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ITV continues fine form after opening-day festival coverage hits new high

Viewing figures for the opening day of ITV's Cheltenham Festival coverage made for impressive reading
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There has been a relentless run of positive news for ITV Racing in recent months and the broadcaster's strong form continued on Tuesday, when its opening-day Cheltenham Festival coverage soared to new audience highs.

At a time when ITV is close to securing an extension to its contract with British racing, nearly 1.4 million people watched a three-and-a-half-hour programme that featured Espoir D'Allen's victory in the Champion Hurdle.

The average number of viewers for ITV's Cheltenham output was 982,000, a modern-day record and equivalent to a share of 13.9 per cent.

That rating represented a 28 per cent increase on 2018's 766,000 figure, while Channel 4 had signed off with a 691,000 average for its final festival Tuesday.

In recent weeks ITV has returned coverage of Irish racing to British free-to-air television, while the lead pair of Ed Chamberlin and Francesca Cumani won the Broadcast Sports Presenter of the Year prize at last month's British Sports Journalism Awards.


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That rating represented a 28 per cent increase on 2018's 766,000 figure, while Channel 4 had signed off with a 691,000 average for its final festival
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