BBC plans Ceefax racing switch-off

From Charles Sale, Daily Mail
BBC Sport’s fast-dwindling commitment to horse racing is demonstrated by the plans to switch off its Ceefax racing pages at the end of the year.

The Ceefax racing service is regarded as a must-read for the industry and prides itself on being first with information about abandonments, overnight declarations, results and racecourse going as well as a comprehensive news service.

Yet the Beeb, looking to save money, now regards racing as less than essential to its viewers.

The decision to chop the Ceefax coverage, with the four-man team already informed, follows a shrinking in their live broadcasts, with Glorious Goodwood given up last summer after 50 years.

Jim McGrath, the racing commentator who succeeded Sir Peter O’Sullevan, now has so few BBC outings that he has been forced to keep his eye in by doing lowly racecourse commentaries.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We have decided to scale back its coverage of horse racing on Ceefax from 2008.

“The decision also reflects changing audience behaviour with more and more people using the internet and other digital devices to get their racing news, rather than relying on Ceefax as their only source of information.”
Read Charles Sale’s column in full by clicking here

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