Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

ITV drops Boat Race for football

The Boat Race
Oxford won the last race

The iconic Boat Race - where students from Oxford and Cambridge universities compete along the River Thames - will no longer be broadcast on ITV.

ITV said it had decided not to show the race after 2009 because it had "invested significantly in securing a fantastic football portfolio".

A spokesman said coverage of the sporting event had been "well received by both critics and viewers".

ITV secured the rights to the race from the BBC on a five-year deal in 2004.

The first race was held in 1829 and is one of the oldest events on the sporting calendar.

It is not clear whether the BBC will bid for the rights to broadcast the race in 2010.

A BBC spokesman said "we never discuss rights".

In March, Oxford won the 154th University Boat Race.

It was Oxford's third win in four years. Cambridge won last year's race, and still narrowly lead the total number of races held - by 79 to 74.

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