At the RCA Showcase & Awards 2012 Channel 4's Sports Editor, Jamie Aitchison, today announces a number of new initiatives that form part of Channel 4's new vision for horse racing come 2013.
In 2013 Channel 4 will broadcast 88 days of live racing action - over 300 hours of terrestrial exposure and 62 Morning Line shows.
With IMG Sports Media at the helm from Tuesday, January 1, the corporation's racing coverage will include all the sport's premium events - Cheltenham Festival, Aintree's three-day John Smith's Grand National meeting, the Investec Derby Festival from Epsom Downs, Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood and the entire Flat Season QIPCO British Champions Series and Day.
New to the sport will be a travelling 12m x 5m expandable studio providing a base for the Morning Line shows and pundit analysis during afternoon racing. The adjustable height studio, skinned in Channel 4 Racing livery, will provide viewers with a distinctive location backdrop. Transported by the truck it sits on, the studio also features an open top terrace presentation area.
Housed in the studio is a bespoke touchscreen table specifically created by U Touch and powered by Hego software. The interactive race analysis tool will enable Channel 4's punditry team, Jim McGrath, Mick Fitzgerald and Graham Cunningham, to preview and review races using telestration but also drive the programme editorial with touchscreen access to jockeys, horses and trainers' profiles and statistics. An overhead camera will be placed in the studio to enhance the viewers' experience.
Channel 4 continues to display its commitment to the sport with the introduction of a new racing logo produced by in-house design agency 4Creative. The design incorporates angular cuts and ears to create an abstract horse's head onto the iconic 4 logo. This will feature in marketing, on-screen and on-course.
Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4's Sports Editor, says:
"I'm delighted to be announcing some of the new features and technology that we will be introducing to our coverage from 2013 which will help us deliver compelling coverage for both our current racing audience as well as new viewers to the sport.
"The introduction of the studio brings much needed continuity between our morning and afternoon presentations and I'm incredibly excited about the possibilities that the interactive race analysis tool offers us."
Five weeks remain under the current 2012 contract.