ITV is now the primary free to watch TV racing broadcaster in the United Kingdom, replacing Channel 4 in January 2017. Channel 4 previously broadcast continuous racing from 22nd March 1984, a lot for ITV to live up to.
The decision not to renew by Channel 4 was influenced, in part, by low viewing figures and it was hoped ITV would be able to bring racing to a larger more mainstream audience.
In their first year results were promising for ITV, especially for the bigger races shown on the main channel. Some criticism has been brought however for the high percentage of less prestigious racing that is shown on ITV4.
This change in broadcaster had little effect on the, hugely valuable, live TV racing offers from top UK online bookmakers. Betting sites provide generous price promises and free bets on live racing because the audience and the size of their book is bigger for live events in general, and this allows them to offer better odds and money back deals.
It ultimately matters little to the bookie who the broadcaster actually is, all they care about is that more people are interested in these race.
Best ITV Racing Free Bets & Offers
|2 Clear – 15% Racing Bonus (Flat)||During the flat season William Hill’s 2 Clear offer pays a 15% bonus on 2+ length winners, in free bets, up to £100. Applies to all ITV + some other races.||Visit William Hill|
|Beaten By Length Money Back (Flat)||Back any horse in a live ITV flat race and should it come in second by one length or less win stake back from £10 up to £25 (as a free bet) in each race.||Visit coral|
|Lead At The Last (Jump)||Get paid out as a winner, up to £100 in cash, if your horse is leading at the last fence but loses, applies to stakes of £5+ or £2.50+ each-way.||Visit betway|
|Faller Insurance (Jump)||Covering all ITV racing in the jump season get a stake refund as a free bet up to £25 if your horse falls, unseats or is brought down in any live ITV race.||Visit coral|
|Boost Your Own Odds – ITV Races||Back any horse in a live ITV flat race and should it come in second by one length or less win stake back from £10 up to £25 (as a free bet) in each race.||Visit ladbrokes|
|Stake Back Second (Flat)||Boost your own odds on any horse you like for every race in major ITV meetings, max stake £200, no minimum, all extra winnings in cash.||Visit betway|
|High 5 – 15% Racing Bonus (Jump)||For all televised ITV races during the jump season get a 15% winnings bonus up to £100 in free bets if your horse wins by 5 lengths+.||Visit William Hill|
|Free Bets For 3/1+ Winners (All)||Pick out any 3/1+ winner (SP) in an ITV race and get a free bet for the next live race, equal to the same stake value, up to £25. Claim as much as you want.||Visit Betfair|
|1/4 Odds (All) Money Back 2nd Handicaps||Quarter the odds for all each-way bets for live races (no maximum stake or claim limit), all ITV handicaps also have money back second (as a free bet) up to £25.||Visit Racebets|
Offers change periodically, especially between the flat and jump season. Keep an eye on this page and I will update all new offers as they come out.
ITV Racing Major Meetings 2018
It came as a shock to many when it was announced that ITV would be replacing Channel 4 as the main free to air horse racing broadcaster in the UK.
In many ways, this wasn’t that much of a shock. Channel 4 audiences for the big events have been in decline since they acquired them from the BBC in 2013, events like Champions Day, which drew in an audience of 1,100,000 back in 2013, had dropped below 400,000 this year.
The decision by Channel 4 not to renew their tenure seems to have been mutually beneficial with the rights owners. This coinciding with new interest from the more middle-of-the-road ITV also offered new ways to display top level racing to more people and it is hoped by all that this pays off.
It is fun to watch racing on TV, never mind the great value promotions top races attract, and it would be a shame to see the death of free to air racing in the UK. Like many sports once it goes it may never come back.
Live ITV Racing 2018
|Date||Meeting 1||Other Meeting(s)||Feature Race/Event|
|Monday 1st January||Cheltenham||Musselburgh|
|Saturday 3rd March||Doncaster||Newbury & Kelso|
|Tuesday 13th March||Cheltenham Festival||Champion Hurdle|
|Wednesday 14th March||Cheltenham Festival||Queen Mother Champion Chase|
|Thursday 15th March||Cheltenham Festival||The World Hurdle|
|Friday 16th March||Cheltenham Festival||Cheltenham Gold Cup|
|Thursday 12th April||Aintree Grand National||Aintree Hurdle|
|Friday 13th April||Aintree Grand National||Melling Chase|
|Saturday 14th April||Aintree Grand National||Grand National|
|Saturday 21st April||Ayr||Newbury||Scottish Grand National|
|Saturday 29th April||Sandown||Haydock||Jumps Finale|
|Saturday 5th May||Newmarket||Goodwood||2,000 Guineas|
|Sunday 6th May||Newmarket||Hamilton||1,000 Guineas|
|Saturday 19th May||Newbury||Newmarket||Lockinge|
|Friday 1st June||Epsom Derby Meeting||Oaks Stakes|
|Saturday 2nd June||Epsom Derby Meeting||Derby Stakes|
|Tuesday 19th June||Royal Ascot||Queen Anne Stakes|
|Wednesday 20th June||Royal Ascot||Prince of Wales Stakes|
|Thursday 21st June||Royal Ascot||The Gold Cup|
|Friday 22nd June||Royal Ascot||Coronation Stakes|
|Saturday 23rd June||Royal Ascot||Diamond Jubilee Stakes|
|Saturday 30th June||Newcastle||Newmarket & York||Northumberland Plate|
|Saturday 7th July||Sandown||Haydock||Eclipse|
|Saturday 14th July||Newmarket||Ascot & York||Super Saturday|
|Saturday 28th July||Ascot||York||King George|
|Tuesday 31st July||Glorious Goodwood||Lennox & Vintage Stakes|
|Wednesday 1st August||Glorious Goodwood||Sussex Stakes|
|Thursday 2nd August||Glorious Goodwood||Goodwood Cup|
|Friday 3rd August||Glorious Goodwood||King George Stakes|
|Saturday 4th August||Glorious Goodwood||Nassau Stakes|
|Wednesday 22nd August||Ebor Festival||Juddmonte Stakes|
|Thursday 233rd August||Ebor Festival||Yorkshire Oaks|
|Friday 24th August||Ebor Festival||Nunthorpe Stakes|
|Saturday 25th August||Ebor Festival||Goodwood||Ebor Heritage Handicap|
|Saturday 8th September||Haydock||Kempton & Ascot||Sprint Cup|
|Saturday 15th September||Doncaster||Chester||St Leger|
|Saturday 13th October||Newmarket||York||Dewhurst|
|Saturday 20th October||Ascot (Champions Day)||British Champions Day|
|Saturday 17th November||Cheltenham||Lingfield||November Meeting|
|Saturday 24th November||Haydock||Ascot||Betfair Chase|
|Saturday 30th November||Newbury||Long Distance Hurdle|
|Saturday 1st December||Newbury||Newcastle||Hennessy Gold Cup|
|Wednesday 26th December||Kempton||Wetherby||King George VI Chase|
NOTE – Table above shows live racing on ITV only, most races and meetings (around 90%) will be broadcast on ITV4 or ITV3.