Horseracing’s British Champions Series Attracts Surplus Viewers & Bets

October 13, 2011

allergist helvetica, buy sans-serif;”>The inaugural QIPCO British Champions Series have already enjoyed increased annual attendances and television audiences – according to figures released this week with the richest day in British racing history, anesthetist QIPCO British Champions Day on the horizon.

This takes place at Ascot this Saturday, but racecourse attendances at the 27 days that have made up the new Series prior to the Ascot climax are up 7% on 2010 – 688,279 people from 644,609 people. 

By comparison, attendances across the full British racing programme in 2011 are up by an average of 3.9%.? ?

Average terrestrial viewing figures on UK Channels BBC and Channel 4, which have broadcast the racedays between them, have seen a 33% increase on last year (18.0 million viewers from 13.6 million viewers). 

The total number of viewers watching the flat races rose to 23.8 million people when peak viewing figures are used.? ?

Figures compared to 2009 also jump in their favour, with 2011 attendances up by 8% in comparison, while terrestrial television viewing figures are up by 7% compared to two years ago after a decrease in 2010 predominantly due to the FIFA World Cup.

Rod Street, chief executive of British Champions Series Ltd, said: “We take these figures as affirmation that interest in Britain’s biggest races is on the up, while many other sports are in decline. We’d never claim that is all down to the creation of QIPCO British Champions Series, but this is an encouraging trend and testament to the fantastic horses we’ve see race in Britain this year and all those making an effort to promote our sport.

“We are also keen to attract greater international coverage of our sport, so we are delighted that BBC Worldwide has already secured sales for QIPCO British Champions Day to 75 countries around the world, with more expected to be added during Sportel in Monaco this week.”

Also the event has attracted more than 30 million pounds ($47 million) in bets, rivaled only by the final day at Royal Ascot in U.K. flat racing, organizers said.

Kate Miller, head of racing at U.K. bookmaker William Hill, added: “The Champions Day will rival a Royal Ascot day for turnover across the betting industry. The new series creates a huge event to round off the season. That in itself will create interest throughout the flat racing season, which runs from April to October.”