TVG Reacts to Settlement Article on Dismissed Lawsuit

TVG has taken umbrage with a published report about the joint dismissal of a lawsuit brought against the account wagering company by Churchill Downs Inc., claiming there was no settlement involved.

An Oct. 10 Associated Press article carried on media outlets that included The Blood-Horse Web sites said an agreement between the now-rival companies was reached that led to a settlement. But a TVG official claims that isn’t exactly the case.

“There was no settlement and no money changed hands -- which supports our position from the outset that the case was without merit," TVG general counsel John Hindman said in a written statement supplied to The Blood-Horse.

The Associate Press article, which quoted CDI spokeswoman Julie Koenig-Loignon as saying the lawsuit was settled “amicably,” said as part of the racetrack company agreeing to dismiss the lawsuit, TVG “promised” to stop assigning broadcast rights for CDI-owned tracks to a third party.

CDI filed a breach of contract lawsuit against TVG in November 2006 over the latter company’s involvement in a British-based broadcast venture with The Racing Network International called At The Races. CDI claims it invested with United Kingdom company Racing UK in a program called Racing World only after the company was told by officials TVG had no interest in expanding internationally.

In court filings, TVG argued that it in no way violated contractual agreements and suggested CDI violated the pacts by partnering in Racing World. TVG believes CDI didn’t have much of an argument to begin with, claiming that none of the racetrack company’s venues were ever offered as viewing or wagering opportunities on At The Races.

“Contrary to (its) assertions, Churchill Downs agreed to dismiss the lawsuit it brought against TVG regarding television and wagering in the United Kingdom and Ireland and, subsequently, a stipulated order of dismissal without prejudice was entered by the court,” Hindman said.

Phrasing in the two-paragraph order signed Oct. 9 by John G. Heyburn II, chief judge of the Western District of the U.S. District Court in Louisville, indicated all parties agreed to the dismissal. No additional supporting documents were made available as public record.

CDI declined to comment on the TVG statements.

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