February 23, 2008 at 17:01 #6831davidbradyMember
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Notwithstanding that Fairyhouse went off late due to prolonged stewards enquiry in the previous race, we have a cl5 Hcp Ch from Chepstow taking precedence over a Gr2 Ch from Fairyhouse which features the current ante-post favourite for the Grand National
A bit of perspective ATR please!February 23, 2008 at 19:16 #145930RockytonyMember
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What I can’t work out with ATR is that they have the red button, why can’t they have one race on the main channel and the other one behind the red button, they could have commentary on both just like they do on Sky news, in this day and age it can’t be that hard to doFebruary 23, 2008 at 19:32 #145934sberryMember
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i always thought the red button was for their ‘partners’ or betting partners who are why as far as i can gather why we’ve not had to pay for atr, along with the advertsFebruary 23, 2008 at 19:45 #145936RockytonyMember
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i always thought the red button was for their ‘partners’ or betting partners who are why as far as i can gather why we’ve not had to pay for atr, along with the adverts
Yes but surely it’s in there betting partners interest for people to be able to watch the race with commentary, how much time would it take up over a week? I doubt it would be more then a couple of hours, but then you are right about getting the channel for free so I suppose we can’t complain to much.February 23, 2008 at 20:39 #145947steveh31Participant
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What I can’t work out with ATR is that they have the red button, why can’t they have one race on the main channel and the other one behind the red button, they could have commentary on both just like they do on Sky news, in this day and age it can’t be that hard to do
Because we don’t all have the red button featureFebruary 24, 2008 at 07:21 #145995
Hi David. I think ‘taking precedence’ is overstating it. Producer did his best in a situation with an unavoidable clash to give as much uninteruppted coverage of both races as possible in full screen mode. The Chepstow race was always going to be over with more than a mile still to run in the Bobbyjo. Hence the decision to stay with Chepstow and then go to Ireland for the final mile. Had they jumped off at the same time over identical trips the Irish race would have been given the larger slot on the split screens on the basis of the class of the horses running in it. These are never straightforward decisions though and whilst some will argue for coverage of the better race in such an instance (me included very often) others will point out that the Chepstow race will have generated betting turnover several times that of the Irish race and may be of interest to the larger number of viewers. I think the decisions made in this particular instance were correct but you’ll never please all of the people all of the time. As for the red button facility that’s no longer an option in terms of splitting up race coverage as the feed that it runs on is used for an overseas service which now goes out (principally to Australia I believe). It’s frustrating as that was a handy alternative (for those who had access to it) but it’s just not an option any longer.February 24, 2008 at 07:56 #145998seabirdParticipant
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Thanks for that response, Sean.
You’re right, in situations like that you can’t keep everyone happy.
But ATR seem much more positive in their attitude of keeping their advertisers happy rather than their viewers.
Can you confirm that there is a deliberate policy to go to an ad break at approximately four minutes before a race?
Thus insuring that we don’t get a view of the horses at perhaps the most important time as far as having a punt is concerned.
It does become a bit of a shambles at times, and it has been known for the start of a race to be missed.
I’ll accept that on days such as yesterday, with four meetings being covered, that there isn’t a lot of time for shots of the horses before races, but this still happens when the racing day isn’t so busy.
Again, I’ll accept that there has to be ad break if we are to get ‘free to air’ coverage but the blatant preference shown to advertisers needs rather than punters enjoyment is, to say the least, very irritating.
ColinFebruary 24, 2008 at 08:40 #146002SeagullMember
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Thanks for your detailed reply.
I do actually think you care about the channel you work for or at least that is what comes across to the veiwers.
I know that you are not in control over what viewers see but I do watch ATR on an almost daily basis.
It is so frustrating to have an advertisement break that normally ends a few seconds before a race you are covering is about to start. So there is often no late betting shows and often we do not know what horse may have not be even in line at the start of a National Hunt race or what horse may have been very difficult to load into the starting stalls both often factors when deciding to have a bet or not.
I think on days where RUK have no live racing that you would have 99.9% of the racing viewers and they are unlikely to want to switch to watch re runs on RUK.
Can you please inform your programe directors of the concerns expressed on horse racing websites such as this one and others about why there is always an ad break before a race.
Can you request they give a few months trial of having the ad break after a race has ended as I am sure the numbers watching may actually rise rather than fall.
After watching ATR for a month or so most of us know line for line what words and phases the advertisements contain anyway!
‘I love the sixties’ ‘reconsolidate your debts’ ‘I am on the phone to Picture and yes we do have a mortgage’ ‘You will not get back what you have paid in’ all spring to mind!
rgdsFebruary 24, 2008 at 08:58 #146003yeatsParticipant
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The split screen is wholly unsatisfactory, my own view and that of most people I’ve spoken to is that one race at once is preferable in full screen. Quite often it is impossible to distinguish the horses in the other race particularly in big fields in Ireland. Why not show the Chepstow race in full screen then the Fairyhouse race in full screen for the final mile.
As Sean is on the thread I would like to ask him why it is neccessary to talk over the first furlong of races (is it company policy) before handing over to the commentator, there was also a delay before the commentary kicked in, it happened at Lingfield yesterday for most of the races including listed ones, it is very annoying particularly if something happens in the early stages and is missed on camera but spotted by the commentator. Apart from that you’re doing a good jobFebruary 24, 2008 at 10:30 #146017
All I know about ads is that the number of ad slots per hour is not negotiable. They have to be fitted in. As for missing the starts of races due to ads I do think that in fairness that has improved a lot and is very rare indeed these days. I don’t know anyone who works on the programme making side at ATR who is not a racing fan and we’d all be very happy not to have ads at all but that would require a different business model. Yeats, of course it’s not policy to talk over the starts of races and if you can find an example of me, or anyone else, talking over a furlong of a race I’d be amazed. It is sometimes necessary to go right up to the start when we are not in direct contact with the commentator or the commentator is saying nothing or talking to someone else. It’s also sometimes the case that on busy days key information needs to be put out and that may overlap with the start of a race or cause us to dip into a race but such interruptions are kept to a minimum. Of course, there are ocassions when I cock it up! That’s the nature of employing humans as fallible as me.February 24, 2008 at 10:44 #146019seabirdParticipant
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Again, thanks for not dodging the question, Sean.
"………As for missing the starts of races due to ads I do think that in fairness that has improved a lot and is very rare indeed these days. …………."
I would suggest that even "very rare" is too often and totally unacceptable.
ColinFebruary 24, 2008 at 10:52 #146024
I wouldn’t disagree Colin.February 24, 2008 at 12:23 #146063davidbradyMember
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Thanks for the reply Sean (and everybody else of course)
I don’t doubt that it is betting turnover which swings the decision.
I would just prefer to see the better quality race, irrespective of country, every time.February 24, 2008 at 12:26 #146067WallaceParticipant
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Many thanks for Sean for his post.
I think advertising (and in particular the kind targeted at racing) is very annoying and detracts from the sport. I would be prepared to pay for a subscription service with no advertising. On the days where there are no Irish meetings its great to watch the ATR output on the red button service. The drop in picture quality in full screen mode is acceptable to avoid being bombarded with adverts.
It is very worrying how the creeping use of adverts (particularly SkyBet) is ruining the RUK coverage also.February 25, 2008 at 19:41 #146470BurroughhillParticipant
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The adverts are a necessary evil, and they’re not just shown minutes before a race, but minutes afterwards too, but it must be a nightmare for the producers who have no option but to show them, when they’ve got three or four meetings to cover and no real idea whether any particular race will go off on time or not! It’s no wonder that very, very occasionally, the first ten seconds of a race is missed.
Sean you do a great job, never speaking more than you have to over the start of a race. Wish I could say the same for a certain orange colleague of yours, but no, even he hasn’t let them go a furlong before shutting up in my experience.
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