The Jockey Club announced today that Hawthorne Race Course is the first racetrack to make use of its High Definition (HD) Grant Fund and will begin broadcasting all of its races in HD for the 2019 spring racing season, which began on March 15.
Stuart S. Janney III, chairman of The Jockey Club, announced the creation of the HD Grant Fund at the 2018 Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing in response to findings from McKinsey & Company's 2018 analysis of the Thoroughbred industry that were presented at the conference. The McKinsey team found that less than one-third of all racetracks broadcast on TVG provided HD signals, and they recommended that racetracks upgrade to HD signals to be competitive with other sports following the legalization of sports betting.
Through the HD Grant Fund, qualifying tracks may receive up to $150,000 to purchase or lease HD production equipment.
“We are very excited about being able to showcase Illinois racing in HD and seeing the product up and running,” said Tim Carey, president and general manager of Hawthorne. “We are thankful for The Jockey Club's generosity for enabling us to make much-needed upgrades to our equipment and make our races more attractive to watch for fans and bettors.”
“The Jockey Club recognizes the importance of HD signals for showcasing horse racing, and we were happy to assist Hawthorne in making the switch,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. “We are looking forward to seeing how this upgrade positively impacts Hawthorne and how our grant fund can help other tracks upgrade to HD in the near future.”
Additional grants to racetracks for HD conversions are expected throughout 2019.
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