THW: Racing Broadcast Problem

THE HOARSE WHISPERER  By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today,  27 May 2009, Wednesday

Racing Broadcast Problem       

Don Enrico scored back-to-back wins in this month’s Philippine Racing Commission-sponsored Gemstone stakes series by copping the 1,500-meter Emerald II S. at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite, last Sunday, May 24.

The 4YO bay colt by Philippine champion Wind Blown out of Australian mare Kayumanggi massacred a sparse field to cruise to an easy victory, executing the same strategy he unleashed last May 17 to win the mile Emerald I S. by many lengths.

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Jockey FM Raquel only shows the whip to Don Enrico. (Screenshot courtesy of SLBN.)

Ridden by Class A jockey Fernando Raquel Jr., the Lorraine Uy Wi-owned and Arturo Sordan-trained Don Enrico mowed down aging opponents Chariot of Fire, Mr. Victory, and Earl Grey even while carrying the heaviest impost at 57 kgs. Don Enrico logged 1:32.6 for the race.

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The field for the Philracom Emerald II S. running the first quarter of the race. (Screenshot courtesy of SLBN.)

With Don Enrico running as outstanding favorite and certain to score a fait accompli in that race, more attention was given to the other development that racing week – the intermittent failure of the live racing broadcast out of San Lazaro Leisure Park.

Fans were dismayed to see their television screens flicker or go to black at intervals during the entire coverage including the running of races beginning Wednesday last week. “System message” and “waiting for signal” texts popped up with frequency. The audio quality cycled from “good” to “poor” to “non-existent”.

Sagabal sa panunuod ng karera at pagsubaybay ng benta,” said “Nihawma”, a racing fan on the cyberforum thewinnersleague.com. A horseowner who regularly visits an off-track betting station claims that he saw customers fling down their programs and leave the OTB, disgusted at the wonky transmission.

With last year’s pullout of MJC’s previous coverage provider, Makisig Network, MJC set up its own production arm – San Lazaro Broadcast Network. Production and transmission are now handled in-house.

Knowledgeable sources say that SLBN dismissed power amplifier service provider Telered some months ago to save costs. SLBN then acquired Telered’s old power amplifier, while neglecting to provide a backup system. The amplifier failed last racing week. SLBN borrowed one from Destiny, but the latter had to take it back on Wednesday. It was thought that the Wednesday races would have to be cancelled, until SLBN rented an amplifier elsewhere.

SLBN has ordered a new power amplifier from abroad, but, as a broadcast equipment supplier commented, “These things are not bought off the shelf. They are custom-built. It will take eight weeks to do that, plus shipping time.”

A look at industry sales will show that since 2003 and the move of MJC’s racecourse to Cavite from Manila, around 95% of the racing club’s gross sales from wagers come from OTBs.  Without a decent broadcast, the OTBs will fail. Sales will slump even more.

With the worldwide recession and the decline of racing as a profitable business – witness the racetracks that have shut down in the US and other countries – Philippine racing must step up in order to be sustainable. More than 5,000 people depend on the industry for their livelihood. Millions in the country and abroad enjoy the sport.

As a racing commentator since 2002, a quality live racing broadcast has always been my advocacy. This is how the industry pulls in revenues that keep it alive. More importantly, this is the face that Philippine racing shows to the world. Why can’t the industry get its act together on this?   *** (Web: http://jennyo.net)

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3 Comments on THW: Racing Broadcast Problem

  1. NiHAWmA
    28 May 2009 at 1:19 am (3708 days ago)

    How can you enjoy the races during your leisure time IF what you’re going to see right infront of the TV monitors are messages like

    ” SYSTEM MESSAGE” “SEARCHING FOR SIGNAL”

    Don’t tell me that it is already BEYOND the responsibility of the racing manager and the rest of the staff (please refer to Philracom ruling Chapter 25 entitled POSITION DESCRIPTIONS AND JOB QUALIFICATIONS) If only, BEFORE, each and every racing day they have to conduct some testing just to make sure that it will not create any disappointments.

    It’s horrible. Annoying.

    The matrix keeps on changing without giving any chance at all to the betting public to stare at it because of the ENDLESS stream of messages appearing on the screen. “System Message. Searching for Signal”.

    Business is business BUT they should give importance to the betting public. Quality broadcast … please.

    Please take note that NOT ALL racing fans can afford to go to the race track. The great majority PREFERS to watch the races LIVE to their nearest off-track betting stations.

    And to add to the frustrations of the betting public are the BETTING MACHINES WHICH ARE NOT ENOUGH to accomodate the rest of the bettors. Have you ever thought of this?

    The same thing goes with SADDLE & CLUBS LEISURE PARK, last Tuesday, May 26, Races 4 upto Race 8 were cancelled because of technical difficulties (transmission broadcast).

    They say BOTH racing clubs are world class. BUT you must prove because there are foreign guest who are watching the races LIVE (if you want them to enjoy their stay).

    Philracom ruling Chapter 25:
    POSITION DESCRIPTIONS AND JOB QUALIFICATIONS

    PR 147. RACING MANAGER. – The Racing Manager shall be of legal age, of good moral character, has passed the examination given by the PHILRACOM, and has obtained from the same the required license.

    His duties and functions:

    6. The Racing Manager shall assure to the PHILRACOM that its facilities enumerated in Section 7 are kept and maintained in good and safe condition. For such purpose, the Racing Manager shall have supervision over all race facilities and devices.

    7. Before the start of the first race of the day, the Racing Manager, or in his absence, the assistant Racing Manager, shall see to it that all equipments, facilities and other requirements have been fully examined and are found to be in good condition. The Racing Manager will thereafter issue his certification that all the equipments, facilities and other requirements are in good condition, per his visual examination.

    8. Failure to comply with the provisions of this rules and regulations, or for any misrepresentations and false certification, the Racing Manager shall be punished.

    A. PENALTY FOR RACING MANAGER – For failure to comply with provisions of these rules and regulations, or for any misrepresentation and false certification, the Racing Manager shall be punished by a fine and/or by the suspension or revocation of his license.

  2. Alasan
    17 July 2009 at 5:44 am (3658 days ago)

    CUSTOMER means habitues while COSTUMER means one who makes costumes.

  3. jherry
    6 November 2009 at 8:02 am (3546 days ago)

    Dear jenny,

    I always see you in TV and i only hope i may meet you one of this days. Your cute sa Tv maybe even in person. Anyway just want to ask were can i get the tip of Ira Herrera and com. Boboc domingo even on sta ana races. Malaki believe ko kasi sa dalawa and pati yung partner mo si attorney i forgot the name. Anyway sana makatanggap ako ng mga tip nila araw araw . Hope you can give my cell to them 0928-6885417. thanks

    yours truly ,

    jherry