CHRB Eliminates Meeting Webcasts

Lack of funding to the California Marketing Committee cited for decision.

Due to a lack of funding, the California Horse Racing Board will no longer provide audio or video Webcasts of its meetings, beginning with its Jan. 15 date at Santa Anita Park.

Mike Marten, spokesmen for the CHRB, said that racing's California Marketing Committee had paid for the service to promote the state's racing. But due to a "severe cutback" in funding to the CMC, he said, the live streaming of the meetings would no longer be possible. Marten said the CHRB would continue to distribute a press release following every meeting that summarizes board actions.

Video Webcasts of the meetings from a link on the CHRB Web site began in June 2007. As a cost-saving move, the video portion was dropped in favor of an audio-only presentation early last year.

Marten said the audio production, which required less technical assistance than did video, cost an average of about $2,500 per meeting.

He said about 80 to 100 people were tuning in to meetings, which are usually held every month. A special meeting of the board featuring testimony on California racing surfaces in February 2008 drew a top Web site audience of about 200, Marten said.