Friday, November 24, 2023

Horse Racing's Black Friday

 On this Black Friday it's impossible for me to not share this gem from Bucky. 

We get he's poking fun and joking around, but satire only works if there's some truth to it. 

Over in Canuckland I noticed a very enticing Black Friday deal on something you'd never get a Black Friday deal on - sports programming. This programming has been costing more and more, and high carriage rates have followed. Online live streaming cost in the U.S. for example, with Fubo or Sling have been going up and up, primarily due to expensive live sports. ESPN have cut staff because of it. 

TSN in Canada, with TSN+ is discounted 40% - it's only $119.99 for an entire year. $10 per month. I'm honestly not sure how they did this. It was very surprising because this feels not only poor business from a CLV perspective, it feels break even at best. 

This is probably a much better deal than a horse racing ADW having a Black Friday sale of deposit $1,000, bet it, and get $200. There we'd bet $1,000, contribute $200 in rake anyway. We'd win, theoretically $960 back, and rebet that four or five times. And we'd be stickier in the ADW, playing more and more, exactly what we're supposed to be doing. 

You'd expect a quasi-monopoly in sports programming like Bell in Canada (who owns TSN) to find it incredibly hard to offer 40% off a years programming. But they did. 

Horse racing (not a monopoly in gambling) can't even enter the same zip code. In fact, even with a hundred million or so of subsidy, like at Kentucky Downs has, means a Black Friday increase in prices, not a reduction. 

If you're looking for a Black Friday deal in the sport I noticed Horse Racing Nation had one on content. But if you're betting into an ADW, pony up the big rake for another year. It's just the way things are run.


Chris is hard at work at his Bet With the Best pod. He had Emily from Optix and Steve Crist the last couple of weeks. 

Monday, November 20, 2023

"We Watch the Races"

I was listening to the Forward Progress show on the NFL today and they were talking about end of game time management and why many coaches have real trouble optimizing the clock. 

@clevta made an interesting point. He said he actually talked to a coach about it, and the coach told him they're weaker at it because they only watch their own games. Meanwhile, people who wager and are fans watch every game, with every situation. This is especially done now, with Red Zone and Sunday Ticket, as well as all the analysis that follows. 

That makes perfect sense to me. Head coaches are CEO's who are extremely busy with game plans, injuries, television, etc etc. How could they possibly watch every end-game scenario like we do?

This in my view is similar to racing, and why we catch things your every day track exec might be late to the game on. 

Scratching horses at the gate and not delaying a pick 5 wager? The latest barn that's hot? Slow quarters, or favorites stiffed? Betting odds changes? The list goes on and on. 

We watch them in real time, each and every day. And we have money on them, so the profit motive - something that's made this world work for 300 plus years - is alive and well with us. 

I remember years ago chatting with a track executive (who was really talented and one of the good guys) and mentioned this new barn that was a probable front for a suspended trainer. The new trainer barely made three starts, but anyone who bet the game knew the score, and was cashing at 5-2 or lower on these horses (today these horses would've probably been 2-5 with so little public cash in the pools). He didn't even know what I was talking about. 

He's working 8 to 5 dealing with governments, horsemen groups, spreadsheets and everything else. 

NFL bettors watch the games and we watch the races. We need to remember, not all are able to in the same way. 

The NFL has partially addressed this by hiring people who understand the clock who advise the coach. It appears horse racing hasn't bridged this gap the same way........ yet.  

Note- The FanDuel tote snafu was talked about at HRU. The lack of innovation in the game was the focus. 

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