Horseracing attracts biggest TV audiences in years

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  • Numbers tuning in to watch racing on the TV are booming, according to recent figures from the BBC and Channel 4

    The Grand National attracted 10.1milion viewers to the BBC’s coverage on Saturday, 5 April — the biggest TV audience for the race since 2004.

    After a dip in popularity, moving the Grand National to a later time slot of 5pm had been suggested, to increase viewing figures.

    But Aintree Racecourse resisted the change and the race attracted its largest TV audience in recent years — at its original 4.15pm time.

    The world-famous race rivalled the England v Switzerland football match— Fabio Capello’s first appearance as manager — as the most watched sporting event on the BBC this year.

    The FA Cup semi-final, shown live on the BBC before the racing, was watched by only 3.4million.

    And in March a record audience of two million tuned in to Channel 4 to watch the Cheltenham showdown between Kauto Star and Denman — over double the amount that watched Kauto Star crowned Champion in 2007.

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