British Network Wants Changes in Race Presentation
by Mark Popham
Date Posted: 6/8/2007 8:02:31 PM

British racing needs to make dramatic changes to the structure and timing of big races according to Channel 4, which broadcasts the majority of live horseracing seen on television in Britain.
 
In May, the British Horseracing Board (BHB) launched a comprehensive review of the fixture list, inviting comments from the racing industry on the subject.
 
Channel 4 has responded by making a series of recommendations to racing’s governing body on improvements that should be made.
 
Among the ideas put forward are a more clearly defined beginning and end to each season, that showcase races be run on Saturdays and major moments should be spread sensibly throughout the season.
 
In addition, the Channel 4 stated that horseracing should be made more accessible to more people, wanting stewards’ inquiries to be filmed, speeding up photo-finish results and improving race starting procedures.
 
Andrew Thompson, Channel 4's head of the sport division, said: "As racing’s principal broadcaster, we hope to play a significant part in the review.
 
"My passionate belief is that we should work more closely with the racing world to create a more compelling, and more understandable, narrative to both the jump and, in particular, the flat seasons.
 
"The (British Horseracing Authority, shortly to replace the BHB) review is a great starting point, and I hope that together racing and broadcasters will come up with a series of proposals that will ensure that racing has a great and prosperous future."
 
In reaching its findings, Channel 4 conducted its own review of racing, consulting viewers, sponsors, racecourses and the betting industry.
 
The television channel has won numerous awards for its racing coverage, whose pundits include flamboyant betting expert John McCririck.


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