PhoneBet TV Viewers Will Be in the Dark

PhoneBet TV, which shows live racing in Pennsylvania, is being dropped by Comcast.

by Kelsey Riley

Comcast, the broadcasting network of Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack’s daily television show PhoneBet TV, has announced it will remove the show from its lineup effective March 31.

In an e-mail to The Blood-Horse, Comcast spokesman Jeff Alexander said: “We’ve had ongoing, good-faith discussions with Philadelphia Park about channel carriage, yet haven’t reached an amenable agreement. Since the (track) elected to discontinue its business arrangement with Comcast, the channel must be removed from our lineup at the end of the month.”

Joe Wilson, director of operations at Philly Park, could not be immediately reached for comment March 11.

Several viewers of PhoneBet TV in southeastern Pennsylvania e-mailed The Blood-Horse about the situation March 10 after reading an article explaining how a new law in Pennsylvania makes racetrack casinos accountable for promotion of horse racing. The head of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission said March 10 the tracks are expected to push horse racing.

One e-mail said the following message was scrolling on the PhoneBet TV screen: “Dear PhoneBet patrons: It has been advised that, by the end of March, Comcast will no longer be carrying PhoneBet TV. We are looking into this. Please call Comcast with any questions.”

PhoneBet TV is a big deal for locals because Comcast currently doesn’t carry TVG or HRTV, according to the e-mails.

Philly Park has been broadcasting its races, as well as those from other tracks, on cable television for more than 20 years. PhoneBet TV began broadcasting with Comcast in 2005, and is currently available on Comcast channel 716 in southeastern Pennsylvania.

PhoneBet, Philly Park’s account wagering service, has been in operation since the late 1980s.

Tom LaMarra contributed to this story