|Picture format||576i (SDTV) 16:9|
|Sister channels||Sky Racing 2 |
Sky Thoroughbred Central
|Former names||Sky Channel (1985-1998)|
Sky Racing (previously Sky Channel) is an Australian broadcaster primarily telecasting live thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing. It is owned by Tabcorp and operates a number of television channels and a radio service.
The broadcaster generally telecasts all race meetings that are covered by the various Australian TABs. This includes both metropolitan and country meetings from all Australian states, as well as selected international races from New Zealand, England, Ireland, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, the United States and Japan.
Following the launch of the Aussat A1 satellite in 1985, several dedicated satellite television channels began operating in Australia distributing content to various hotels, resorts and hospitality centres. Sky Channel began its first transmissions from the studios of STW9 in Perth on 20 October 1986, broadcasting to various hotels across Australia twelve hours a day. Programming consisted of sporting events from around the world with various music and entertainment programmes late at night. At the time, Sky Channel was owned by Alan Bond's Bond Corporation. While the channel's reception was initially mixed by viewers Sky Channel quickly grew to dominate hotel television services, acquiring rival Australian satellite sports channels Club Superstation and Sportsplay in 1987. Sky Channel's studios were relocated to Club Superstation's Sydney location soon after. A pay-per-view boxing channel, Sky Ringside was also introduced, only available exclusively in Sky Channel venues.
In 1998, Sky Channel was acquired by TabCorp and added a new channel for Australian home subscription television services Foxtel, Austar and Optus Vision called Sky Racing, expanding its availability from hotels to home viewers. From 2009, all of Sky's channels were eventually rebranded to Sky Racing with the focus of programming shifted predominantly to 24-hour horse racing and greyhound racing. Sky Racing was split into three main channels; Sky Racing 1, Sky Racing 2 and Sky Racing World, later to be renamed Sky Thourougbred Central in 2015 following the closure of Australian Thoroughbred racing channel TVN.
Sky Racing currently operates four separate television channels and one radio channel.
Sky Racing 1
Originally branded Sky Channel, it launched in 1985 as Australia's first nationwide racing channel. It was exclusively available to TAB outlets, sporting venues and clubs until 5 September 1998 when it expanded to direct-to-home subscription TV under the brand Sky Racing. Sky Channel operations were renamed Sky Racing in October 2009.
Sky Racing 2
Sky Racing 2 launched on 30 March 2010. It was designed to remove scheduling congestion on Sky Racing and to allow for more local and international race meeting coverage.
Sky Thoroughbred Central
Launched on 4 May 2010 as Sky Racing World, it was a channel featuring mostly international race meetings and magazine programmes. On 21 March 2015, Sky Racing World was replaced by Sky Throughbred Central, a channel which came at the result of acquiring the rights to broadcast race meetings previously held by TVN. On 1 April 2016, Sky Thoroughbred Central launched a HD simulcast.
This channel delivers select Australian race meetings to international locations including UK, US, New Zealand, Europe and Asia. Extended coverage can be seen on Sky International due to its unique schedule. Content from Sky International can be seen on other racing channels, such as Sky Sports Racing. It is not available domestically.
Sky Sports Radio
Sky Racing also operates Sky Sports Radio, which is available in most parts of NSW and the ACT via AM and FM transmission. It is also available on digital radio in Sydney. It predominantly covers horse and greyhound racing, however it also has a number of general sporting talk programs.
Sky Racing no longer advertises these channel and are presumed defunct.
Sky Business TV
Sky Racing operated a part-time channel for corporations or businesses wishing to stream live broadcasts, video conferences or meetings via satellite to another location. Sky Racing leased studio space to clients and could use its Sky International bandwidth to deliver content around the world.
Sky Racing also aired Sky Ringside, a pay-per-view channel which featured live boxing tournaments from around the world. This channel was only available to Sky Racing venues.
Other than broadcasting live racing 19 hours per day, Sky Racing produces a number of programmes tailored to specific types of racing in Australia. Most programmes feature expert reviews and tips for upcoming events. Some popular programmes include;
- Thoroughbred Preview
- Thoroughbred Weekly
- The Catching Pen
- In The Gig
Live content is supplied to Sky Racing via fibre optic, microwave or satellite links from independently owned racing clubs. As of August 2006, most live content and all of Sky's flagship programs are broadcast in 16x9 widescreen digital format to all subscribers.
- "At home on the track"
- "Power, instinct, heart"
- About Sky Racing; Sky Racing
- McKay, Ian (7 August 1986). "Spectators Unlimited". The Age. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
- Wright, Lea (11 June 1987). "Sky Channel will 'fine tune' Club Superstation". Sydney Morning Herald.
- Grant, Trevor (3 November 1987). "Sportsplay is Bond's for $5m". The Age. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
- Hill, Robin (29 August 1987). "Pub Patrons Switched off Satellite TV". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
- Sky Ringside TV; Go Hospitality
- Schulze, Jane (8 September 1998). "Business; Media: Race Channel Puts Pay TV Nose Ahead". The Age. p. 5. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- "Sky Racing announces racing vision revolution" (Press release). Racing and Wagering Western Australia. 6 October 2009. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
- "Sky Racing turns on thoroughbred TV". The Daily Telegraph. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
- "Sky delivers Australian racing in HD" (Press release). Sky Racing. 1 April 2016. Archived from the original on 18 April 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
- Sky Racing Venue Information; Sky Racing
- Sky Business TV (archived)[permanent dead link]; Sky Racing
- Programs; Sky Channel Pty Ltd.
- Official site