Cape Town - The SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and 4Racing have signed a major agreement to ensure the sport of horseracing is again accessible and available to the broader South African public on free-to-air television.
The agreement will see 4Racing produce and broadcast a daily 30-minute horse racing talk show called ‘Racing Today’ on SABC Sport from Monday to Friday over a three-year period for 50 weeks a year.
It will also see 10 of the country’s top showpiece horse racing events being broadcast live in prime time on SABC 3.
‘Racing Today’ will from April 2022 be available on the 24-hour SABC Sports Channel on the SABC’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) service, on the Open View HD Channel 124 and on the TelkomONE streaming service.
Fundi Sithebe, Chief Executive Officer of 4Racing 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.
The new daily talk show ‘Racing Today’ on SABC Sport will cover everything horse racing related, while live coverage of the best local and international races will deliver the exhilaration, drama and prestige that are synonymous with racing to SABC’s viewers.
Head of Sport for SABC, Gary Rathbone, said that “horse racing has long been a major part of the SABC Sport offering and after a long absence from our platforms, it’s great to have the sport of kings back on air on the Public Broadcaster”.
“Being able to feature South Africa’s best thoroughbreds and champions jockeys fighting it out in these iconic races on the annual calendar is something I’m sure will excite millions of South Africans who will now be able to access the best racing on offer live and free on the SABC,” Rathbone added.
Stephen Watson, Head of 4Racing TV and Executive Director of Discover Digital, said: “this deal with SABC is a significant one for us at 4Racing and for all current and prospective punters and racegoers who love the sport”.
“We have been working with SABC over the last year and this partnership has already seen live coverage of major race days such as the World Sports Betting Cape Town Met and Summer Cup and the L’Ormarins Queens Plate, while we’ve also assisted Gold Circle to get one of the country’s biggest and most important race days, the Gold Cup, broadcast live on SABC 3.”