RTÉ Sport and Horse Racing Ireland have agreed a new broadcasting deal for live coverage of Irish racing for the next four years, ensuring that fans will continue to enjoy the most prestigious days in the Irish racing calendar on RTÉ Television and online on RTÉ.ie and on the RTÉ Player.

RTÉ will broadcast a minimum of 24 days of live Irish racing television coverage each year for the next four years, featuring all the major festivals at Fairyhouse, Punchestown, Galway and Leopardstown.

This year’s coverage begins with two days of action from Leopardstown this weekend, including Sunday’s  Irish Champion Hurdle.

Selected race meetings will be available in High Definition, with all coverage in HD from 2015.

RTÉ Head of Sport Ryle Nugent said: "This new agreement is a statement of intent for RTÉ underlining our commitment to Irish racing.

“Whilst in line with our commitment to reduce our sports rights budget, this deal represents a significant investment by RTÉ, particularly in the current economic climate.

“Irish horse racing coverage continues to be a priority for us and is an important part of our public service broadcasting remit as well as helping to fulfil our commitment to national teams, national games and major events.”