ESPN's strategy ongoing has been heavily focused on mobile, and sharing stories and media via various social media avenues and platforms. They are looking at leveraging top content the best they can, and have moved away from 'niche' content, including horse racing. Very interesting read.
I found one part that really rings true in horse racing:
"ESPN could follow the example of other legacy media companies and selfishly hoard their best content—video, audio, and text—while praying that younger audiences learn to watch and pay for ESPN just like their parents did. Instead, ESPN seems impressively open to learning how the digital generation clicks on and watches ESPN."
Hoarding signals (sometimes not selling them to everyone, which angers customers), charging for race replays, past performances, and "praying" the audience keeps paying high takeout to consume the sport the same way it did in 1960, seems to continue to be horse racing's method of operation. I don't know if another one would be better, but the old models really don't seem to be working very well.
It's a good edition of harnessracingupdate.com today. Finley has a look at the fair racing in Indiana (mainly the Amish), racing different breeds and distances. Pretty fascinating. In other news, a story I had not heard - the "King", George Anthony being let go at Pocono - gets elaborated upon. According to George, the straw that broke the camel's back was apparently a cheap room rate for driver Brian Sears. Worth a read.
The Big M goes to 8% takeout for their 5th race Super High Five for the rest of the meet. It's not been heavily promoted, and it is a harder to hit bet, but it's something players need to look into. If you are a superfecta player, you probably want to stay out of that pool in race 5 (20% juice), because you will make more money when you hit the bet.
The Calgary Stampede - the world's biggest rodeo - has disqualified a participant for abuse of an animal.
- "The six judges, along with Calgary Stampede officials, unanimously made the decision to disqualify Cooper after seeing him repeatedly and aggressively using his rope on his horse during the run," said Kristina Barnes, a spokeswoman for the Stampede, in an email."The Calgary Stampede takes its animal care protocols very seriously and enforces them among anyone who handles animals on Stampede Park, whether its staff, volunteers or competitors."
Canterbury Park issued a press release when they lowered their pick 3 takeout to 14% a few years ago. This year they raised the pick 3 rake to 23%, but it appears they didn't tell anyone. How the state, or provinces, or the CPMA in Canada, allows tracks to raise hidden fees (takeout is a hidden fee, it's why people don't notice right away) without blaring it across the airways - their track feeds, programs, etc - is beyond me. Maybe the state just doesn't care? They should, because we pay taxes for them to protect consumers.
Meanwhile, Laurel has lowered some rakes - Super High 5, Pick 5, Pick 6. All harder to hit bets, but there is a Pick 5 carryover today. Maryland racing has bad branding with horseplayers, but this is a good first step for them to start to win back some goodwill.
Have a great day everyone.