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Gold Cup C4 audience hit peak of 1.9m.

AROUND 1.9 million viewers tuned in to watch Channel 4's coverage of the Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday, writes Rodney Masters.

The figure was down on the 2008 race despite the widespread publicity campaign focusing on the clash between Kauto Star and Denman.

Friday's audience represented a 24.3 per cent share of the terrestrial television audience, which was 200,000 greater than 2009 but shy of the 2m viewers when Denman triumphed over the odds-on Kauto in 2008.

Viewing figures released by Channel 4 yesterday indicated that the other championship races during the week secured a minimum audience of 1.2m.

The daily peaks were Tuesday: 1.3m (15 per cent audience share); Wednesday: 1.2m (14.2); Thursday: 1.2m (14.1).

The peak added up to a total of 5.6m, but Hannah Walker, a spokeswoman for Channel 4, said the audience 'reach' figure was 6.4m.

She explained: "That's the number of viewers over the four days, some of whom may have dipped in to watch five minutes of a programme, but that viewer is never duplicated over the week; just counted as one."

Andrew Thompson, Channel 4's racing consultant, said yesterday: "To hear that such a great festival was watched by almost six and a half million people over four days is really encouraging. It's great that racing was centre stage in the sporting world. The unique drama captured the attention of so many, which is great news."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 23, 2010
Words:245
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