In a statement issued on Friday the NZ Racing Board said it regrets Friday's announcement by the owners of The Informant that they may close the publication. The NZ Racing Board has always believed that The Informant and Turf Digest/Best Bets are complementary publications, catering to different readers with different needs.
The statement said that last month the NZ Racing Board’s advertising contract with The Informant fell due for review and renegotiation. Over the past three years the NZ Racing Board has spent more than $900,000 on advertising with The Informant, as well as providing them with free advertising on Trackside and supplying print-ready form for them to publish.
The NZ Racing Board has a responsibility to ensure it spends judiciously, in the best
interests of the racing industry, and it no longer believes this level of investment in
The Informant is the best use of its resources. Rather the racing industry will be
better served by the NZ Racing Board investing in channels for supplying form to
bettors that are more widely used, and by having more money available to distribute
to the Codes.
The NZ Racing Board has however continued to carry advertising for The Informant
on Trackside free-of-charge and offered The Informant print-ready form free-ofcharge
while they determine their future direction. The parties are yet to agree the
price of print-ready form in the long-term, or any reciprocal advertising arrangement
through our TV channels. The NZ Racing Board remains hopeful that an amicable
settlement can be achieved.
The NZ Racing Board’s decision to purchase Turf Digest/Best Bets was purely in
response to customer research undertaken in early 2010. This research clearly
showed that a significant number of bettors want a twice-weekly form publication in
the Turf Digest/Best Bets format. Had the NZ Racing Board not purchased the
publication there was a real doubt that the twice-weekly frequency would have been
compromised at the expense of betting revenue and, in turn, funding for the racing
The statement concluded that the NZ Racing Board would prefer that The Informant continue to publish, however The Informant’s owners must make the best decision for their business.