As of Jan. 12, fans used to watching those grainy images of races from the Web sites of Magna Entertainment Corporation-owned Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park will be unable to do so without paying for streaming video service.
Most Magna-owned tracks do not have contracts to air their races on the nationally available TVG Network, so distribution via television is extremely limited. For many, viewing the Web site video feed is the only alternative.
In an announcement on the Web sites for Gulfstream and Santa Anita, which opened its 84-day winter/spring meeting Friday, Magna blamed rising costs and piracy of simulcast signals for making the change. A charge of $4.99 per month per track is to go into effect in order to view the races. Fans can beat the fee by signing up for a free home wagering account through Magna's XpressBet service.
Several states, including New Jersey, Texas, Oklahoma and Michigan, do not allow account wagering.
Gulfstream's meeting begins Jan. 3.