Epsom Derby Could Move to Evening Post Time
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 7/7/2014 4:19:31 PM
Last Updated: 7/8/2014 1:50:03 PM

Australia pulls away from Kingston Hill to win the Investec Epsom Derby.
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Photo: Trevor Jones
The Epsom Derby (Eng-I) could be moved to Saturday evenings in the future in an effort to stem declining television viewership.
 
Viewership dramatically dropped since the English classic was moved to Channel 4 from the BBC last year, and Epsom officials are seeking ways to recapture their audience.
 
Viewers for the 2014 Derby peaked at 1.55 million on Channel 4, less than half the figure from when the race was last aired by the BBC in 2012. The BBC gave up all its live televised interest in racing because of reported budgetary cuts.
 
"The broadcasters tell us that every hour later could be worth an extra million viewers," Epsom managing director Rupert Trevelyan told The Times. "We may decide to innovate. I've never ruled anything out and staging the race later in the evening could be considered."
 
Trevelyan emphasized that any decision to reschedule the Derby to a later post time would have to be approved by Queen Elizabeth II, a racehorse owner and racing fan who attends the race each year in a private capacity.
 
"The presence of the queen is paramount and she will be considered before we make any such change," he said.
 
Epsom is one of 15 racecourses operated in the United Kingdom by Jockey Club Racecourses. Up until 1995, the Derby was run on Wednesdays. 


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