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Greyhounds: Unequal battle against live TV is already over.

Byline: JONATHAN KAY

SPORTS Betting editor Bruce Millington knows a bit about the greyhound game, having cut his teeth in the Catford racing office and then as a reporter on the Greyhound Life, so when he expressed his potential fears for some tracks in view of the impending launch of William Hill TV it was time to take note.

The main thrust of Millington's piece in his Thursday column last week was that nightly televising of the sport could see the casual racegoer decide to stay in at home, watch a bit of football and drink a few cans from the off-licence. The reality is that they are doing that already.

Greyhound racing has long considered the battle against live televised football an unequal one, which is why Wednesdays, in particular, have become the quiet night of the week. Only recently, it was announced that Oxford would switch from Thursdays to Fridays in the New Year.

Ultimately, it is probably not too fanciful to suggest that those tracks left racing midweek will probably just be those that are being televised, with others switching to the more lucrative Friday and Saturday slots where the leisure - hence more casual - customer is better inclined for a big night out and let the hair down.

At least those that do race for the TV cameras should be encouraging massively increased betting turnover, a small portion of which will eventually filter through to the coffers of the British Greyhound Racing Fund.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 22, 2004
Words:246
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