Veteran Brough Scott brought in to settle peace talks between ITV and racing chiefs over new TV deal
- Brough Scott is a supremely popular figure in horse racing and its TV punditry
- Scott is now involved in talks between ITV and racing chiefs about a new TV deal
- ITV’s horse racing coverage includes the ever-popular Cheltenham Festival
Veteran broadcaster and journalist Brough Scott has been drafted in to broker peace talks between racing executives and ITV, following Sportsmail‘s revelation of the breakdown in negotiations over a new television deal.
The 77-year-old former jockey is supremely well-connected in racing circles and has good relationships with key figures at ITV, where he was first employed as a pundit in 1971.
Racing chiefs held informal talks with their ITV counterparts at Cheltenham this week.
Former Jockey Brough Scott is now involved in talks between ITV and racing chiefs
This followed Sportsmail’s story on Tuesday about the breakdown in talks, and a formal meeting has been scheduled for next week.
Scott is understood to have urged both parties to come together to reach an agreement for the good of the sport, which relies heavily on terrestrial television for exposure.
ITV Racing’s deal expires at the end of 2020, with a draft contract having been prepared 15 months ago.
The negotiations surround a new horse racing broadcasting deal for ITV
ITV’s current horse racing deal, which includes Cheltenham coverage, expires later this year
The sticking point is ITV’s refusal to guarantee that major events, particularly the Epsom Derby, will be screened on their main channel due to concern about future potential clashes with England football games.
ITV have the rights to show England’s European Championship and World Cup qualifiers until 2022, as well as for both tournaments, which could lead to clashes should they sign the three-year contract to broadcast racing.
With football attracting almost 10 times the number of viewers that racing manages, ITV claim they could never offer the sport contractual guarantees over scheduling, although other broadcasters are willing to make such undertakings.