Says CDI-MEC Partnership a Positive

Edited press release, one of the leading account wagering companies in North America, said the objectives espoused by Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment Corp. in their March 5 announcement of joint content venture validate investments in a number of areas, including its distribution model for racing content.

CDI and MEC have formed TrackNet Media Group, under which it will exchange content and sell content to third-party operators. In addition, CDI purchased 50% of HRTV and will operate its own advance deposit wagering company by the end of this year.

“We applaud the commitment by both companies to invest in wagering integrity, security, and product innovations,” chief executive officer Charles Champion said in a release. “These are the types of significant expenditures Youbet has made in the past decade to generate appropriate returns for both shareholders and industry stakeholders.”

Champion said expects to continue to have access to CDI and MEC content.

“While we have not seen any agreements or proposals at this early stage, the joint venture’s stated emphasis on broader distribution of racing content bodes well for our non-exclusive business model, which has produced annual increases in handle far in excess of the industry average due to our highly effective targeted marketing of content to a loyal customer base in 40 states.

“In addition, we anticipate that additional competition in the advance deposit wagering market will have a beneficial impact on the industry’s overall levels of wagering growth.”

Separately, the company said one-time costs would cause the company to report a larger than expected loss for the fourth quarter of 2006. The company also said that it will initiate annual earnings guidance and expects diluted earnings per share of $.15 to $.17 for 2007. The guidance details will be incorporated in the company’s year-end release and conference call scheduled for March 13.