Derby Festival back with Channel 4

The Derby Festival returned to UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4 yesterday (31 May) after a 12-year break, with coverage of ten feature races in standard and high definition.

This highlight of the flat racing season is now part of C4 Racing’s portfolio again after the broadcaster won the rights to terrestrial broadcasts of all major UK race meetings from the BBC. Included among the races are the Oaks Stakes and, earlier today (1 June), the Derby itself.

A total of 45 cameras have been installed ‘round the Epsom racecourse, including jibs and cranes for a ‘dynamic view’ of the parade ring. Alongside cameras covering the races at the conventional height are many positioned at a lower level for re-runs of both the Oaks and the Derby to show how the horses cope with the famous undulations of the track. Views of the North Downs surrounding the Surrey venue come from cameras mounted in a helicopter and a tethered blimp.

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