ITV is now the primary free to watch TV racing broadcaster in the United Kingdom having replaced 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.
The first five years of results have been 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
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.
Why Do ITV Races Have So Many Offers?
Ultimately it is about competition and bookmakers know that more people bet on ITV races simply because they can watch them easily. The detailed race build up featuring ex-jockeys and other experts also helps inform people better about the runners and riders making them more likely to want to place a bet on the result.
There can be up to 50x more staked on a typical ITV race compared to an equivalent non-televised race, and while punters can now watch all races they bet on in the UK and Ireland by streaming it through a betting site it isn’t quite the same experience. Streaming windows are small and low resolution and you don’t get the race build up and insight you get on tv.
Naturally ITV will also show all of the big races, especially the ones on their main channel, and big races are naturally more bet on than lower grade and class races that are non-televised.
Therefore, customers who like to watch and bet on live ITV racing would be wise to shop around as bookies run lots of different offers around televised racing and different deals suit different people. It is common to find money back 2nd (3rd & 4th and sometimes if you lose), free bets if you back a winner over certain odds, enhanced prices, extra places, enhanced each-way terms and boost your own odds features. Really if you bet on ITV racing and you do so without an offer you are doing yourself a disservice.
ITV Racing Major Meetings
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.
But 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 in 2016.
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.
This already seems to have paid off with most meetings broadcast now showing viewing figures on the rise, especially those shown on ITV. There have been ups and down, with the Cheltenham Festival in 2018 seeing a dip but the Epsom Derby attracting the most viewers since 2013.
The pandemic certainly helped the fortunes of ITV with more people than ever tuning into weekend racing that was largely held behind closed doors. The lack of other sources of entertainment at that time meant there were more people around to watch the live broadcasts. The effect seems to have been long lasting too with ITV enjoying even higher viewing figures when covid restrictions were listed than before the outbreak. The 2022 Cheltenham Festival attracted viewing figures of around 1.6 million people for the Gold Cup.
Live ITV Racing
|Date||Meeting 1||Other Meeting(s)||Feature Race/Event|
|Monday 1st January||Cheltenham||Musselburgh|
|Saturday 22nd January||Ascot||Haydock Park||Clarence House Chase|
|Saturday 29th January||Cheltenham||Doncaster||Festival Trials Day|
|Saturday 5th February||Sandown||Musselburgh & Wetherby|
|Saturday 12th February||Newbury||Warwick||Betfair Handicap Hurdle|
|Saturday 19th February||Ascot||Haydock & Wincanton|
|Saturday 26th February||Lingfield||Kempton & Newcastle||Winter Derby Stakes|
|Saturday 2nd March||Doncaster||Newbury & Kelso|
|Tuesday 15th March||Cheltenham Festival||Champion Hurdle|
|Wednesday 16th March||Cheltenham Festival||Queen Mother Champion Chase|
|Thursday 17th March||Cheltenham Festival||The World Hurdle|
|Friday 18th March||Cheltenham Festival||Cheltenham Gold Cup|
|Saturday 2nd April||Ayr||Newbury||Scottish Grand National|
|Thursday 7th April||Aintree Grand National||Aintree Hurdle|
|Friday 8th April||Aintree Grand National||Melling Chase|
|Saturday 9th April||Aintree Grand National||Grand National|
|Saturday 25th April||Sandown||Haydock||Jumps Finale|
|Saturday 2nd May||Newmarket||Goodwood||2,000 Guineas|
|Sunday 3rd May||Newmarket||Hamilton||1,000 Guineas|
|Saturday 16th May||Newbury||Newmarket||Lockinge|
|Friday 5th June||Epsom Derby Meeting||Oaks Stakes|
|Saturday 6th June||Epsom Derby Meeting||Derby Stakes|
|Tuesday 16th June||Royal Ascot||Queen Anne Stakes|
|Wednesday 17th June||Royal Ascot||Prince of Wales Stakes|
|Thursday 18th June||Royal Ascot||The Gold Cup|
|Friday 19th June||Royal Ascot||Coronation Stakes|
|Saturday 20th June||Royal Ascot||Diamond Jubilee Stakes|
|Saturday 29th June||Newcastle||Newmarket & York||Northumberland Plate|
|Saturday 4th July||Sandown||Haydock||Eclipse|
|Saturday 11th July||Newmarket July Festival||Ascot & York||Super Saturday|
|Saturday 25th July||Ascot||York||King George|
|Tuesday 28th July||Glorious Goodwood||Lennox & Vintage Stakes|
|Wednesday 29th July||Glorious Goodwood||Sussex Stakes|
|Thursday 30th July||Glorious Goodwood||Goodwood Cup|
|Friday 31st July||Glorious Goodwood||King George Stakes|
|Saturday 1st August||Glorious Goodwood||Nassau Stakes|
|Wednesday 19th August||Ebor Festival||Juddmonte Stakes|
|Thursday 20th August||Ebor Festival||Yorkshire Oaks|
|Friday 21st August||Ebor Festival||Nunthorpe Stakes|
|Saturday 22nd August||Ebor Festival||Goodwood||Ebor Heritage Handicap|
|Saturday 5th September||Haydock||Kempton & Ascot||Sprint Cup|
|Saturday 12th September||Doncaster||Chester & Chelmsford||St Leger|
|Saturday 26th September||Newmarket||Haydock||Park Stakes|
|Saturday 3rd October||Newmarket||Ascot & Redcar||Chariot Stakes|
|Saturday 9th October||Newmarket||York||Fillies’ Mile|
|Saturday 10th October||Newmarket||York||Dewhurst Stakes|
|Saturday 17th October||Ascot (Champions Day)||British Champions Day|
|Saturday 24th October||Cheltenham||Newbury & Doncaster||Handicap Chase|
|Saturday 31st October||Wetherby||Ascot|
|Saturday 7th November||Wincanton||Aintree & Doncaster|
|Saturday 14th November||Cheltenham||Lingfield||November Meeting|
|Sunday 15th November||Cheltenham||Fontwell||November Meeting|
|Saturday 21st November||Haydock||Ascot||Betfair Chase|
|Saturday 27th November||Newbury||Long Distance Hurdle|
|Saturday 28th November||Newbury||Newcastle||Hennessy Gold Cup|
|Saturday 5th December||Newbury||Newcastle|
|Friday 11th December||Cheltenham||Bangor||International Meeting|
|Saturday 12th December||Cheltenham||Doncaster||International Meeting|
|Saturday 19th December||Ascot||Haydock|
|Saturday 26th December||Kempton Winter Festival||Wetherby||King George VI Chase|
|Sunday 27th December||Chepstow||Kempton Winter Festival||Welsh Grand National|
|Monday 28th December||Newbury|
NOTE – Table above shows live racing on ITV, most races and meetings (around 90%) will be broadcast on ITV4 or ITV3.