The New Zealand Racing Board will launch a new TV channel in time for the summer racing season, with the working title “TAB TV”, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Brown said today.
“Our decision to launch TAB TV is a direct response to customer demand and will help grow revenues for the three racing codes – greyhounds, harness racing and thoroughbreds,” he said.
TAB TV is expected to generate $4 million in annual profit within three years, which will be distributed among the racing codes.
The new channel will be shown in all TAB outlets and will also be broadcast on Sky Digital, from December. The new channel will complement the existing Trackside channel which has a home viewership of 300,000 people per month. As a result, Trackside will now be able to offer more in-depth coverage of New Zealand racing.
Mr Brown said customer research showed people watched Trackside for two different reasons: entertainment and betting.
“Having two racing channels will enable us to give our customers more of the content they want to see. This is great news for punters, racing fans, and the sport of racing.”
“TAB TV will be perfect for punters who want more racing events to bet on.
“At the same time, Trackside will now be able to provide more coverage of the build-up to all NZ races, highlight the results and prize presentations, and show more replays and analysis to satisfy New Zealand racing fans. Trackside will also broadcast a selection of high quality Australian racing, depending on the schedule of New Zealand racing.”
“The new format for Trackside will also showcase racing sponsors and other commercial partners to greater effect, and TAB TV will generate more profits for the TAB which we will pass on directly to the racing clubs.”
TAB TV will broadcast approximately 12 races per hour, including local races and overseas races from Australia, France, Hong Kong, North America, Singapore, South Africa and the UK.
Racing Board Head of Broadcasting Glen Broomhall said UHF viewers of Trackside will continue to see the best of NZ racing.
“We will broadcast the new Trackside programming on UHF including ‘First Call’ on Saturday mornings to preview the afternoon’s action,” Mr Broomhall said.
The new TAB TV channel will be broadcast largely using existing resources.
“The new channel will be highly cost efficient and will require a modest capital investment of approximately $800,000 to deliver significant additional revenues for racing clubs across New Zealand. We expect it to generate profits within the current financial year,” Mr Broomhall said.
Mr Brown said the NZ Racing Board is investing in the development of the racing industry which contributes 1.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product and supports the livelihoods of 40,000 New Zealanders.
“We’re very excited about TAB TV which will help deliver greater entertainment for the 300,000 people who currently watch Trackside each month from their homes.
“There’s a growing demand for racing entertainment in New Zealand and we’re meeting that demand with innovations such as this,” Mr Brown said.