Punters migrating to harness, greyhound racing as thoroughbred media rights battle takes toll   Leave a comment

Punters migrating to harness, greyhound racing as thoroughbred media rights battle takes toll

Date
July 20, 2015
Hot dogs: Sky Racing's blackout has resulted in a surge in betting on greyhound racing.Hot dogs: Sky Racing’s blackout has resulted in a surge in betting on greyhound racing.

Sky Racing’s blackout on Victorian thoroughbred racing has resulted in a surge in betting on the rival harness and greyhound racing codes as the absence of vision on the primary driver for Australian wagering drags into a sixth week.

With Racing Victoria and Tabcorp, which boasts Sky Racing as its broadcasting arm, still yet to broker a new agreement on the return of Victorian racing to Sky’s wall-to-wall channel, industry insiders are lamenting the stream of punters migrating to harness and greyhound racing.

Fairfax Media has been told the NSW TAB has seen wagering on Victorian racing across all platforms plummet about 17 per cent for the five weeks of the Sky blackout in comparison to the same time period before Tabcorp switched off Victorian pictures.

Only 92 TAB agencies have carried live vision of Victorian racing since June 16, when Tabcorp blacked out Foxtel subscribers as well as pubs and clubs after Racing Victoria’s announcement it would sign a long-term media rights deal with Seven West Media.

By contrast corporate bookmakers Sportsbet and CrownBet have been the catalyst for a growth in online wagering on races south of the border having agreed on deals to stream live Victorian pictures for their account holders.

Worryingly for powerbrokers north of the border, the seeping of frustrated punters away from Victorian thoroughbred racing is also affecting turnover on NSW races.

It’s understood the media rights bickering has resulted in total wagering on NSW thoroughbred racing falling about seven per cent with the NSW TAB for the five weeks where there has been no Victorian racing on Sky when compared to an identical time leading up to the blackout.

It seems the only beneficiaries have been harness and greyhound racing administrators, who have watched their own product record upswings in betting since mid-June.

It’s believed harness racing has recorded the greater shift of the two, albeit just a small remedy to overall declining figures as greyhound racing steadily increases its market share despite the industry having damning live baiting practices exposed in February.

Tabcorp has repeatedly stressed it would not publicly comment on negotiations with Racing Victoria or turnover figures since the blackout.

The joint venture partners are continuing to negotiate a return of Victorian racing to Sky screens, but reconciliation has been slow despite the obvious impact on the bottom line for both.

It has meant free-to-air broadcaster Seven West Media is the only non-digital option to watch Victorian racing as it carries Racing Victoria’s digital feed on Channel 78 as an interim measure.

But the channel is only able to be picked up in approximately 70 per cent of metropolitan households, freezing out a huge number of disgruntled viewers in country areas who haven’t been able to access the channel.

Seven West Media will officially launch the new Victorian-only network on August 29 for Memsie Stakes day, the first group 1 meeting of the new season.

Meanwhile, Doomben Cup winner Pornichet made his first public appearance before a Cox Plate-centric spring campaign when finishing third in a Randwick barrier trial on Monday.

Gai Waterhouse’s star was put under very little pressure by regular rider Blake Shinn when finishing third in a trial behind stablemate Excess Knowledge on a heavy surface.

Pornichet is on the second line of Cox Plate betting at $10 with Ladbrokes.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/horseracing/punters-migrating-to-harness-greyhound-racing-as-thoroughbred-media-rights-battle-takes-toll-20150720-gig39t.html#ixzz3gYYQOOHe

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Posted July 22, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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