TV3 closes in on securing UK racing deal for next year
TV3 is understood to be closing in on a deal that will ensure upwards on 50 British race meetings a year being broadcast on Irish terrestrial TV.
Nobody at the station was available for comment yesterday but it is expected that a deal could be reached this week, which would be a considerable boost to fans of cross-channel racing.
The switch of terrestrial rights in Britain from Channel 4 to ITV was not good news for Irish viewers.
ITV is not on the Sky EPG (Electronic Programming Guide), and Virgin Media and Saorview customers have no access to it. Moreover, there is no function to record the channel on Sky, or use the pause button.
Liberty Media bought TV3 and 3e last year, adding UTV Ireland to its portfolio this year. The international cable operator raised its stake in ITV to 9.9pc last year so ITV Racing's move to TV3 is seen to make sense.
Reports last week suggested that TV3, which has been in talks with the Racecourse Media Group, would show such major festivals as Cheltenham and Royal Ascot, as well as some action on Saturdays. It may have the rights as soon as January 1.
Meanwhile, Gary Moore has ruled out supplementing Tingle Creek also-ran Ar Mad for the 32Red King George VI Chase on December 26.
Tingle Creek runner-up Sire De Grugy, his stablemate, will run in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton on December 27.
Rider Ryan Hatch is to remain in hospital for the "foreseeable future" following his fall at Cheltenham last Friday. Hatch was aboard Cogry when he fell in the Unicoin Group Handicap Chase.