IMG’s Sport 24 live inflight sports channel is to show live coverage of six of the most prestigious global horse racing events of the year, following an agreement with Racecourse Media Group (RMG) and Henry Birtles Associates (HBA).
The IMG-owned and operated service will broadcast live action and a one-hour highlights programme for each of the race days across both Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra.
It is the first time live horse racing will be broadcast on airlines and cruise lines.
Saturday’s Dubai World Cup is the first of the six races to be shown on Sport 24 this year. The US$10m contest is run at the state-of-the-art Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, UAE, and features the world’s best racehorse “Arrogate”.
Other RMG-distributed events are the Randox Health Grand National, Aintree, UK (April 8), the Investec Derby, Epsom, UK, (June 3) and QIPCO British Champions Day, Ascot, UK (October 21), while HBA manages the distribution of the Breeders Cup, Del Mar, US (November 4) and the Melbourne Cup, Flemington, Australia (November 7).
Richard Wise, SVP, IMG, said: “This is a very exciting addition to our premium offering for airline and cruise line passengers.
“Each of these events has enormous tradition and history, and are among the most popular and exciting horse race meetings in the world, attracting the very top owners, riders, jockeys and horses from all over the globe.”
Adam Binns, Director of Broadcast and Production, RMG, said: “We are delighted that airline and cruise line passengers will not miss out on these showpiece race days thanks to this partnership with Sport 24.”
Sport 24 also shows live action from the Premier League, the Bundesliga, NHL, NFL, UEFA Champions League, NBA, MotoGP, The Ryder Cup, all four Golf Majors and each of the Tennis Grand Slams.
Launched in 2012, the channel is exclusively available on Panasonic’s live television system, eXTV, across 13 airlines.
IMG says Panasonic’s eXTV television network uses the company’s eXConnect in-flight Ku-band communications service, including the same Ku antenna and on board components, to deliver high-quality, television programming to passengers during their flight.