12/28/2015 1:12PM

NYRA ends replay show, will focus on live coverage

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Beginning Friday, the New York Racing Association no longer will air its nightly 30-minute recap show or the “National Racing Report” on the Madison Square Garden network.

NYRA’s contract with MSG to air the show, known as “Insider,” expires Thursday, and NYRA plans to put its resources into a live show on MSG-Plus beginning sometime during the Belmont spring-summer meet, according to David O’Rourke, NYRA’s vice president and chief revenue officer.

“We’re shifting our resources from doing a recap show to live coverage,” O’Rourke said. “Live coverage will be focused around Belmont and Saratoga. We’re likely to continue to do shows like the ‘National Racing Report’ and ‘Trips and Traps,’ but we’re going to be using our online medium more.”

The nightly show, hosted for many years by Harvey Pack, is believed to have started in 1981. “Inside Racing,” as it was known for most of its run, was basically a 30-minute recap of the day’s racing card at Aqueduct, Belmont, or Saratoga. Jason Blewitt began hosting the show in 2005. Recently, the format had changed to show some replays of the day’s races while offering a preview of the next day’s card.

O’Rourke said that with replays so easy for people to access online, it didn’t make sense to continue with the same format.

“We have a limited amount of resources for coverage,” he said. “We felt we’d better shift it over to the live racing product rather than do something where people are used to getting replays right on their app.”