ITV has acquired the UK broadcast rights to Europe’s richest horse race, the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
The deal with organiser France-Galop means that the annual French Group One race returns to free-to-air TV in the UK after a one-year absence. The 2016 edition was shown on UK pay-TV channel Sky Sports for the first time after Channel 4, which ended its racing coverage at the end of last year, declined to carry it.
ITV - which has the exclusive mainstream rights contract to all racing in the UK - will show select races from Chantilly live, while, as in previous years, dedicated subscription outlets At The Races and Racing UK will show the entire day’s card.
Industry outlet the Racing Post reports that due to the last-minute nature of the deal, ITV will host its coverage from a studio in the UK, but plans to have some interviewers and a commentator at the course.
The 2017 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe will be raced on 2nd October at Chantilly while its regular home at Longchamp Racecourse is redeveloped. The Group One flat race has a purse of €5 million (US$5.9 million), with the owner of the winning horse set to receive €2.8 million (US$3.3 million).
The favourite for the prestigious race is the John Gosden-trained filly Enable, who is odds-on with the bookmakers to give the Newmarket man his second Arc success in three years. Gosden’s star colt Cracksman is second in the market at 10/1.