Good morning folks.
On Awful Announcing, columnist Matt Zemek tore a hide off ESPN for what he thinks is the dumbing down of tennis coverage. He also skewers the network for something very familiar to horse racing fans:
"Casual sports fans and TV viewers might not be able to appreciate this, which is perfectly understandable, but let it be known: The serious tennis fan wants to see the close, competitive match between journeymen or second-tier players over the lopsided (or just-beginning) match involving a superstar in week one of a tournament. Similarly, the serious tennis fan would much rather see live tennis — if live tennis is going on — instead of anchor-desk commentary."
Zemek praises the soccer coverage in the US since the 1990's for not talking down to the audience.
"A discussion of the televised coverage of tennis, or any other niche-sport product in the marketplace, is best advanced by pointing to the rapid growth and improvement in the coverage of soccer in the United States.
"Soccer coverage — not just availability of matches, but discussion and intelligent treatment — has increased over the past decade because TV networks have taken soccer seriously. To be more precise, they have covered soccer the way soccer fans would want the sport to be covered.
"In the coverage of any sport, any outlet should strive for nothing other than treating the subject matter intelligently, the way fans expect their sport to be treated. It’s that simple."
I think a lot of horse racing fans would agree. I don't watch national TV coverage of horse racing because it does dumb things down. I understand the thought process with niche sports, but I think the column has some merit.
The world of daily fantasy sports is a little different than the world of horse racing (when it comes to the customer and gambling side, that is). The competition is real, with new entrants, and legacy companies (if you can call them that - they started in and around 2011) are not standing pat.
Draft Kings has not only sponsored the Belmont Stakes, but is also at the WSOP and has sponsored a building - Madison Square Garden. Both of the big two have invested heavily in mobile and have concentrated on the user experience. I have long been impressed with Draft Kings. They were number two (and still are), but their UI is excellent (especially with mobile) and they have been experimenting with golf and MMA. I believe they are really closing the gap on the industry leader.
Draft Kings - also at the link above - is expanding into the UK. I imagine DFS soccer is the main goal there.
Handle in racing was down in June, but it really wasn't too bad. Gulfstream's signal has changed the measurement of handle the last couple of years, Hollywood Park is closed, higher handle tracks like Del Mar are racing more. Woodbine's 2015 handle is inflated with exchange rate changes. It's become a little apple to grapefruity. However, as costs continue to rise for horse owners (probably well above the inflation rate), and tracks, horse racing needs to grow handle at the very least with population growth and inflation. It needs to generate 2% or so handle growth each year to break even. It's not and that's worrisome.
The big days continue to do fairly well, however, and I think in many ways they have grown with inflation and population growth. Networks are paying more for big events, the must see events have been growing (e.g. the Mayweather fight or the women's World Cup), and it appears to be a trend. As well, horseplayers who wait in the wings for a decent card to bet have been pouncing on some big days with their handle.
Often times insiders are quick to use big events as a barometer for the health of the sport and I think that's a bit of a red herring - the sport of horse racing runs on average daily handle, not one off handle. But, it's still good news because they are putting on cards to hold some interest for those ground down by high juice, and/or lack of bettable fields. The Hong Kong Jockey Club's VP of Wagering once presented to the Asian Gaming Summit how important it is to keep bettors engaged. When you don't, they leave and many stay away forever. At the very least, the big days keep people engaged.
Have a good day everyone.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Most Trafficked, Last 12 Months
I continue to be fascinated with both the press and general football fan reaction to the Bill Belichick 4th down decision in Sunday's ga...
Last night's Uncle Bill twitter spaces, where TVG's Fanduel's Mike Joyce joined some raucous horseplayers was, well, kind of in...
This past weekend's racing proves to me that this game, although, yes, with less public money, with the teams, with the sharps (which no...
Super Spectacular Blog Vol 8 - Preakness Day Thoughts. Rudulph, TVG Actually Doesn't Mention ITP, Go and No Go - Why Sharps Use Board Odds, The Value of Powerful Cards, & You Know You're Ice Cold When You Lose a Mascot RaceWelcome to the 8th edition of the Monday Super Spectacular Blog! It was Preakness week and frankly instead of a horse racing pool, next yea...
I was outside awhile back and noticed some kids playing with the pigskin. They flipped me the ball and I sent one kid on a fly pattern. I ga...
Monday's Super Spectacular Blog Vol 4 - Maloney, Twitter Dust Ups, Seconditis, $111k Scores, A Potential Consistent Judging Sighting, Joyce & ITP Visit Frank Stronach, Probabilities & the Best Wager in the NationWelcome to the fourth edition of the Super Spectacular Blog . I truly appreciate those of you who read this each week. Even when I weed out ...
Monday's Super Spectacular Blog - CRW Symptoms of a Business Disease, Pushing 2YO's, Curious Preps, ITP-Joyce Buddy Movie Update & A Guest Appearance from Kiefer SutherlandWelcome again to the Super Spectacular Blog! Thank you, as always, for reading and supporting our many advertisers. And to the Russian bots...
Monday's Super Spectacular Blog - In a Sixth Sense Like Twist Scott Daruty Proves Low Rake Works, Fixed Odds Probably Doesn't, Good Pick 5 Finds, Forte vs Mage & an ITP Basement UpdateLast week's inaugural Super Spectacular Monday Blog got a lot of hits, and not just from Russian bots (although cпасибо to all Russian r...
Sinking marketing money directly into the horseplayer by seeding pools is effective, in both theory and practice In Ontario and elsewher...