The USTA's Broadcast Committee has reported its findings regarding the feasibility of promoting harness racing on television as well as forms of digital media. It has also announced it will at the request of other tracks to increase the budget for television this year from $50,000 to $150,000 at the USTA's annual meeting.
Racetracks should not expect such largess from the USTA much longer, if it is even approved for this year. It is clear the future of racing being broadcast lies elsewhere, on digital media platforms. For the younger generation has largely abandoned traditional television and cable for subscription and digital platforms and the number of viewers of sporting events including racing on regular cable and traditional over the air is going to continue to decrease. To broadcast using traditional methods will mean paying more per viewer each year to get the product on the air; a luxury the industry can't afford.
The committee has pointed out the future lies on digital media or subscription services. The story on the USTA website goes into further detail.
In the meanwhile, it will be interesting to hear the actual report at the USTA annual meeting and see what direction the USTA decides to go in.