Television

Ten Sports airs live horse racing for first time

MUMBAI: The Mumbai horse racing season has come alive for the first time for Indian viewers courtesy Ten Sports. The event has been made possible due to a tie up between the channel and the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC).

The programme premiered on the channel on I5 December 2002 with the Kingfisher 1000 Guineas and will continue to enthrall racing enthusiasts with live action every Sunday at 4:30 pm.

For nearly 20 weeks, every Sunday afternoon, the channel will telecast 50 major races live including The McDowell's Indian Derby, The McDonalds Indian Oaks and The Poonawalla Breeders Multi-Million. Leading international jockeys from England and Ireland are competing against prominent Indian ones during this racing season at Mahalaxmi. This programme will add to Mumbai's allure as a glamorous and heritage tourist destination in India.

The channel has also started an SMS based contest in which viewers have to predict the winning horse in a major race. The winner gets to see the racing action live at the Mahalaxmi Race Course. The UB group, is the presenting sponsor for the programme on Ten Sports. The associate sponsor is Procter and Gamble.

Meanwhile, in the US, passion for the sport of horse racing has spawned HorseRacing TV (HRTV), a 24-hour cable television network providing exclusive live thoroughbred, harness and quarter horse racing action from racetracks in the United States and Canada.

The network claims to provide a new guaranteed revenue option for cable system operators. It delivers wire-to-wire coverage of live horse racing from more than 70 racetracks, along with post parades, odds and race results for up to 15 hours per day. The remainder of the programme schedule includes replays and educational programming related to the sport of horse racing. The announcement has been made by Magna Entertainment Corp (MEC) which claims to be North America's number one owner and operator of thoroughbred racetracks.

All live racing content on HRTV is available for wagering, where permitted by law, via the phone or Internet through XpressBet (http://www.xpressbet.com), MEC's l account wagering system.HRTV will be available to cable operators as a free basic service. The network offers guaranteed per-subscriber carriage fees to operators in 34 states across the US where XpressBet accepts in-home wagers, MEC owns, operates or manages racetracks, and/or horse racing television coverage is strategically important.

Ten Sports however will not be venturing into such uncharted territory in India. A channel spokesperson says the channel will not be providing a betting or a wager service for fans of the sport. Channel concentration will rest on delivering quality coverage.

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