Tipperary: no live pictures came from the course on Sunday
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
By Bruce Jackson & David Jennings 7:39PM 17 JUL 2016
PUNTERS and armchair viewers were left in the dark on Sunday after SIS failed to beam pictures from Tipperary when its truck which uplinks the satellite feed failed to arrive at the track.
SIS could not give an immediate explanation, and while the matter could have been due to a breakdown or accident, there were also racecourse rumours that the truck had simply not been scheduled because of an oversight.
Bookmakers, while concerned about the rare lapse, reported it was not disastrous for trade while obviously having a detrimental effect on turnover.
SIS put out a message stating the situation was reported at 1.20pm that its uplink truck – the communications link to a satellite – had failed to arrive at Tipperary.
The message added: “There will be no pictures for this meeting as there is no uplink truck available today. Recordings of races to be sent down at a later date.”
Betfair, with its in-running punters, witnessed a drop in turnover and spokesman Barry Orr said: “It is a poor experience but Tipperary, being the second meeting behind the Curragh in Ireland today, and with three meetings in England, wouldn’t feature highly on turnover. But it has had a detrimental effect.”
Coral were equally phlegmatic about the situation, with spokesman David Stevens saying: “Clearly the loss of pictures in shops of any meeting is going to have a negative impact on turnover on that meeting.
“But the Tipperary card would have been the lowest-turnover meeting of the five UK and Irish taking place, and Sunday isn’t one of the busiest days in shops, so whilst not ideal it could have been far more disruptive, and there were at least commentaries in betting shops for the later races.”
Gary Smith, chief executive of SIS, said: “It’s a very rare incident as there is usually a back-up truck 24/7, but I don’t know the details of this problem as we speak.”
Darren Lawlor, commercial broadcast manager with Horse Racing Ireland, said: “There was a problem with the satellite uplink truck. It was scheduled to be at Tipperary today but there was a problem mid-morning.
“I do not know what exactly happened. We thought it would get there by 3pm, but there was a further problem and unfortunately and it did not make it to Tipperary at all.”