ITV Racing has began renegotiations of its television deal with UK racing, in which it demands £ 1.5 million in compensation for the postponement of the Aintree Grand National this year.
ITV Racing is reportedly trying to renew its contract by reducing its current broadcast fee of £7.5 million per season in light of the disruptions this year.
Racecourse Media Group CEO Richard Fitzgerald will lead contract negotiations on behalf of UK racing, saying he ‘s positive that stakeholders will come to an agreement.
Having delayed its competitive schedule since mid-March, which resulted in the Grand National Meeting being cancelled, UK racing has taken a £ 500 million hit to its 2020 budget.
Broadcast negotiations are taking place as the British Horseracing Association (BHA) outlines its ‘final precautionary steps’ to resume the sport, having allocated 1 June for a resumption in racing, pending approval by the Government.
UK racing aims to maintain its Tier-1 festival coverage on terrestrial television (Cheltenham, Aintree and Royal Ascot), with ITV Racing reporting audiences of 10 million viewers during its 2019 Grand National coverage.
Winning the media rights of UK racing in 2016, ITV has relaunched its dormant brand ITV Racing, replacing Channel 4 as the lead terrestrial broadcaster.
ITV Racing’s relaunch was branded as a new era for media coverage of racing, in which ITV would significantly expand the sport ‘s presence across its network, broadcasting 40 days of racing a year through its main channels.