Ireland's TV3 Set To Ink Deal For Up To 50 British Horseraces
TV3 is understood to be "closing in on a deal that will ensure upwards on 50 British race meetings a year being broadcast on Irish terrestrial TV," according to Johnny Ward of the IRISH INDEPENDENT. Nobody at the station was available for comment on Wednesday but it is "expected that a deal could be reached this week, which would be a considerable boost to fans of cross-channel racing." The switch of terrestrial rights in Britain from Channel 4 to ITV was "not good news for Irish viewers." ITV is not on the Sky EPG, and Virgin Media and Saorview customers "have no access to it." Moreover, "there is no function to record the channel on Sky, or use the pause button." Reports suggested that TV3, which has been in talks with the Racecourse Media Group, "would show such major festivals as Cheltenham and Royal Ascot, as well as some action on Saturdays." It "may have the rights" as soon as Jan. 1 (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 12/15).