Scottish television cameras to cover Hamilton on Saturday evening
STV2 will break new ground on Saturday evening when the digital second channel for Scotland’s main commercial broadcaster screens two hours worth of action from Hamilton’s popular Ladies’ Night meeting.
ITV holds the exclusive contract to show racing on what was once known as terrestrial television and its Scottish counterpart will have the cameras at both Hamilton and at Ayr in a week’s time.
Hamilton Park’s Sulekha Varma hailed the coverage as “great news for Scottish racing”.
An STV spokesperson described the contractual element of the two shows as “part of a channel 3 commitment to bring viewers coverage of horseracing, which STV2 will build on with additional coverage of two of the key dates in the Scottish racing calendar”.
While none of the ITV Racing team will be in front of the cameras viewers will be familiar both with the show’s presenters in Peter Martin, Jim Delahunt and Zara Janjua, while Stuart Lovell and Craig Swan will provide the racing expertise.
“I’m thrilled we have Scottish racing on STV2,” said STV head of programming Paul Hughes. “Both these events are ladies days, so big events in the Scottish racing and social calendar. Local sport is a key feature of STV2’s schedule as we aim to reflect what is happening across Scotland.”
Local interest is a significant factor in Scottish viewers’ consumption of ITV Racing coverage, with the audience reach for Ayr’s Scottish Grand National meeting on STV outperforming the United Kingdom as a whole.
“This is a bit of a toe in the water as part of the ITV deal and we hope it will be good for racing,” said Ed Gretton, racing director at Racecourse Media Group, the body responsible for negotiating racing’s broadcast rights. “It is another positive aspect of the ITV relationship.”
Racing on STV2 begins at 6pm on Saturday with coverage available on Freeview channel 8, Sky channel 117 and Virgin channel 159. The channel is also streamed online and available for catch-up via the STV Player.
Hamilton racing manager, Sulekha Varma said: “For Scottish racing and exposure for the sport it really is great news. STV have been very proactive in promoting the coverage through TV and social media channels as well.”
Former JLS member Marvin Humes is among the attractions for those wishing to be at Hamilton, as well as X Factor stars Matt Terry and Jake Quickenden.
“Tickets have sold very well so far and it is always a hugely popular night but there are still tickets available on the gate,” said Varma.