|At The Races|
Arena Leisure Plc
|Audience share||0.1% (November 2012, BARB)|
|Virgin Media||Channel 534|
|Smallworld Cable||Channel 415|
|UPC Ireland||Channel 418|
At The Races is a British television channel, originally co-founded with Channel 4, but now owned by a partnership between British Sky Broadcasting, Arena Leisure Plc and 27 (out of the 60) UK racecourses.
The station is focused on horse racing from the UK, Ireland, North America, France and (overnight) Australia, showing many live races and related shows. The station is a commercial station, running advert breaks, and is "affiliated" with various betting companies, since the channel's live picture feed is used by betting shops and gamblers are generally its main audience.
The channel was partly revamped in June 2006 and then again in June 2012. Up until June 2012, the channel ran from a main studio, and a production area called 'The Booth'. From June 27, 2012, ATR moved to new studios in Milton Keynes and 'the booth' was history.
At the Races was originally a venture between BSkyB, Channel 4 and Arena Leisure who owned six racecourses at the time. In 2001, they agreed to pay £307 million for a 10 year deal to broadcast coverage from 49 of the 59 UK courses - the remaining 10 courses were contracted to The Racing Channel, which subsequently folded as a result of lost revenue in 2003.
By 2004, the deal was looking severely overpriced and At The Races served a 60-day termination notice on the Racecourse Association (RCA). Channel 4 exited the joint-venture and the courses were left to re-negotiate television deals. This led to a joint-venture from the courses themselves, 31 of which subsequently contract their coverage to Racing UK (which in turn sub-contracts terrestrial rights to Channel 4 and the BBC), which launched later in 2004.
At the Races virtually vanished from screens on 29 March 2004, but continued to broadcast a few meetings from the United States in the evenings and following the re-negotiation of contracts, the existing At the Races channel re-launched on 11 June 2004.
The channel starts broadcasting at 9am every day. In the mornings on the hour, Racing News is shown, followed by reviews of previous days racing. This format is repeated several times and updated with interviews. Presenters change over in the early afternoon and the lead presenter is joined by a guest to discuss the afternoon's racing.
The partner racecourses are:
Exeter, Kelso and Perth were featured by ATR, but from May 2012, races at these courses are now shown on Racing UK.
From June 2014, the coverage of the Ascot races will move to rival channel Racing UK.
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