Viewing figures for this year’s Cheltenham Festival may have dropped by 4% to an average of 804,000, but the audience share was actually up by 1.5%. Channel 4 Racing was also able to take some comfort from its Gold Cup figures, as the Friday programme peaked at 1.53m, marginally up on last year’s 1.48m.
A Channel 4 spokesman told The Guardian that there would be a ‘significant marketing campaign’, launching in the next fortnight, to promote April’s Grand National. The race achieved a peak of 8.9m when shown on Channel 4 for the first time last year but the broadcaster will be under pressure to repeat that after a 28% decline in its audience for the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday.
It was a mixed bag for Channel 4’s preview show The Morning Line as well. Thursday’s edition attracted one of the smallest audiences in the programmes history at 132,000, yet the Friday edition received 228,000 viewers, up 13% on the equivalent programme in 2013.