It has been revealed that the BBC will be cutting back its live coverage of horse racing in the UK in 2010. The top-secret plans show that the Corporation is looking to include just 13 days live horse racing from 2010 onwards which is less than half the output the channel has at the moment. There were hopes that Channel 4 would take up the slack but at this moment in time, with funds tight around the world, it seems unlikely that the station will commit itself to any further expenditure in the horse racing industry.
Of the races likely to be cut adrift are the Welsh National and the Becher Chase with the Shergar Cup (a very popular Europe versus the Rest of the World head to head) possibly at risk as well. While there has been no official reason as to why the BBC are looking to cut back so drastically on horseracing, this is part of a long-term trend on the BBC whereby horse racing has played less and less of a part over the last 20 or 30 years.
The various horse racing channels on Sky must be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of a mass exodus from the BBC!