Digital Content Straight from the Horse's Mouth

1 May 2002

Armchair bettors in the United Kingdom have a new option for horse racing news and stats: the attheraces digital TV channel.

Launched Wednesday morning, the channel is available to BSkyB family package subscribers. Hannah Walker, spokeswoman for attheraces, said the channel will reach approximately 6 million homes, or about 15 million viewers.


"The purpose of the channel is to make racing more appealing and acceptable to a fresh and younger generation while maintaining the existing audience."
-Hannah Walker
attheraces

For now, the channel consists of racing coverage. By the end of May, interactive betting will be available.

The digital television channel will broadcast races from 49 British racecourses for 14 hours a day--from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

As the average racing fan gets older and older, Walker said, it will be a focus for the channel to get younger viewers hooked on horse racing.

"The purpose of the channel is to make racing more appealing and acceptable to a fresh and younger generation while maintaining the existing audience," she said.

Brad Higgins, attheraces' programming director, said the operation desires to bring "fresh impetus into the sport, breaking down traditional barriers and demystifying betting."

"Our objective is to meet the demands of existing racing enthusiasts as well as engaging the non-traditional racing audience through innovative, informative and compelling features fronted by our team of 10 presenters who combine youth and experience, and new and established faces," Higgins said.

In an article in racingpost.co.uk, Rodney Masters called the station's inaugural day "encouraging."

"It was a solid, professional launch day," he wrote, "with plenty to satisfy the punters, including regular messages on market moves from (presenter John) McCrirck, plus, importantly, latest updates from the betting exchanges."

attheraces, which also offers race betting on the Internet, is operated by Arena Leisure, BSkyB and Channel 4.