BBC Radio 5 signs new deal with RMG

26th February 2013

BBC Radio 5 live signs new deal with Racecourse Media Group to broadcast live coverage through to 2016

  • Andrew Thornton, Derek Thompson and Kate Grey join Radio 5 live team for the Cheltenham Festival
  • Full coverage of horse racing on BBC Radio and the BBC Sport website

The deal means that BBC Radio will continue, through to at least 2016, to bring live racing coverage throughout the Jumps and Flat seasons including extensive live coverage of flagship events, starting this year with the Cheltenham Festival (12 – 15 March), when every single race will be available live on BBC Radio. Full coverage throughout the year is also brought to audiences via the BBC Sport website.

New for 2013, respected racing broadcaster Derek Thompson will join the Cheltenham Festival team to bring listeners all the post-race interviews and breaking news. The line-up is also enhanced by Andrew Thornton, the 1998 Gold Cup-winning jockey, and Paralympian and broadcaster Kate Grey, who joins as a roving reporter.

Jonathan Wall, Acting Controller BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra, says:  “We’re delighted to have renewed our contract with Racecourse Media Group, which further demonstrates our commitment to racing. The sport has always been a core part of BBC Radio 5 live’s output and 2013 will see more great coverage led by the best commentary team in the business, Cornelius Lysaght and John Hunt.  “We’re really looking forward to the Cheltenham Festival, when the whole station gets involved to bring all the action, atmosphere and excitement to listeners. I’m also delighted to welcome Andrew, Derek and Kate to our team. The comprehensive radio coverage combined with the wide reach of BBC online and mobile will deliver excellent coverage of the sport to audiences.”

Richard FitzGerald, Chief Executive of Racecourse Media Group, adds:  “The BBC has been an outstanding partner in promoting British racing over the years and the sport looks forward to continuing this valued relationship, via the BBC’s radio, online and TV news coverage.  “We are delighted that BBC Radio and Online have increased its commitment to racing, and it is excellent news that every race from the Cheltenham Festival will be covered live by BBC Radio. The sport will undoubtedly benefit from more quality airtime throughout the year.

“BBC Radio 5 live is renowned for its clean production, clear presentation, incisive on-course reporting and stirring commentaries. We look forward to the team – along with the excellent BBC Sport website – conveying the excitement of all the big events, starting with next month’s Cheltenham Festival.”

John Inverdale will present BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra’s coverage from Cheltenham, along with racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght. Commentary comes from John Hunt and Luke Harvey, and eight-time Champion Jumps Jockey Peter Scudamore will again offer his expert insight and analysis. Kevin Day and Rob Nothman are also back.

There is more airtime this year with BBC Radio 5 live coverage from 1.30pm – 4.00pm Tuesday (12 March) to Thursday (14 March), and 1.00pm – 4.00pm on the Friday (15 March). There will also be additional coverage daily 4.00pm-5.30pm on 5 live Sports Extra, so every race of the festival will be covered.

There will be live text commentaries every day on the BBC Sport website relaying all the drama and action as it happens, plus a daily podcast. The website’s racing expert, Frank Keogh, will be reporting from around the course via @honestfrank and providing previews, reports and features from the greatest show on turf.

Through 2013, BBC Radio will bring comprehensive coverage of all the big events from the RMG tracks, plus other major meetings in the UK and overseas.

The BBC Sport website features reports, news, features and interviews, plus fans can keep up to date with all the results and the latest news on mobile via the new BBC Sport App. The BBC’s results service has the up-to-the-minute updates on the winners and losers from every meeting in the UK and Ireland, plus news on the going at every fixture. Racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght writes regularly for the website, with columns looking at the some of the most interesting stories in the sport and provides updates on Twitter with all the industry news.
You can listen to BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra via DAB radio, online at, Digital Freeview, Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media and to Radio 5 live only on 909 & 693 AM, and on mobiles via the BBC Radio iPlayer.

For more information please contact:

Leanne Williams
Communications Manager, BBC Sport and Radio 5 live
07714 957095

Seb Vance
Racing UK/RMG Head of Press and PR
020 7592 0465 / 07810043040

About RMG
RMG is the umbrella organisation for the 33 racecourses (34 when Ascot joins in 2014) which hold an interest in Racing UK TV (Sky 432/Virgin 536), Turf TV (betting shop service) and GBI Racing (international betting shop service). For more information, go to