The Grand National is more than just a horse race; it’s a spectacle watched by millions in the United Kingdom and around the world.
If you’re among those eagerly awaiting the race, you’re likely wondering where to catch it live.
Look no further—here’s your comprehensive guide to watching the 2024 Grand National live on TV and online.
- Channel: Sky Channel 103, Virgin Media Channel 103, Freesat 103
- Details: ITV Racing has been the broadcaster for the Grand National since 2017. The full racing schedule will be released closer to the event. However, coverage from Aintree usually starts around midday and continues until the presentation of the Trophy to the winning Jockey, Trainer, and Owner.
- Channel: Sky Channel 426, Virgin Media Channel 536
- Details: RacingTV offers another avenue for fans to enjoy the race. It’s accessible on TV, tablet, or mobile.
Online Streaming Options
- Accessibility: Smart TV, laptop, tablet, smartphone
- Details: The race will be live-streamed on the ITV website, offering flexibility for those who prefer online viewing.
Racing TV Website
- Accessibility: Smart TV, laptop, tablet, smartphone
- Details: Similar to ITV, Racing TV provides a live-streaming option on their website.
- Accessibility: Laptop, tablet, smartphone
- Details: Numerous betting platforms offer live streaming of the Grand National through their apps, provided you place a bet on the event.
Key Timings for the 2024 Grand National
Mark your calendars: The 2024 Grand National takes place at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday, April 13th, with the main event at 5:15 p.m.
iTV coverage begins at around 2 p.m., offering a full card of racing leading up to the Grand National.
It’s worth noting that iTV provides comprehensive coverage of the entire Grand National Festival. The festival begins on the preceding Thursday with the popular ‘Opening Day’ meeting and continues on Friday with ‘Ladies Day.’
Expect insightful commentary and analysis from iTV’s expert broadcast team, including Ed Chamberlin, Sir Anthony McCoy, Oli Bell, Ruby Walsh, Mick Fitzgerald, Tom Scudamore, Matt Chapman, Adele Mulrennan, Luke Harvey, Chris Hughes, and Alice Plunkett.
The Early Days: Radio and Silent Films
Before television, the Grand National was first broadcast on BBC Radio in 1927. The earliest known film footage dates back to 1906, offering a silent but captivating glimpse into the race’s early years.
The Dawn of Television: BBC Takes the Lead
The Grand National made its television debut in 1960, broadcast as part of the BBC’s ‘Grandstand’ sports program. This game-changer brought the race into living rooms across the UK. The BBC’s coverage was the backdrop for unforgettable moments like Red Rum’s victories in the 1970s.
Technological Advances: Color TV and More
In 1969, the race was broadcast in color for the first time, adding a new dimension to the viewing experience. The BBC continued to innovate, even surviving a slump in viewership in the mid-’90s.
Channel 4 Era: A New Home
In 2013, Channel 4 took over the broadcasting rights, introducing new elements like mini-cameras on jockeys’ helmets. However, by 2017, ITV Racing secured the rights, revitalizing the broadcast with a fresh team of experts.
Modern Milestones: ITV’s Coverage
ITV’s coverage has been the backdrop for recent iconic moments, like Tiger Roll winning his second Grand National.
The channel has been praised for its comprehensive coverage, including the entire Grand National Festival starting from the ‘Opening Day’ meeting.
The Social Media Impact: A New Way to Experience the Grand National
In today’s digital age, social media platforms have become integral to the sports viewing experience, and the Grand National is no exception. These platforms offer fans a way to engage with the event beyond traditional broadcasting, adding a layer of interactivity and community that was previously unavailable.
Live Updates and Instant Replays
Platforms like Twitter and Instagram provide real-time updates, allowing fans to follow the action even if they can’t watch it live. Instant replays posted on social media offer viewers the chance to relive the most thrilling moments seconds after they happen.
Social media also serves as a hub for fan discussions, where predictions, debates, and analyses take place. Hashtags like #GrandNational or #Aintree have become trending topics, uniting fans worldwide.
Many broadcasters and racing teams use social media to provide behind-the-scenes content. From interviews with jockeys and trainers to sneak peeks at the stables, these exclusive insights enrich the overall viewing experience.
Interactive Polls and Contests
Some platforms offer interactive polls or contests, allowing fans to vote on potential winners or share their favorite Grand National memories. These activities not only enhance engagement but also add an element of fun to the event.
By integrating traditional broadcasting with social media, the Grand National has successfully adapted to the changing landscape of sports viewership. This multi-platform approach ensures that fans have a richer, more interactive experience, whether watching TV, streaming online, or following along on social media.
Where to Watch the Grand National Outside the UK
The Grand National is not just a British spectacle; it’s a global event that captivates audiences worldwide. If you’re outside the United Kingdom, there are still plenty of ways to catch all the action.
- Channels: TVG, NYRA
- Streaming: Various online betting platforms also offer live streaming options.
- Channels: Foxtel
- Streaming: Many Australian betting sites provide live streaming when a bet is placed on the race.
- Channels: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, HPI
- Streaming: Canadian betting platforms often offer live streaming options.
- Channels: Viaplay (Pan Europe)
- Streaming: Eurosport often provides online streaming options.
- Channels: Green Channel (Japan, highlights), Wasu (China, highlights).
- Streaming: Various international betting sites offer live streaming options.
Given the global interest in the Grand National, it’s crucial to note the time zone differences. The race starts at 5:15 PM UK time, so make sure to convert that to your local time to catch the live action.
By offering multiple avenues for international viewers to watch the race, the Grand National continues to expand its global footprint, ensuring that fans worldwide can be part of this iconic event.