THE ‘LIVE’ STREAMING OF RACES: WHY PAY? WHERE ARE THE INCENTIVES TO WATCH?
When the app called AUSRacing was blocked last year, many of us outside Oz and New Zealand shed a little tear. After all, for absolutely free, for over two years, we could watch on our smartphones every city and provincial race in Australia, seven days a week, tune into all the offline chatter when there were commercial breaks whereas the overnight odds and tips shown were deadly accurate and- again- free. How did the people behind the app make any money? Perhaps they didn’t? Why did they make the app available? A Robin Hood complex?
Alas, proudly showing the app to an aghast Bruce Mann during his very early days with TVN, no doubt brought an end to this service. This leads to the ‘live’ streaming of races and, more often than not, having to pay for this service. But why pay? Surely, the streaming of races benefits wagering- and if so, why should anyone pay for this, especially, when, at least, in the US and North America, the streaming of races is cobbled together with intrusive advertising and pathetic picture quality? But the quality of service aside, horse racing better understand that in this day and age of Anonymous, Wikileaks and characters like Kim Dotcom and the ease in which hackers are able to break into any industry like the copyright-based music, television and film industries, where today every new TV series and even film can be downloaded for free from sites like Pirate’s Bay, free porn sites are at everyone’s, well, fingertips with online dating site Ashley Madison recently having its data base stolen and made public, the subscription based ‘live’ streaming of races is a flawed business model.