BBC retains horse-racing radio rights

Although Channel 4 is now exclusive holder of the sport’s British terrestrial TV rights, the BBC is to continue its radio coverage of live horse-racing until at least 2016. The first tournament under the new deal, which will cover major race meetings from Britain and overseas, will be the Cheltenham Festival (12-15 March).

In addition to coverage on Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, there will be live text commentaries every day of the Cheltenam meeting on the BBC Sport website, including audio streams of all races and a comprehensive results service.

Cheltenham coverage will also be enhanced by the addition of broadcaster Derek Thompson, Paralympian and broadcaster Kate Grey, and 1998 Gold Cup-winning jockey Andrew Thornton to the team.

Jonathan Wall, acting controller of BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra, comments: “We’re really looking forward to the Cheltenham Festival, when the whole station gets involved to bring all the action, atmosphere and excitement to listeners. I’m also delighted to welcome Andrew, Derek and Kate to our team.

“The sport has always been a core part of BBC Radio 5 Live’s output and 2013 will see more great coverage led by the best commentary team in the business: Cornelius Lysaght and John Hunt.

“The comprehensive radio coverage combined with the wide reach of BBC online and mobile will deliver excellent coverage of the sport to audiences.”

Richard FitzGerald, chief executive of Racecourse Media Group, adds: “The BBC has been an outstanding partner in promoting British racing over the years, and the sport looks forward to continuing this valued relationship via the BBC’s radio, online and TV news coverage.”

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