It appears doubtful that an impasse between the company that controls the simulcast rights for Gulfstream Park and a cooperative representing 23 tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region will be resolved in time for the Dec. 6 start.
A dispute over signal rates between TrackNet Media Group and 17 racetracks in the Mid-Atlantic region is a primary reason Gulfstream's interstate wagering handle was down about 15% through the first seven days of its meet.
The New York Racing Association and the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative have struck a signal-fee deal that will return the NYRA signal--currently from Belmont Park--to 16 East Coast racetracks and their affiliated off-track wagering outlets effective May 9.
Another group of racetracks won't be importing the signal from Belmont Park beginning April 30 because they collectively have failed to strike a deal on signal rates with the New York Racing Association.
The Mid-Atlantic Cooperative, which represents 16 racetracks and their affiliated off-track wagering outlets, has failed to reach an agreement with the New York Racing Association on signal rates, which puts simulcast of races from Belmont Park in jeopardy.
The Southern Racing Cooperative, currently in a dispute with the Churchill Downs Simulcast Network over fees charged for signals, said Nov. 17 it has been approached by 10 racetracks that want to join the organization.
Indiana Downs, located less than an hour from Hoosier Park, has reached a deal with the Churchill Downs Simulcast Network to import the May 3 Kentucky Derby, as well as signals from other CDSN tracks. Terms of the agreement weren't released.
The Mid-Atlantic Cooperative and the Churchill Downs Simulcast Network continued negotiations April 24 in the wake of a standoff that threatens simulcast of the May 3 Kentucky Derby to wagering outlets in the Mid-Atlantic region.
It won't be easy to gauge the results of Keeneland's pari-mutuel takeout reduction, and the decision by the Mid-Atlantic racetracks and New York off-track betting corporations to drop the Kentucky track's signal because of concerns over a drop in revenue.
Unable to strike a deal on a simulcasting fee, the racetracks that fall under the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative will not offer the Keeneland signal at their facilities effective Friday, opening day of the Lexington track's fall meet.