Mark Johnston: thinks betting coverage should be dispensed with on TV
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By graham dench 7:46AM 13 JUL 2016
BOOKMAKERS on Tuesday reacted with disdain to trainer Mark Johnston’s suggestion that ITV should get rid of all coverage of betting when it takes over the terrestrial racing reins from Channel 4 in 2017.
Johnston’s plea for the media generally to give less coverage to betting – aired at a Go Racing in Yorkshire press event on Monday -has been largely drowned out by a cacophony of dissenting voices, much of it on social media, while the Racing Post has been inundated with opinion on the subject of television coverage of the sport.
Simon Clare of Coral described Johnston’s remarks as “beyond laughable”, and pointed out that as the majority of viewers have either placed a bet, or intend to, the coverage surely has to reflect that fact in the most compelling and relevant way possible.
“While ITV may look to present the betting element in a different way I would be amazed if it doesn’t form an important element of the coverage,” he said.
His view was shared by David Williams of Ladbrokes, who added: “Whether or not folk particularly like it, the primary attraction to the sport for the public is through betting.”
Read the full story in Wednesday’s Racing Post – available on iPad