Breeders’ Cup: FanDuel TV’s investment in TVG has earned support from horse racing fans

November 3, 2022 3:22 PM

Breeders’ Cup: FanDuel TV’s investment in TVG has earned support from horse racing fans

Photo: Shutterstock
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
November 3, 2022 3:22 PM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
  • United States
  • Kentucky
  • Other

Horse racing enthusiasts are fierce in their devotion to the sport, and often resistant to change.

When FanDuel’s purchase and rebranding of TVG, the premier horse racing network, was announced in August 2022, there was no small amount of concern and consternation among diehard bettors. Would the rebranded FanDuel TV keep covering the sport in depth? Would the hosts be retained?

FanDuel Vice President of TV Kevin Grigsby admits “racing customers and viewers were reluctant upon hearing the news.”

“But once we launched and they saw the investment we continue to make in racing, they’ve been supportive,” Grigsby says. “They’ve even had a similar reaction to the network programming like Up and Adams and More Ways to Win that’s not dedicated to racing. Once our core viewers were able to see the quality of the content we’re delivering, they’ve complimented us on our efforts of increasing our audience and cross-selling the new into horse racing.”

FanDuel Vice President of TV Kevin Grigsby

FanDuel TV will provide comprehensive coverage of the Breeders’ Cup, November 5-6, from Keeneland in Kentucky. Race day coverage starts Friday and Saturday at 7 a.m. ET with Breakfast at the Breeders’ Cup, featuring breaking news and behind-the-scenes coverage from the iconic Kentucky racetrack.  Both race day cards also will be broadcast on FanDuel TV.

Grigsby hopes that any residual concerns about the network’s coverage of horse racing coverage will abate as programming continues to emphasize and feature the sport. He’s also confident FanDuel’s investment in the network is already paying dividends.

“Our racing wagering business has us taking over $2.5 billion a year in bets on the sport,” Grigsby says. “We’re also putting horse racing betting into FanDuel Sportsbooks at the end of the year, which will give the same customers that bet NFL, NBA, MLB (the opportunity) to bet on racing using the same login and same wallet. So, yes, we are going to continue airing races every day.”

One of the ways FanDuel anticipates growing horse racing is by bringing a new and younger demographic to the sport. FanDuel TV has added content from contributors including Pat McAfee, Bill Simmons, Michelle Beadle, Kay Adams, and Lisa Kerney.

While those contributors might not be directly involved in covering horse racing, the hope is that their presence will provide a bridge to its  coverage.

“Bringing in a new audience is one objective of the new, star-studded programming on FanDuel TV,” Grigsby says. “Another is to create content that caters to sports betting enthusiasts in the US. As sports betting legalizes and scales state-by-state, we are well positioned to present relevant content to those fans, customers, and potential customers.”

Rege Behe is lead contributor to CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at rbehe@cdcgaming.com. Please follow @RegeBehe_exPTR on Twitter.