Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in England

Cheltenham Festival attracts record viewership on first dayCheltenham Festival attracts record viewership on first day

The Cheltenham Festival 2021 attracted record viewership on only its first day, with both the average and peak audience up significantly on the previous year.

ITV Racing drew in an average of 1.1 million viewers, with a total of 1.5 million tuning in to watch the Champions Hurdle, won by Rachel Blackmore, riding the hugely anticipated Irish racehorse Honeysuckle.

The viewership spike has been largely attributed to the number of people working from home or on furlough due to the ongoing pandemic, in addition to the absence of spectators at the actual racecourse.

Nielsen Sports went as far as to predict that the festival would see its biggest television figures for over a decade, pointing to a general 250,000 increase in television viewership due to people working from home and furlough schemes…