|The Horse Racing Channel, proposed successor to dearly departed Attheraces, received a boost this week as seven more UK racing tracks signed, or are about to sign a contract. This will take the number of courses behind the project to twenty-seven out of fifty-nine, and THRC promoters already regard this as enough to put together a reasonable programme of fixtures.|
This is good news particularly for the online bookmaker who has reported decreased handle since the demise of Attheraces because, lacking the ability to receive live racing in their living rooms, people are less inclined to bet over the Net.
Attheraces’ failure has prompted the major courses to look at a way of launching a channel which would allow them to retain management and control of their media rights. Doncaster racecourse chief executive, John Sanderson, said of the necessity to have as many courses on board as possible:
'This may be the courses' last chance to control the destiny of our media rights. There are many issues to be resolved in the next few years, not least the question of betting-shop pictures, and though the returns from THRC might be thin in the short term, if you take a five-to-ten-year view, I believe this is the way to go.'