TrackNet Media Working Toward Breeders' Cup Contract
by Ryan Conley
Date Posted: 10/16/2007 8:43:35 PM
Last Updated: 10/18/2007 2:34:44 PM

TrackNet Media Group is confident it will execute a contract to carry the Breeders’ Cup World Championships signal, an executive with the content management company said Oct. 16.

The president of TrackNet Media, Scott Daruty, said the delay in executing the contract involved covering all of the details surrounding the company’s main players and dealing with a new pricing structure implemented by Breeders’ Cup.

“We are purchasing for 23 different entities -- 20 racetracks plus three different account wagering platforms,” Daruty said. “There are just a lot of details to work through to make sure the deal is documented properly. There are a number of issues going on. I am not saying any of them are necessarily show-stoppers. It’s just that there are a lot of details to be worked through.”

ADWs affiliated with TrackNet Media include Twinspires.com and XpressBet.com, as well as AmericaTab platforms WinTicket.com, and BrisBET.com.

TrackNet Media was included in a list of wagering providers that a Breeders’ Cup consultant said Oct. 15 did not have contracts to carry the World Championships, which are scheduled for Oct. 26-27 at Monmouth Park. That group also included Racing and Gaming Services, Youbet.com, and its off-shore phone wagering entity, International Racing Group.

The other non-contract holders are ADWs, while the TrackNet Media umbrella includes pari-mutuel facilities of the company’s partners, Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment Corp., as well as Oaklawn Park, which signed an agreement with the content managing company Oct. 15.

“It has much less to do with the account wagering side of the business than it does with the racetrack side of the business,” Daruty said.

Daruty said Breeders’ Cup is pricing its products “much differently” that has been done in the past.

“There are some significant price increases over what there product has sold for in the past,” he said. “They have added additional races on additional days that are being priced as Breeders’ Cup races. They are looking for the undercard races to be priced the same as the Breeders’ Cup races.”

Breeders’ Cup consultant Ken Kirchner said an agreement with TrackNet is close.

“There are still one or two items outstanding,” he said in a phone interview following an Oct. 16 meeting in New Jersey that included Daruty and TrackNet executive vice president Patrick Troutman. “There is a different pricing model, and new issues to be dealt with in California.”

New legislation governing ADWs in California is awaiting the signature of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. If signed, the bill will provide new guidelines for contractual negotiations and compensation between ADWs and the state's horsemen and owners' groups.

Youbet.com and IRG have played roles in a federal investigation being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas. RGS also does not have a contract for the World Championships because of possible ties in some way to the investigation, Breeders' Cup officials have said.

Daruty said TrackNet hasn’t been contacted by anyone affiliated with the federal investigation. “I’ve heard the rumors, just like everyone else,” he said.

RGS since 2001 has had an accounting procedure in place where CDI settles account wagering transactions conducted by the offshore rebate shop, and also has a contract with TrackNet Media for the content company’s products. TrackNet Media in August announced it would allow RGS (and Elite Turf Club) to rebate customers who wagered more than $1 million per year.

“I read articles that Churchill has an ownership interest in RGS, or that TrackNet has some relationship with RGS,” Daruty said. “But that’s all there is to it: TrackNet sells content to RGS, and Churchill has a relationship with RGS in which Churchill performs the settlement for them. Period. End of story.”

Daruty said his company has no agreements in place with either Youbet.com or IRG, which has been the case since TrackNet Media was formed in March. Youbet.com historically has received content in a sub-licensing arrangement with TrackNet Media rival TVG. CDI severed a 10-year relationship with TVG when it formed TrackNet Media.



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