It has been a big week for the world of horse racing in the UK with the announcement that IMG Sports Media have been given the contract with Channel 4 Racings new coverage. The broadcaster was awarded an exclusive contract to show Horse Racing in the UK earlier in the year and after a tough process they have give the production honours to IMG. The news has also come through that Clare Balding will join Channel 4 to front their racing coverage for all the biggest meetings of the year. That is expected to mean that Balding will have the chance anchor the all important Cheltenham Festival coverage in March which is the crucial week of the year. Channel 4 Racing is clearly going to go through something of a revamp with a new production company behind it and it appears that Balding was the first name on the list for IMG.
Balding was widely considered to have been best host on the BBC during their recent coverage of the London 2012 games and she will head to Channel 4 as a popular choice. She has grown a great reputation as a racing broadcaster and her experience should prove ideal for Channel 4 as they began their exclusive coverage of the sport in January. The BBC have bowed out of Racing coverage altogether with the Grand National, the Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot all heading to Channel 4 and it will be fascinating to see how they handle their new responsibilities. The Cheltenham Festival has of course been on Channel 4 for many years now but the format of that show is likely to change with IMG taking the reigns of the best jumps meeting in the world. Channel 4 and IMG will be able to revamp racing coverage knowing that they are the only terrestrial channel broadcasting British racing and the Cheltenham Festival will be their first big test in March.