TAB Trackside

TAB Trackside
Launched 1978
Owned by New Zealand Racing Board
Picture format 16:9 (HDTV)
Country New Zealand
Broadcast area New Zealand
Formerly called TAB Trackside 1: Action TV, Trackside
TAB Trackside 2: TAB TV
TAB Trackside Radio: Radio Pacific, bSport, LiveSport
Website Official Website
SKY Network Television
Channel 062, 063
Vodafone InHome TV
Channel 062, 053

TAB Trackside is New Zealand horse racing and sports broadcast network, incorporating two pay TV channels and a nationwide radio station. The TV channels are available on SKY Digital channels and Vodafone New Zealand TV cable channels 062 and 063.[1][2] The radio station broadcasts on 17 AM radio and 15 FM radio frequencies from Kaitaia to Invercargill, including two frequencies in Taupo.[3]

Together, the outlets provide full coordinated coverage of all thoroughbred horse racing, harness horse racing and greyhound racing in New Zealand, most racing from Australia, and many races from Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries. The channels provides tickers and commentary with up-to-the-minute odds, field and dividend information. Between races, they feature on-track interviews, in-studio analysis, live footage of horses warming up for races, replays of previous races, and recaps of betting odds.[1][2]

The live broadcasting of horse racing in the New Zealand dates back to the launch of a racing radio network in 1978. The station, originally known as Radio Pacific and later as bSport and LiveSport, is now TAB Trackside Radio.[3] A racing television station launched in 1992, initially known as Action TV and later as Trackside, is now TAB Trackside 1. A second racing television station launched in 2007, known initially as TAB TV, is now TAB Trackside 2.[1]



This was the Radio Pacific logo in 1991.
This was the LiveSport logo in 2010.

Racing network Radio Pacific began in Auckland in 1978, and became one of the first stations to be networked across the country in the 1990s. The network combined news, news talkback, sports talkback and live racing commentaries.[4][5]

Radio Pacific became a listed company on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and the Totalisator Agency Board became its major shareholder. The company also owned the North Island music station group Energy Enterprises and merged with the South Island radio company Radio Otago in 1999. Between May 2000 and January 2001 it was purchased by CanWest Global Communications, becoming part of RadioWorks and later part of MediaWorks New Zealand. Part of the company was purchased in July 2004, and the entire company was sold off in June 2007.[6]

Radio Pacific's Waikato station began as Radio Waikato, New Zealand's third privately owned station. It originally broadcast in 930AM in 1971, before moving 954AM in 1978. In 1986 Radio Waikato changed to a country music format and was renamed Country Gold - Waikato 954. In 1988 it was sold to Radio Pacific and transitioned into a local talk radio format with national racing commentary. It changed its name to Radio Pacific and eventually replaced local programmes with Auckland networked programmes. A new station of the same name also operated in Hamilton between 1993 and 1994.[7]

Before 2005 live races and betting odds had been broadcast on Radio Pacific in pre-determined, limited periods during the race day under a contract with the New Zealand Racing Board. Between 2001 and 2005, this was also complemented by a trial Radio Trackside station in the Southland market dedicated to racing coverage.[8][9][10]

In 2005 MediaWorks launched new talkback network Radio Live and moved many of Radio Pacific's talkback personalities across to the new network. John Banks continued to host Radio Pacific's breakfast programme, and Alice Worsley and Martin Crump co-hosted a new morning talkback programme. A Trackside TV simulcast, branded as Radio Trackside, was broadcast in the afternoon.[8][9][10] On 29 October 2007 Radio Pacific became BSport and its tagline became "BSport, the station you can bet on". The general talkback format was replaced with a sports talkback format. MediaWorks New Zealand and Trackside shared the network's Auckland studios, with live sports talk and betting odds in the morning, and live races and betting odds in the afternoon.[11]

In January 2010 BSport was renamed LiveSport, the sister network to Radio Live. It became TAB Trackside Radio on 13 April 2015, when it came under the full ownership of the New Zealand Racing Board.[11]


TAB Trackside began television broadcasting in 1992 as Action TV - a free-to-air UHF station that only broadcast during live racing events. In 1993, it changed its name to Trackside. From 1994, Sky Television began using broadcasting Discovery Channel to subscribers when Trackside was in closedown. The station received a dedicated channel on the new Sky Digital platform in 1999, which began broadcasting 18 hours a day from 2004 and 24 hours a day from 2007. In addition to live New Zealand racing, the channel introduced racing replay, preview and review shows, and live racing and racing shows from Australia. The channel began broadcasting on Freeview Satellite from 2 May 2007, on Freeview terrestrial on 14 April 2008, and in widescreen from 15 December 2008.[12]

In October 2009, TAB introduced a second channel - TAB TV - to accommodate live racing from Hong Kong and Singapore. In October 2013 it changed the TVNZ metadata on the Freeview satellite service to unlock access to Trackside TV, keeping TAB TV as a pay-TV channel. On 14 April 2014, it ceased operations on Freeview, becoming only available to Sky subscribers. In August 2014, Trackside TV and TAB TV were relaunched as TAB Trackside 1 and TAB Trackside 2, extending racing coverage from all codes and enabling up to 5000 additional races to be broadcast each year that were previously not scheduled.[13]






Radio frequencies

This is a map of TAB Trackside Radio frequencies.

Television channels

TAB Trackside 1 broadcasts racing from all codes, both domestic and international, alongside specialist shows.[1][13][22] TAB Trackside 2 broadcasts racing from all codes, alongside simulcasts of TAB Trackside Radio weekday mornings from 6am. In 2011, it live simulcast Fill the Basin, a February 2011 Christchurch earthquake fundraiser cricket match, with Canterbury Television. The channels area available on the Sky Television DHS encrypted satellite services (062 Trackside 1, 063 Trackside 2) and Vodafone InHome TV service in Wellington and Christchurch (062 Trackside 1, 063 Trackside 2).[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "TAB Trackside TV". TAB Trackside. New Zealand Racing Board. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 "TAB Help - Trackside Radio". New Zealand Racing Board. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "TAB Trackside Radio". TAB Trackside. New Zealand Racing Board. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  4. Morris William Shanahan, Karen Neill (2005). The Great New Zealand Radio Experiment. p. 132. ISBN 0-17-012480-0. Retrieved 2007-11-06.
  5. Lee-Robinson, Robinson (2008). Talkback Toast. Opitiki: Ocean Books. ISBN 978-0-473-13752-6.
  6. Decision No. 294 Commerce Commission, Wellington New Zealand, 1997.
  7. "Radio Waikato story". Radio Heritage. Radio Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  8. 1 2 Trevett, Claire. "Radio Live fires first shell in talkback war". New Zealand Herald. New Zealand Media and Entertainment. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  9. 1 2 Drinnan, John. "Listeners turning off Radio Sport". New Zealand Herald. New Zealand Media and Entertainment. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  10. 1 2 Marshall, Jonathan. "Revamp at talk station". New Zealand Herald. New Zealand Media and Entertainment. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  11. 1 2 "MediaWorks Notice". MediaWorks. MediaWorks New Zealand. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  12. "How to get the best of Trackside in widescreen" (PDF). TAB. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  13. 1 2 "Trackside on Sky". TAB. New Zealand Racing Board. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  14. "Nathan Rarere NZ On Screen". Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  15. "Nathan Rarere Outspoken". Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  16. "2008 celebs announced...". Television New Zealand. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "TAB Trackside shows". TAB. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  18. "Grant Nisbett: The man who's calling the shots". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  19. "Stephen McIvor". Speakers New Zealand. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  20. Maddaford, Terry (15 December 2001). "Soccer: Rufer - simply the best we've had". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  21. "Wynton Rufer appointed PNG national coach". Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  22. "How to get the best from Trackside in widescreen" (PDF). TAB. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.

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