TrackNet, Casinos Agree to Extension
by Ryan Conley
Date Posted: 1/7/2009 7:54:16 PM
Last Updated: 1/8/2009 10:45:00 AM
TrackNet Media Group has granted an extension of its racing signals to Nevada casinos following a meeting held in Las Vegas Jan. 7.
Scott Daruty, president and chief executive officer of TrackNet, said enough progress was made in meetings with the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association to warrant an extension until Jan. 25.
“We believe we made enough progress to keep the signals on while we finalize a deal that everyone will be happy with,” Daruty said. “We made progress on both philosophical issues and economic issues. I think both sides have a better idea where the other is.”
Daruty recently said TrackNet was considering cutting off its racing content to more than 80 casinos after months of negotiations failed to bring desired results. On the table from TrackNet were requests for higher fees from casinos, as well as other issues, including how handle is reported to the content company.
“We took it very seriously and they took it very seriously,” Daruty said. “Both sides are willing to make a move. And we are optimistic something can be worked out.”
Patty Jones, the executive director of the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association, said in an e-mail that both parties agreed to extend the current agreements in the interest of Nevada horseplayers.
“Both sides came away with a better understanding of the other side’s position,” she wrote. “We will continue negotiating over the next few weeks.”
The extension will carry the signals through the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, which is scheduled to take place on Jan. 23-24 at Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Rumors were circulating that the 10th annual contest would be postponed or canceled, although National Thoroughbred Racing Association officials said it would have gone on regardless.
TrackNet is a joint content venture of Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment Corp. Current signals that could potentially be pulled from Nevada include Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park, which are owned by MEC, and Fair Grounds, which is owned by CDI.
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