In a bid to make horseracing accessible to the broader South African public, the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and 4Racing have agreed to collaborate on a new project.
The two entities signed a major agreement that will see 4Racing produce and broadcast a 30-minute horse racing talk show every day on SABC Sport. The three-year deal ensures that the show, Racing Today, will run from Monday to Friday for 50 weeks a year.
According to the parties, Racing Today will see 10 of South Africa’s top racing events broadcast live in prime time on SABC 3.
It will cover everything related to horse racing in South Africa and SABC viewers will be able to enjoy live coverage of the best local and international races. The show will begin broadcasting from April this year on:
The head of sport for SABC, Gary Rathbone pointed out that horse racing has been a major part of the corporation’s sport offering for a long time. “After a long absence from our platforms, it’s great to have the sport of kings back on air on the Public Broadcaster,” he said.
Rathbone said that being able to feature the country’s best thoroughbreds and champion jockeys battling it out in iconic races on the annual racing calendar is something that is sure to excite millions of South Africans who will now have access to the best racing on offer “live and free on the SABC.”
The chief executive of 4Racing, Fundi Sithebe said: “We are delighted to partner SABC in this multi-year deal to ensure the sport of horse racing returns as a regular addition to SABC’s premier sports programming. Having the country’s largest free-to-air broadcaster, with an audience reach of over 32 million across the country, helps us to fulfil our mandate to reach new audiences, grow participation in and knowledge of the sport, and make horse racing more accessible.”
“Through the SABC’s coverage over the years of legendary South African horses like Wolf Power, Horse Chestnut, Jet Master, Sea Cottage and Pocket Power, and jockeys like Felix Coetzee, Michael ‘Muis’ Roberts, Pierre Strydom and Jeff Lloyd, horse racing became a premier sport and those horses and jockeys household names across the country.”
In other news that promises to be good for the local horse racing industry, South Africa’s 24-hour horse racing channel, Racing 240 said that it will be available for viewing in territories that form part of the South African Development Community.
Broadcasting was only available in the South African market until now, when it was launched on DStv Channel 240 in January this year. It was launched ahead of the World Sports Betting Cape Town Met. Many of the top premier events such as the Summer Cup in Gauteng and the SA Triple Crown will be shown exclusively on Racing 240. Racing 240 is available on DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact and DStv Family packages.