Can Snooki ride a horse?
Horse racing is so desperate to move back up the sports mountain, it's turning to the cesspool of reality TV.
Daily Racing Form reports the "Jockey Club" is in talks with NBC to create a reality-type racing show. It's part of a $10 million campaign over five years to grow the sport's base of supporters.
There are only 43 hours of horse racing on national TV in 2011, according to the New York Times. Compare that with 175 hours in 2003 and you see the problem. Poker gets over 150 hours on network TV and even pro bowling has 92 hours of televised coverage this year.
Too bad the "Amazing Race" and "The Biggest Loser" names are taken; both would have worked well for a horse reality show. Of course those in the industry probably have a "Fear Factor" for how low the ratings for this new program could be.
In addition to trying to steal eyeballs from the Jersey Shore and other reality shows, the Jockey Club plans to launch a website that will let people place cost-free bets and even a Facebook-style racing game.
Both moves are planned to teach new fans about racing and wagering at little or no cost.
The moves are the result of a 100-page report from McKinsey and Company that said racing needs more presence on broadcast television.
Less than half of racing fans (46 percent) would recommend the sport to others, according to the study. Compare that to 82 percent of baseball fans, 81 percent of football fans and 55 percent of poker players.
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