Racecourse Media Group’s (RMG) timing partner, Coursetrack, was one of the big winners at the prestigious Sports Technology Awards. Coursetrack provides live in-race timing information, which is broadcast on-screen and published online for racing from 34 of RMG’s racecourse shareholders, including the Jockey Club racecourses, such as Cheltenham, Aintree and Newmarket, and independent racecourses like York, Goodwood and Newbury.
Information, such as race clock, leader’s speed, leader’s time per furlong and distance to finish, is transmitted, via a GPS tracker in each horse’s saddlecloth, to RMG’s production hub in Ealing Studios, London.
The service is deployed by broadcasters in the UK, such as ITV, the UK’s biggest free-to-air commercial network, and RMG’s horseracing channel, Racing TV, plus Virgin Media, the biggest free-to-air commercial network in Ireland.
Coursetrack saw off stiff competition in fellow nominees, Arccos Golf, Decathlon, IBM, Infosys and Metrica Sports to scoop the Best Sports Action Analytics award.
Dave Tharp, Managing Director of Coursetrack, said: “The STA Awards are acknowledged as an international mark of excellence, and this year attracted entries from 50 sports from 30 countries. Therefore, to win one of the top awards on the night is a ringing endorsement of the product and reward for everyone’s hard work in getting the project off the ground and rolling it out so successfully.”
RMG’s Director of Racing, Ed Gretton, who has been leading the project for RMG, added: “We firmly believe this data is a game-changer for the sport and will not only enhance the enjoyment of races, but prove a valuable tool for analysing a race and for in-running betting. It’s very satisfying to see the judges agree with us.”
The service, which is designed purely for horse racing and understands on-course demands and commercial restraints, is available to betting operators, TV channels and racing bodies. Its benefits include:
no requirement for any infrastructure to be installed on course and the system can be run by a non-technical person during raceday
a small space near the weighing room and a standard mains plug is all that is required. The data is sent 10 times a second from each horse directly to our hub in London in under 300 m/s so well under the time it takes for video to stream
the output can power on-screen graphics, post-race sectionals and a live, betting feed for in running betting partners
Coursetrack services over 700 fixtures across 34 racecourses in the UK – including the two biggest days, the Randox Grand National and Cazoo Derby – all with the same high-quality data at each venue.
As viewers’ understanding of the product develops, enhanced on-screen graphics, including horses’ in-race placings / changing odds, will be implemented into live broadcasts.
RMG will also work with betting operators to support the further development of in-play betting on racing later this year.
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