At The Races numbers hit 420,000 reach for Arc day
At The Races chief executive Matthew Imi has hailed the impact of high-class French racing on its audience ahead of the channel's transition to Sky Sports Racing after its broadcast of the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe attracted 424,000 individual viewers throughout the day.
With Irish racing due to switch to Racing UK from January 1, 2019, Sky Sports Racing's focus will switch to a more international portfolio, and it was confirmed recently that ATR had acquired exclusive rights to broadcast direct-to-home pictures of French racing from next year.
Despite sharing coverage with ITV's terrestrial broadcast from Longchamp, Imi feels ATR's viewing figures stood up well on October 7.
ATR data that is verified by BARB and Nielson records minute-by-minute and 15-minute measurements.
On Arc day, an afternoon that also featured a good quality card at Tipperary, the 15-minute slots peaked at 224,000 individual viewers from 4.15pm, the timeframe that included Michael Dods's Mabs Cross winning the Prix de l'Abbaye.
That slot also encompassed a handicap hurdle from Tipperary, with 42,000 of the 224,000 viewers watching from Ireland.
The average reach of the 15-minute slots between 2pm and 5pm was 158,000, while the slot that included Enable's breathtaking Arc triumph came in at 177,000.
The minute-by-minute reach peaked at 198,000 at 4.26pm as the Abbaye coverage took centre stage, while the average minute-by-minute reach between 3.30pm and 5pm came in at 137,000.
According to the data, the 15-minute slots peaked with the Irish audience during the height of the high-quality cards, with 53,000 (of a total 137,000 and 177,000) tuning in during successive slots that encompassed the Group 3 Concorde Stakes and Grade 3 hurdle at Tipperary, plus the Arc.
The Irish audience peaked at 3.10pm during the Arc coverage, at which point it equated to 48 per cent of ATR's overall reach.
"This is an excellent performance and shows how attractive high quality French racing can be to UK and Irish audiences," Imi said of the data.
"We've seen some good viewing of French fixtures, not just on Arc day but through the year.
"It particularly augurs well as we look forward to telling the story of French racing in even more depth next year on Sky Sports Racing when we'll be covering many more events, all in full HD and with presentation crews live on site at several fixtures."
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com