New Poll, Jock Series Good for Racing?

It’s a mainstream media extravaganza for horse racing these days!

A few weeks ago there was Leverage and the Real Housewives of Orange County.

Already this week there was a CSI Miami episode and tonight features Churchill’s marketing coup of American Idol auditions, no doubt to help bolster some of their new lines of business.

And then there’s the upcoming series Jockeys on Animal Planet. The news has been out about it for awhile but beyond little clips and sound bites we haven’t had a chance to see what they’re gonna do with it.

The wait is over, hat tip to Powercap for finding an embedable promo with some substance. The full site is finally up too… Jockeys, Win or Die Trying.

They weren’t kidding, that’s their angle! We all know danger is a part of the game, we all know breakdowns are a part of the game but I’m not entirely sure I wanna to see 2.5 breakdowns per scene under of the guise of the breakdown being glamorized.

There’s no doubt there’s a market for this angle, as Powercap points out, this series has the potential to “convince that masses that racing is more exciting than team sports and more extreme than the X games”. On the other hand, it also has the possibility of alienating potential fans who might already be uneasy with the danger associated to the game or worse yet, inflame those who already think horse racing is dog fighting for white people (one of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog’s best lines!).

Commenter Gib pointed out the approach of the CSI Miami episode did racing a disservice, reinforcing stereotypes that racing is always fixed (and that CSI Miami is a horribly acted show!). On the other hand commenter Walter pointed out the “out of site out of mind” principle and that having racing front and center can’t be all that bad.

Perhaps this sneak isn’t totally indicative of what’s to come for Jockeys, Win or Die Trying… it is marketing after all. But let’s say the majority of the series is like the sneak peak. Is this good for racing? Some will love it, some will hate it (and us) even more.

I know I’ll watch the show and probably love it, but I’m not going anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not Animal Planet’s job to market racing but the series won’t exist in a vacuum either. I’m curious to know if you think it will help or harm racing… or potentially worse, do nothing!