A rant is on the agenda this morning. For well over a year, I have taken the time to wade through every trainer’s and racing’s stable’s website that provides free Brisnet past performances, and post links to stakes races on my blog and on the TBA homepage. About six months ago, Patrick over at Handride developed a search engine that did the same thing, yet much more efficiently, and the TBA homepage has carried it since.
What did we, individually or as a group, gain from this endeavor? Nothing more than the satisfaction of giving people easier access to information already freely available on the internet. There was no financial gain either on our behalf or anyone else. Yet, Brisnet has developed a way to block us from providing those links which are still readily available if you go directly to the stables’ websites and wade through them yourselves.
Why? In a time when handle is falling like a rock, much like the stock market and the economy as a whole, why not allow bettors the easiest possible access to information that is—let me repeat—is already free. It is on the web. How are the stables posting the information harmed? They are providing for clients information about their own horses, and they have decided to pay whatever fee Brisnet chooses to allow for open retrieval. It’s no skin off their nose if we bloggers post the links.
Obviously the issue comes down to one word: greed. Brisnet doesn’t want you to have this information for free, despite that fact that is already out there. They want you to pay through the nose for past performances, regardless of the “big picture” that suggests that people increasingly won’t as economic conditions continue to deteriorate, and fewer and fewer people are interested in horse racing. Rather than believe allowing free access to the limited (and it is limited) number of free past performances just might demonstrate to potential new customers how valuable their product is, they would rather continue to set up barriers.