Racing: Channel 4 in 'proactive' talks

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Negotiations were continuing last night over the future coverage of racing on Channel 4. A statement had been expected from the broadcasting firm yesterday afternoon, updating the position after extensive discussions with the racing and betting industry throughout the week.

Negotiations were continuing last night over the future coverage of racing on Channel 4. A statement had been expected from the broadcasting firm yesterday afternoon, updating the position after extensive discussions with the racing and betting industry throughout the week.

But a company spokes-man insisted the talks would not be concluded last night. "Channel 4 will not be issuing any news or updates with regard to negotiations. The channel is still in proactive discussions," the spokesman said.

The broadcaster is threatening to end its 21-year association with the sport, claiming it is losing too much money. Requests for a subsidy of up to £8m - from racing and betting interests - found only minority support. Channel 4 had originally made 31 May the deadline for a satisfactory package to be drawn up. This deadline was then extended until yesterday, in the hope of a last-minute breakthrough.

Waiting in the wings are the BBC and ITV, who are both reported to be involved in talks with racecourses.

The BBC already covers Britain's premier races, the Grand National and the Derby, as well as Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood. But ITV has had no involvement since quitting racing to make way for Channel 4.

Comments