RTÉ Sport, Horse Racing Ireland and the Association of Irish Racecourses have agreed a new deal allowing the national broadcaster to cover Irish racing for another two years.
Racing fans in this country will now be able to access the big meetings from the major Irish meetings free-to-air on RTÉ Television up until 2013.
Under the new deal, the station will cover 23 days of live Irish racing each year over the next two years. It will also include live television coverage simulcast on RTÉ.ie within the Republic of Ireland.
The major festivals including Punchestown, Galway and the Christmas Festival at Leopardstown will be shown live on RTE.
Ryle Nugent, Group Head of Sport RTÉ said: “This new agreement is a statement of intent for RTÉ underlining our commitment to Irish racing.
“Irish horse racing coverage continues to be a priority for us and is an important part of our public service broadcasting remit.
“In addition to our live television coverage there will also continue to be extensive coverage of Irish racing on RTÉ Radio sport programming and RTÉ.ie will continue to provide all the latest news, race-cards and results. We look forward to bringing the public all the very best action and excitement in Irish racing.”
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI), added: “Irish Horse Racing has a long and successful relationship with RTÉ and it very good news for everyone associated with racing that this will continue.
“The level of coverage agreed in this deal is a testament to the enduring popularity of racing and the way that RTÉ has covered its top meetings over the years.
“We look forward to closer engagement with RTÉ Sport across TV, Radio and the Web to present and celebrate the successes of our owners, trainers, horses and jockeys in coming years.”
Chairman of the Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) John Moloney said: “Racing’s profile on RTÉ Television is a vital part of its continuing appeal and success, helping racecourses to promote race-going amongst the general public and to attract and retain sponsorship across all business sectors.”