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Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's Post Time!

The problem with nightly racing shows is they preach to the choir; being geared towards existing racing fans as the shows tend to be merely recaps of the evening's races; possibly adding an interview with a trainer or driver that to a non-racing fan would be quite boring. The Hambletonian and Thoroughbred Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup broadcasts are a little better. There may be some features about the horses and owners, but the vast majority of the time the emphasis is spent on the upcoming race and the gambling aspect of the race. These 'event' shows may draw interest from non-racing fans as well, but by the end of the broadcast, they haven't really learned anything which will make them interested in going to the races. The problem with these shows is they lack entertainment and educational values.

Fortunately, harness racing does have a weekly show which educates and entertains the general public. The show is called "Post Time" and is hosted by Heather Moffett. Now in its twelfth year, Post Time is the perfect vehicle to get new people interested in harness racing. If you are a hard core gambler, this show is not for you as gambling is de-emphasized. The emphasis of this half hour program is to get people interested in harness racing and this is accomplished by showing what a great sport harness racing is as are the people involved. There are plenty of features involving drivers, trainers and owners, sometimes serious, sometimes not. There are educational segments as well as entertainment features in the program along with a recap of some of the races conducted the past week. Through this program, novices and people who never have attended a race learn about the fundamentals of standardbred racing in a non-threatening environment and learn of upcoming events. With some of the features dealing with horsemen getting involved in charitable events, the viewer can develop a positive view of racing. The bottom line is the viewer learns that racings is fun and are hopefully enticed to attend the races. For a sampling of the show, here is a portion of the 2009 Year in Review show.

The show is televised on Sunday and Monday mornings in the Delmarva area and is later posted on Youtube. Unfortunately, being the show is geared towards racing in the Delmarva region, in its current format the show has only a local appeal. Ideally, the show would go national with Heather doing many of the features with perhaps local correspondents to customize segments of the show for local markets. If that can't be done, other racetracks should try to develop shows of a similar format for their geographical area.

No, Post Time isn't going to get big time gamblers suddenly betting on harness racing, but what it will do is help attract a new generation of race fans; something which is important to do. After all, I haven't heard any track having to turn away newcomers lately.

1 comment:

janet said...

i am a huge fan of the show...and heather does an outstanding job...the idea of it going widespread with her at the controls is an awesome idea!! Someone contact a network will ya!! Our sport needs something like that!!!