Channel 4 used a blind auction process to find commercial partners for the first time, ahead of its expanded Claire Balding-fronted horseracing coverage, which kicks off from 1 January 2012 with the New Year’s Day fixture from Cheltenham Racecourse.
The three bookmakers will be the betting partners for the IMG-produced footage from January although a spokesman for Channel 4 declined to give details of the packages each had bought.
From 2013, Channel 4 will be the only terrestrial channel to broadcast horseracing. Its 87 race days in 2013 will include the Cheltenham Festival, the Grand National, the Investec Derby Festival, Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood and the entire British Champions Series.
This recent auction does not affect Bet365's live odds partnership with Channel 4 but there will be another auction process for partners to provide live odds from April 2013.
Chris Braithwaite, agency principal at C4, said: "Channel 4 is a commercial channel and to host an auction for bookmakers to align their brand with the very best of British horseracing was a viable solution. The auction was transparent and fair and overseen by an independent adjudicator.
"We will continue to develop advertising innovations including split screen and live odds, working alongside our new 2013 production company, IMG, to ensure viewers receive the best coverage of such a thrilling sport."
Dubai renewed its sponsorship of Channel 4's racing in August for an additional four years from the beginning of 2013.Follow @MaisieMcCabe
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk