I was reading this today regarding some of the deals being made by major sports leagues and DFS sites, like FanDuel:
"The appeal of daily fantasy sports to sports leagues isn't hard to understand. Nigel Eccles, CEO of FanDuel, told ESPN.com that his company's research showed that fans' weekly TV sports viewing jumped from 17.5 hours to 24 hours when they start playing DFS. Consider what that means for TV ratings, and TV ratings translate to more money for rights fees, cable subscription fees and advertising rates."
So that's like seven hours more a week. Many might say pfft, so what, no big deal.
Consider how much more a TV network can earn with an extra seven hours a week.
Consider that the average Netflix watcher watches 10.5 hours a week of Netflix and it's worth $20 billion.
It is a big deal. It's a very big deal. By giving people an avenue to consume your product intensively, like daily fantasy sports is, it becomes "accretive" and "synergies" take hold.
Racing on the other hand, spends a whack of money and time to get you, the user, to watch it.
There's giveaways, red carpets, people singing songs we don't know, a dude who was married to Heather Locklear playing the star spangled banner, America's Best Racing, Derby parties, Ils sont parties, Kegasus, Bo Derek, Richard Grunder, Go Baby Go, handicapping contests, the DRF, Mike Battaglia, Ray Paulick, urinal runs, TwinspiresTV, Ed DeRosa, Sid Fernando twitter feeds, the dude who looks like Ed Helms on TVG, @itsthejho, jockey fights, ABR buses, Horse Racing Now apps, Zenyatta, Churchill Downs stock options, Mike Maloney, Derby Wars, Man o' War, Seabiscuit movies, Secretariat movies, Richard Dreyfuss movies, and a 1980's rock band playing at Hollywood Park. OK, scratch that last one.
In no way belittling that list (some are good ideas and my best peeps on the twitter and elsewhere), does that translate to 7 more hours a week, each week?
Horse racing is a gambling game, and what makes people play more horse racing, and invest in PP's, touts, open Twinspires accounts, search for rebates, read work reports, watch video, watch on TV, go to the track, and spend more than one hour a week to handicap one Grade I race, is winning money betting. When the game is priced in such a fashion where that is almost impossible, it becomes an albatross around the sports' neck.
Better pricing will not solve all of horse racing's problems, but it truly is the biggest issue stopping people from consuming more of the horse racing product. When 98% of your customers lose every year, and have for generations, you can't dress it up and sell it to them. People know when they're up against it, and when they have a chance, and by their patronage, they've been telling the sport that for decades.