Our Top Ten Wishlist For Ch78-Aussieraces.com
Our Top Ten Wish List For
Digital Racing Channel 78
“With Channel 78 we’re heading into a brave new world of racing”
(Tom Biddington Racing.com)
1. In With The New
It’s a ‘new’ channel. So let’s have some new presenters, personalities and programmes. Horse racing is a tight knit industry that can be difficult for outsiders to break into. Break down the barriers and recruit some new talent with fresh ideas from outside the industry.
2. Make It Female Friendly
Horse racing has always been a male dominated industry. The new channel can help address the gender imbalance by employing some genuinely knowledgeable female presenters to engage us on race days and for special segments and shows. How about a programme along the lines of Channel Ten’s ‘Studio 10’ show – a roundtable of mainly female presenters discussing topical aspects of horse racing?
3. A Youth Oriented Show
Rocker Alice Cooper used to sing about ‘the Department Of Youth’. Let’s hope Channel 78 have just such a department. Other than at carnival times, horse racing has failed to engage youth en masse. Young people don’t read newspapers or watch TV like they once did. They heavily use social media so produce an interactive show with twenty somethings that reaches young people through those avenues - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. For horse racing to grow and prosper it needs to capture the imagination of the younger generation.
4. Cater For Punters - Channel 78’s Major Target Market
Only about 1 in every 10 adults regularly has a bet each week on the horse races. This is Ch78’s key target market. This means outside of carnival times Ch78 will always have a relatively small or niche audience. This bread and butter audience possesses a genuine interest in horse racing and is keen to learn more about it. They are punters - so they are especially interested in learning about how to win at the caper. Ch78 needs to employ people who possess the specialist knowledge and who can communicate it in an entertaining way.
5. Improve The Picture Quality
According to technology expert Adam Turner from the Sydney Morning Herald “The new channel (78) clearly skimps on picture quality, the fast-moving horses are a bit of a blobby pixelated mess”. That’s exactly how it looks on my television when the races are shown. This technical issue needs to be addressed.
6. Replays, Replays, Replays
Punters are like everybody else these days – they are busy with work, family and endless other activities. We can’t always be watching the box when the races are on so let us see the good stuff we missed later in the evening when the day’s racing is over, all the horses are tucked away in their stables (and the kids are tucked into bed).
7. Presentation Is The Key
As Hal Todd used to say when spruiking Del Monti Suits on late night television - “Look good, feel good, are good”. Dress up the Channel 78 sets and the presenters. Start with one particular less than sartorial commentator who needs to have a makeover and jettison his outdated 80’s ‘bag of fruit’, lavender shirt and purple striped tie.
8. Go Easy On The Soap
We can cope with the seemingly endless cross promotions to other Channel 7 shows via interviews with soapie starlets and would be chefs during the Flemington carnival but please keep a lid on the froth and bubble and bubble and squeak and concentrate on racing during the rest of the year.
9. Stifle Censorship
Ok Racing Victoria - we understand you’re holding the reins - but don’t muzzle Ch78 presenters so they just become mouthpieces for those who govern racing. That’s the job of PR people. Racing radio stations and print media around the country are now owned by the racing industry or betting agencies which has been detrimental to the cause of free speech. Set commentators free and Channel 78 can fly. Will there be controversial stuff said? Let’s hope so - or Channel 78 could become snoozeville.
10. Don’t Let The Admen Turn Us Into Madmen
A major income stream for Channel 78 will be advertising from corporate bookmakers. Management will need to handle this carefully or risk the new station becoming a noisy, non stop advertisement for corporate bookies - which no one wants to see. Remember the widespread anger when Tom Waterhouse was on our screens annoyingly spruiking his company so often that the government had to get involved and get him off?
Aussieraces.com July 2015