New Friday night Harness TV Channel
A channel broadcasting harness racing, and only harness racing, will be launched this Friday.
For every Friday night for the next six weeks Trot Night will be broadcast on Sky Channel 83 from 5.30pm to 10.30pm. It's a trial its backers hope will become permanent.
This week it will feature the two meetings at Alexandra Park and Addington, with all races broadcast live.
"Your Friday nights won't be the same," says Jamie MacKinnon, the Auckland Trotting Club president who's behind the new show, "there'll be no greyhound racing or racing from unknown parts of the world. It will be wall-to-wall harness for five hours."
MacKinnon's been working on the concept since 2019.
"Ideally we want every Friday night to have a live harness race every 15 minutes just like the thoroughbreds have on a Saturday afternoon."
Trot Night will feature co-hosts, Karen Teague and Jason Teaz backed up by reporters Jo Stevens at Alexandra Park and Nigel Armstrong at Addington.
The TAB have agreed to allow the show to tap into Craig The Whale’s preview of every race, as well as broadcast each domestic race live (complete with dividends). The show will also be available on Facebook and Youtube.
Trackside will broadcast the two meetings as per usual.
The new show will be funded by the ATC, HRNZ and sponsors Woodlands Stud and Stonewall Stud.
At the end of the six-week trial an in-depth review will be conducted with the clubs involved, HRNZ and the TAB.
“If we are successful in attracting and growing the audience expectations are that Trot Night will become a regular Friday night event,” says MacKinnon, "but we realise that six weeks is not long to build an audience."
The next 6 weeks looks like this on Sky Channel 83 from 5.30pm - 10.30 pm.
May 20 – Alexandra Park and Addington
May 27 – Alexandra Park and Addington
June 3 – Cambridge
June 10 – Alexandra Park
June 17 – Addington
June 24 – Addington