This year’s Randox Health Grand National at Aintree Racecourse has continued to grab the attention of the nation, as viewing figures for the ITV-covered race have increased by 12 per cent.
The broadcast, fronted by Ed Chamberlin, is reported to have hit figures of 9.6 million at peak viewing time, which is up from the 8.5 million viewers in 2018. The figures has meant that the average audience has now grown from 5.1 million to 5.4 million.
The 2019 figures, while being on the up since 2018, are reported to be lower than the figures listed in 2016 in which peak viewers reached 10 million. ITV was expected by many to deliver a growth in viewers, but the recent figures show that the broadcaster is facing a battle in competing with the Channel 4 coverage for the race, which had drawn in a viewer base of 8.9m, 8.5m and 8.8m respectively.
Speaking about the historic race, Nick Rust, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), said: “The Grand National Festival always provides some wonderful stories, but the last three days have been exceptional, obviously culminating in Tiger Roll’s remarkable follow-up success, a performance that will go down in history.
“It was an “I was there” moment which many of us will never forget. Tiger Roll is a new National legend and his name will be rightly be added to the list of the greatest horses our sport has seen.
“Following off the back of a memorable Cheltenham Festival, jump racing has shown in the last few weeks why it holds such a special place in British society. This has been reflected in the coverage in today’s papers – racing is back on the front pages of the national press, for the second time in a matter of weeks.
“In addition ITV Racing have posted remarkable viewing figures, with an audience of 9.6m tuning in to the race, a reflection of the popularity of the sport and the ITV team’s first class coverage of it.”
The race saw Gordan Elliot’s Tiger Roll win for the second time in a row, making headlines around the world as it becomes the first to gain the double since Red Rum’s historic double.
Tiger Roll was listed as the overwhelming favourite for the race, having been listed as the shortest-priced winner since Poethlyn (11-4) exactly 100 years ago.
The nine-year old’s odds come following his success in the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, despite carrying more weight than 2018.