Miscellaneous racing industry news
Youbet.com today announced the opening of its new Oregon wagering hub. The new hub allows Youbet.com customers access to racetracks previously available only through the TV Games Network. Along with the new hub, Youbet has adjusted its price. The service now charges a fee per transaction instead of a monthly fee.
Gemstar-TV Guide International posted a second-quarter net loss of $134.8 million (33 cents per diluted share), primarily because of the $223.8-million amortization of intagible assets recorded as part of the acquisition of TV Guide.
California Gov. Gray Davis signed Assembly Bill 471 into law on Aug. 13, authorizing advance deposit wagering and including provisions that will allow backstretch workers to organize for collective bargaining purposes.
The Oregon wagering hub first operated by NTRA Services and now in the hands of the TV Games Network handled $13,033,508 for the second quarter of this year, more than double the first-quarter handle and by far its best three months ever.
As the California horse racing industry awaited action by Gov. Gray Davis on account wagering legislation, the TV Games Network and Thoroughbred Owners of California announced they had reached an agreement in principle to protect purses should live handle be negatively impacted by account betting.
Simulcast handle at most Kentucky racetracks has fallen or remained static in each of the past several years. An exception has been Keeneland, which experienced nine consecutive years of growth through 2000, when the amount wagered on simulcasts topped a record $104 million.
The TV Games Network debuted on basic cable television in the Lexington market in late December of last year. And for the first six months of this year, handle on simulcast-only days at Keeneland is down more than $4.7 million from the comparable period last year.
Youbet.com will begin taking bets through its new Oregon wagering hub in August, a month earlier than expected. Once the hub is operating, customer can beginning wagering on racetracks once offered exclusively through the TV Games Network. Youbet.com is anticipating significantly higher revenue by the first quarter of next year.
For more than three hours Monday night, the Keeneland July yearling sale was beamed into the homes of people who can access the TV Games Network either on cable television or by satellite dish. It was somewhat of a breakthrough for the auction end of the business, which generally gets little exposure away from sale pavilions.
Until TVG's show "The Sales" aired on July 1, the best way for a buyer to prepare for a sale without visiting the farms selling yearlings was to sit down with a sales catalogue and a sales supplement. This all changed with TVG's new program, a preview of the Keeneland July 2001 selected yearling sale. It highlights the yearlings offered at this sale like no advertisement or pedigree page could ever do.
New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. falling into the hands of a consortium led by Magna Entertainment would be "an affront" to the entire racing industry, the head of the New York Racing Association charged.
The Nasdaq National Market has informed Youbet.com, Inc. that the company is now in compliance with listing qualifications and will not be dropped from its listings.
The TV Games Network became available today to 40,000 Comcast cable television subscribers in the Baltimore metropolitan area. It is the first time TVG has been available on a cable system outside Kentucky.
From a preview show to the sale itself, TVG will offer live coverage and analysis of the 2001 Keeneland July Selected Yearling Sale. Caton Bredar will report on all events from the Keeneland Sales Pavilion with hosts Todd Schrupp and Frank Lyons in the Los Angeles studio. The live sale broadcast will run July 16-17 from 7-10 p.m. EDT.
The Oregon Racing Commission on Friday approved an application by the TV Games Network for to operate a wagering hub. Currently, TVG wagers run through a hub operated by NTRA Services, a subsidiary of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and marketing partner of TVG.
NTRA Services will not renew its license to operate a wagering hub in Oregon. Instead, the TV Games Network, for which the National Thoroughbred Racing Association subsidiary operates the hub, is expected to apply for the license itself.
Youbet.com, an online horse racing and wagering site that has burned through more than $64 million since 1998, expects to begin turning a profit in 2002. The company also expects to have more than 20,000 subscribers by the end of the year.
Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. and Adelphia Communications Corp. have signed a 20-year Interactive Program Guide agreement that could feature a major expansion of the TV Games Network. Gemstar-TV Guide is the parent company of TVG.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- The recent agreement between the TV Games Network and Youbet.com looks like a win-win-win-win situation for the racing industry.
The Nasdaq stock exchange notified Youbet.com officials Tuesday that the company still fails to meet its minimum price requirement and is subject to being delisted. To remain on the exchange, Youbet.com stock needed to trade about $1 per share for 10 consecutive days before Monday.
Youbet.com just completed its busiest week ever. The Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and a handicapping contest held in conjunction with the Daily Racing Form attracted $2.6 million in online wagers for the week ending May 19.
Youbet.com has signed a deal that could give the Television Games Network a majority interest in the online horse racing and wagering service. Under the terms of the agreement, Youbet.com will pay TVG fees based on the handle. Youbet.com also has issued warrants allowing TVG to buy 19.9% of the online service's 19.4 million shares of common stock for 1 cent per share. Youbet.com's stock reacted strongly to the news. The stock, which closed at 75 cents per share Friday, jumped 101% to peak at $1.51 within the first hour of trading Monday.
TVG announced that it will broadcast the entire card from Pimlico including the Black-Eyed Susan Friday, May18, as well as several of the undercard stakes on Preakness Day Saturday.
TVG has announced that it will televise the $1.65 million Singapore Airlines International Cup from Kranji Racecourse beginning at 11 a.m. eastern standard time Saturday, May 12. The race will be shown on a tape-delayed basis, and there will be no TVG account wagering on the contest.
Horse racing and bourbon go neck and neck in Kentucky... Millennium Wind is the star of the Heerenspergers show...Gary Mandella to return to training.
TVG will provide tape-delayed coverage of the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Gr. I) from Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong, featuring the globetrotting French star Jim and Tonic, the winner of the $2 million Dubai Duty Free Stakes (gr. I) in his last race. With a purse $1.3 million, the international event will be aired on TVG Sunday, April 22 starting at 11:00 a.m. (EDT).
TVG today announced its broadcast schedule of live events from Churchill Downs surrounding the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), highlighted by "The Works."
- By Steve Haskin
By Steve Haskin -- OK, NBC, it's all yours. You got the whole kit and kaboodle, or is it the whole enchilada? However you want to say it, the Triple Crown is yours to improve, maintain, or ruin.
TV Games Network released its spring-summer schedule of exclusive racing coverage from the nation's leading racetracks Wednesday, and it begins with opening day of Keeneland's spring meet on Friday. It will feature on-location coverage of Saturday's Ashland Stakes (gr. I), Keeneland's 3-year-old filly prep for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
A deal between TV Games Network's parent company and Comcast, the nation's third leading cable operator, will put the horse racing network in two more states before September.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's premier event -- the $1,000,000 Pacific Classic -- once again will be televised by ESPN when it is presented for the 11th time at the shore track on Sunday, August 19.
TVG announced on Friday that it would feature exclusive live U.S. television coverage and in-home wagering on the sixth running of the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) from Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai, U.A.E. on Saturday, March 24, 2001.
Account wagering by TV Games Network subscribers generated an additional $440,000 in source-market fees for Kentucky horsemen and racetracks since October. The money, distributed this week, raises the total fees generated by the horse racing network to $1.95 million since September 1999.
TVG will feature live on-location coverage of the 46th running of the Phoenix Gold Cup, Turf Paradise's $100,000 six furlong sprint for three year olds and upward, this weekend. Coverage from the Valley of the Sun will begin at 2 pm (EST) on Saturday, March 11 with TVG racing analyst and host, Caton Bredar live from Turf Paradise. Bredar will provide interviews with trainers, jockeys, owners and track personnel as well as in-depth analysis of events leading up to, during, and after the race.
Gemstar-TV Guide, the TV Games Network's parent company, enjoyed extraordinary growth in revenue and earnings for its fourth quarter and fiscal year. The company is expecting more rapid growth this year and TVG will play an active role.
TVG debuted it's new documentary series "TVG Insider" Tuesday night, telling the story of trainer Simon Bray's "Arizona Experiment," in which he sent his grass specialist Startac to the Turf Paradise Derby to run on the dirt for the first time.
TVG will debut its new documentary series, "TVG Insider," with an in-depth look at trainer Simon Bray's decision to train and race Startac, a horse bred for turf-racing, on dirt to see if he is a legitimate contender for the Kentucky Derby. The hour-long show, entitled "The Arizona Experiment," will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m., PST).
TVG announced Wednesday that the company would offer exclusive interactive online wagering and special television programming for each leg of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which begins today (Thursday). TVG subscribers can wager online and access real-time field, odds and pool information, free past performances from Equibase and special handicapping capsules on each horse in the mutuel field.
Presentations of Horse of the Year, Trainer of the Year and Race of the Year highlight the inaugural TVG "Viewer Choice Awards" to be aired live on the TVG Network on Monday, January 29 from 9-10 PM EST (6-7 PM PST). Hosted by TVG anchors Caton Bredar and Greg Wolf, the ceremony will honor 14 categories of achievement in Thoroughbred, harness and quarter horse racing. The winners were selected through on on-line poll of TVG viewers, with over one million votes cast over a two-week period.
The NTRA Services wagering hub in Oregon registered a 35% increase in handle in the third quarter of 2000 compared with the year-earlier period. According to Oregon Racing Commission figures, the betting hub, operated on behalf of the TV Games Network, handled $4,283,997 in the third quarter of 2000, up 35% from the hub's first three months of operation in 1999.
The TV Games Network will make its long-awaited debut on Lexington cable television Thursday. As usual, racing from Aqueduct, Calder Race Course, Fair Grounds, and Turfway Park will be offered in the afternoon. TVG has been available on cable television in the Louisville, Ky., market for two years, and before that, its predecessor, On Demand Services, offered live racing on cable TV in that market. In Lexington, Insight Communications has slotted TVG as Channel 5
Magna Entertainment, the growing racetrack company run by Frank Stronach, has entered into an agreement with Ladbroke Racing and a subsidiary to purchase Ladbroke's Pennsylvania-based account wagering system ("Call-A-Bet"), the Meadows harness track, and four off-track betting facilities, plus an interest in the Racing Network satellite TV channel.
After years of waiting, the TV Games Network finally will become available on a cable television system other than the one in Louisville, Ky. On Dec. 28, Insight Communications, as part of an increase in the number of channels offered to customers, is scheduled to add TVG as part of its basic package.
The money comes from wagering in Kentucky, primarily the Louisville market, through the TV Games Network.
Breeders' Cup Ltd. and the TV Games Network allowed Beulah Park's Winticket.com interactive wagering subsidiary to accept bets on the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs after the owner of the Ohio racetrack filed a lawsuit just days before the championship. Beulah Park general manager Mike Weiss said Winticket.com secured the rights to offer wagering through its automated account-wagering system, but the terms were not disclosed.
Schedule of Breeders' Cup coverage on TVG
TV Games Network and Breeders' Cup are looking for a way to make their controversial exclusive interactive-wagering agreement not so restrictive.
The racing and wagering network has made scheduling adjustments as it continues to seek a larger slice of the national market.
On the heels of California Gov. Gray Davis' rejection of account wagering, the TV Games Network is poised to make modifications in its ambitious daily programming schedule.
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