The first Saturday in May holds a special place in most racing fans calendar. The day of The Kentucky Derby. When Americans, who on most other days couldn’t care less about horse racing, go all in. Great marketing work from the track Churchill Downs. So great that racing people all over the world talk about it – although it essentially is a domestic American affair.
But (and here’s the point) most of us folks outside the US can’t watch it. I spent several hours trying to find ways of watching this fantastic race day from our base in Europe.
The tracks website? Only if you are based in the US and have an account. NBC Sports? I downloaded their App. on Apple TV full of hope – only to find that I was expected to prefer rugby from Wales… Racing UK? Showed re-runs of handicaps from a track somewhere in England. Dubai Racing TV?
I googled and googled and all I found was obscure websites that wanted my credit card number and suggested I log in via proxy…
My Facebook feed was full of people with the same problem. It was simply not possible to be a part of the build up that would lead to you ultimately placing a bet and generating revenue for the track and exposure for its sponsors.
It is 2016. Red Bull invent new sports by the dozen and downhill ice skating and airplane racing is poured out on our TV’s and smartphones all over the world. But the most exciting two minutes in sport remain a local affair hidden from the eyes of the world.
The good thing about this is that if racing can survive under such terms, the potential for growth is enormous!
* PS – In the end I managed to see The Derby on a betting site (racebets.com) after placing a small bet. But only just the race… nothing else.