Fox Sports announced on August 8th that it had negotiated a deal with The Jockey Club to broadcast graded stakes races, starting from 2014. While horse racing has been on television often in the past, there is one aspect of this that is different. In what could be seen as big gambling news, the new sports broadcasters could show live odds on their programs for the first time.
While online gambling may be very tightly controlled – indeed, Delaware has just made the first online casino in United States – sports betting is allowed in four states: Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware. As such, it is thought that this potential idea could not only help educate people on the complex betting systems for horse racing, but actually bring in gamblers themselves.
With the potential for mobile betting whilst watching from your own living room, the four states who allow sports betting could gain a boost in tax take.
Speaking about the new cooperation between Fox Sports and The Jockey Club, Fox Sports Executive Vice President of Production and Executive Producer John Entz said: “Our partnership with The Jockey Club highlights the elements that make horse racing fun: the power and grace of the Thoroughbred, the challenging puzzle of handicapping, and the social aspect of a day at the races.”
On top of this, Senior Vice President of Programming and Research for FOX Sports Media Group, Mike Mulvihill, added: “Racing is different. TV revenue will never be more than a tiny fraction of national handle. So while it’s obviously a goal…to help grow viewing of horse racing, we can’t look at the ratings as an end in themselves. Instead we should look at TV coverage as a means to a larger goal. As an ongoing promotional vehicle that inspires passive viewers to become active players who will contribute to growth and handle. That has to be our mission.”