30 Mar ‘The Virtual Grand National 2017’
8pm Friday 7/4/17 ITV 4; 11.30am Saturday 8/4/17 ITV 4; Highlights ITV.
ITV Sport will screen ‘The Randox Health Grand National’ one day ahead of its official start time!
Using sophisticated 3D CGI animations and software, ITV4 will broadcast a TV First.
40 runners and riders from the 2017 Grand National field will race each other over the famous Aintree course as experts try to outwit the technology and the computer tries to outwit the bookies, the punters and the tipsters.
To mark the 170th running of the Grand National, the horses and riders will be seen battling Becher’s Brook, Valentine’s, The Canal Turn and all 30 jumps in a spectacular race which has never before been attempted.
‘This is a fantastic innovation’ said Nick Luck who will host the TV special.
‘It will be enormous fun to see if the specially developed software can really be more accurate than the experts, and whether it can weigh up all the factors such as the going, weather and power of the horses to not only produce a brilliant race but also get close to forecasting the real outcome’.
The Virtual Grand National has been developed alongside ‘Grand National Race of Champions’ which will pit legendary horses from the past 100 years against each other over the Grand National course. Both races will be featured in ITV’s main race day coverage as the channel becomes the host broadcaster for the first time in its history.
‘It was an irresistible idea’ said Executive Producer Rob McLoughlin; ‘ITV wanted a curtain raiser to its first coverage of this enormously important race which would be different and distinctive.’
‘It is innovative and fun and the animators have been working around the clock for 12 months to produce something truly remarkable and they have been aided by champions such as AP McCoy, Richard Pitman and others’.
‘It will be fascinating to see the outcome’.
The idea has been developed with Inspired Entertainment, the world leaders in Virtual Sports.
Steve Rogers, Chief Commercial Officer, Inspired, commented, ‘This project has been both a challenging and hugely rewarding one to work on with our partners. The end result is one of our most realistic and sophisticated Virtual Sports products to date, and I have no doubt that punters and viewers will be impressed by the quality and realism of the animation of both races. Inspired is committed to delivering Entertainment with an Edge to its customers, and these Grand National products are the very embodiment of that.’
The programme ‘The Virtual Grand National 2017’ will be aired on ITV 4 at 8pm on Friday 7th April 2017 and repeated at 11.30am after ‘The Opening Show’ on ITV4 on Saturday 8th April 2017. Highlights will be featured on ITV’s first ever coverage of the Grand -National.