Clare Balding has been named the new face of Channel 4 Racing from January 2013, as the network announces a new era of horse racing coverage.
“I am absolutely thrilled that Channel 4 has asked me to be a part of their new racing team. Racing is my ‘home’ sport and I am delighted that I will still be part of its coverage on TV,” said Balding.
Channel 4 has awarded IMG Sports Media the four-year production contract for the corporation’s exclusive horse racing coverage which includes from January 2013 – The Cheltenham Festival, Aintree’s John Smith’s Grand National, the Investec Derby from Epsom Downs, Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood and the entire Flat Season QIPCO British Champions Series and Day.
The deal, in operation from January 2013 till December 2016, runs alongside Channel 4’s four-year media agreement with Racecourse Media Group. In addition, Channel 4 Racing sponsors, Dubai, have signed a new four-year extension deal until 2016.
Clare added: “I am excited by Channel 4’s plans for their coverage and the way in which they have committed to expanding the profile of jockeys, trainers and horses. I look forward to working with IMG Sports Media who have a high quality reputation for sports programming.”
The broadcaster secured exclusive rights to all terrestrial racing coverage in a four-year deal earlier this year, including the Grand National, the Derby and Royal Ascot, which all previously aired on the BBC.
Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer, Jay Hunt, said: “Clare has shown over the last two weeks at the Olympics why she is rightly acclaimed as one of the UK’s leading broadcasters and I’m delighted that, in addition to presenting the London 2012 Paralympic Games on Channel 4 this autumn, she will lead our horse racing coverage from 2013.
“With the expertise of IMG Sports on board, I’m hugely excited about the future of racing on Channel 4.”