the Boylesports Irish Grand National meeting that was held over the Easter weekend, the Punchestown Festival, the Classics at the Curragh, the Galway Races, the Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh, the Christmas Festival and the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.

A major June raceday at Naas will be added to the schedule as will other race days at Gowran Park, Down Royal and Navan.

TG4 has expanded its coverage of meetings that would otherwise be exclusive to the Attheraces Channel on Sky this winter while Virgin Media, in partnership with ITV shows coverage here of major meetings from England including the Cheltenham and Aintree Randox Grand National meetings.

Irish racing is on the crest of a wave in terms of performance with 23 winners from 28 races at the Cheltenham Festival. It overcame a serious challenge to its position in the public eye when trainer Gordon Elliot was pictured sitting across a dead horse on his gallops but swift action from the Irsh Horseracing Regulatory Board moved to lessen the wider damage.

“Horse racing is an integral part of the RTÉ Sport offering, and we are delighted to extend our partnership with Horse Racing Ireland and the racecourses,” said Declan McBennett, Head of Sport at RTÉ.

“The trainers and jockeys, in particular, have proven repeatedly that they are at the very forefront of their profession internationally, and we hope to see the very best of Irish equine talent over the next three years.”

“RTÉ has long been a wonderful partner for Irish racing, and we are delighted to extend our relationship for a further three years,” added Horse Racing Ireland CEO Brian Kavanagh.

“The increased coverage is very welcome and will enhance the telling of our great racing stories.”

Horse Racing Ireland signed a new four year deal with County Cork-based IRIS, part of Sport for Business members TVM, for the provision of television facilities across all Irish racecourses in May of last year.

Sport for Business Partners