Sky Sports is adding a channel dedicated to horse racing to its portfolio of sports channels.
Adding to the individual sport channels launched during the summer of 2017, Sky Sports Racing will replace At The Races on or before 1 January 2019 and will be available to all Sky TV customers in the UK and Ireland at no added cost.
The channel will be available in high definition for the first time and be produced from Sky Studios in West London, featuring live coverage of over 650 fixtures in the United Kingdom as well as high-quality exclusive international race meetings.
To add to the channel’s list of courses ahead of the launch of Sky Sports Racing, a 10-year deal with Chester Race Company has been signed to bring coverage from Chester – the oldest racecourse in the UK – and Bangor-on-Dee from March 2019.
Regularly attracting crowds of up to 30,000 throughout its summer season, Chester also hosts the prestigious Boodles May Festival which saw subsequent winners of the Derby, Oaks, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe all racing last year.
Commenting on the impending launch of Sky Sports Racing, managing director of Sky Sports, Barney Francis, said:
“We’ve seen a great reaction from our customers to launching dedicated sports channels and this takes us to another level. Horse racing is a massive sport that Sky has been involved in for two decades, now we will have a channel to give our customers more of what they love every day.
“Adding Chester and Bangor-on-Dee is fantastic news and we look forward to making Sky Sports Racing a new home for racing fans.”
At The Races first launched in 2000 with Sky and Arena Racing Company currently joint venture partners. The reach of the new Sky Sports Racing channel will be supported through the cross promotion available across the other 10 Sky Sports channels.
Commenting on the addition of Chester and Bangor-on-Dee to its live racing portfolio from 2019, chief executive of At The Races, Matthew Imi added:
“We very much look forward to working with the excellent teams at Chester and Bangor-on-Dee. The Boodles May Festival at Chester is a true highlight of the UK racing calendar and both tracks are very well supported and respected within the industry as well as being truly progressive in their outlook.
“Also, there is no better home for our new channel production facility than Sky Sports’ studios which are the best in the business and we believe Sky Sports Racing is set to be a game changer for racing. Later this year we look forward to presenting our plans in more detail to the major constituents in our sport and racing fans more generally.”
Sky Sports Racing will be the eleventh dedicated sports channel to be launched by the broadcaster and will be available on TV, online and on mobile devices via Sky Go for the first time.
It joins the range of dedicated channels that were launched last summer, including Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Cricket, alongside Action and Arena, Main Event, Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Mix.