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SBD Global/April 8, 2013/Media
More Than 8 Million Viewers Watch Grand National; Animal Aid Protests TV Coverage
Published April 8, 2013
CHANNEL 4 PROTESTS: In London, Mark Townsend wrote animal rights campaigners "have staged a protest outside the headquarters of Channel 4, accusing the Grand National broadcaster of cynically exploiting the brutality of the world's most famous horse race." Around 80 campaigners gathered in central London to chant "shame on Channel 4" before reading out a list of the 23 horses that have died during the Grand National since '89. Animal Aid Dir Andrew Tyler accused the broadcaster of deliberately ramping up the danger inherent in the steeplechase, in particular condemning a commercial promoting its first broadcast of the steeplechase as "cynical, callous and pretty disgusting" (GUARDIAN, 4/6).
PLACE YOUR BETS: Also in London, Chris Cook wrote bookmakers estimated that betting on the Grand National could top £150M ($230M) "for the first time in the history of the race." Millions of punters "were expected to wager more cash than usual as Saturday's race at Aintree is the only major sporting event of the weekend." A capacity crowd of more than 70,000 in Liverpool "will be joined in watching the 166th race by an estimated 600 million television viewers worldwide" (GUARDIAN, 4/6).