Woodbine Entertainment Group says it it pleased with its Bet Night Live handicapping contest, which concluded Monday, Nov. 28.
Bet Night Live (BNL) was launched in May 2010, which replaced Race Night on The Score. The redesigned two-hour programs (Mondays for standardbred and Wednesdays for thoroughbred), which airs on WEG’s longtime TV partner, The Score, focuses directly on the wagering component of racing, educating and attracting new fans and customers to the sport.
Each show featured a four-race contest where the evening’s winner gets a chance to play for the grand prize of a trip to Las Vegas and a seat in the $2 million DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC). Steve Coombs, a 44-year-old Scarborough resident, will be flying out to the NHC in late January, courtesy of the BNL contest. Coombs beat out 163 other championship finalists to win.
In the two-year lifespan of the network program, the total number of new sign-ups has reached 2,086, with over $5.7 million wagered.
"We're quite happy with the development of BNL," said Andrew Macdonald, WEG’s Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives. "We've seen a jump in the general interest of Woodbine and Mohawk racing because of the show.
"There has been a substantial rise in HorsePlayer Interactive (HPI) account sign-ups, wagering and TV audience numbers. We're looking forward to seeing continued growth in 2012."
The new format is proving to be successful as Bet Night Live’s audience is growing. This season there has been a 30 percent hike in viewers compared to the 2009 season of Race Night on The Score.
On track, fans also had a chance to win cash in the contest due to generous sponsorship of WEG’s horsepeople partners, the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) on the thoroughbred side and Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) on the standardbred side.
Starting Jan. 2, Bet Night Live will be hosting its winter contest where HPI members can have a chance to qualify to win $10,000. The last day to qualify will be April 16 with the $10,000 final scheduled for April 23, which is when the winner will be announced.
Bet Night Live’s main 2012 contest will premiere on Monday, April 30. (WEG)