TVG Gets Access TO 11 Million Homes in DirecTV Deal

A multi-year deal between the Television Games Network and the DirecTV satellite service gives the 24-hour horse racing network access to an additional 11 million homes in North America.

The agreement, announced Friday, takes effect on April 7 when TVG will become part of DirecTV's Sports Pack premium service and be available on channel 602.

TVG is also available on the standard package of the Dish Network, which reaches eight million homes, and is on cable systems in Baltimore, Lexington, Louisville, sections of Los Angeles, and soon will be seen in San Diego, Orange County (Calif.), and Cleveland.

"From a demographic perspective, TVG matches up well with DirecTV's Sports Pack service and we feel that our network will have unique appeal to their customers," Mark Wilson, president and CEO of TVG, said in a statement. "We are pleased that we were able to conclude the agreement, which is another important step in building our business and providing our racetrack and horsemen partners with a broad television presence on TVG."

"TVG is a unique addition to our sports programming lineup that will enable us to extend our appeal to the multitude of ardent horseracing fans," said Michael Thornton, senior vice president, programming acquisitions, DirecTV, Inc. "Already the acknowledged leader in sports programming, DirecTV now provides its more than 11 million customers with an even fuller range of TV sporting events from hockey to horseracing. We also look forward to exploring the future use of interactive applications to enhance the TVG viewing experience."

"We are pleased to announce this agreement with DirecTV which provides TVG with access to more than 11 million customers across the United States," said Ray Hopkins, executive vice president of the Affiliate Sales and Marketing Group for Gemstar-TV Guide International, TVG's parent company. "This is an important step in growing our distribution among multichannel video providers as they realize TVG's potential and
value to consumers."

TVG has exclusive long-term agreements for television and interactive wagering with the following racetracks: Aqueduct, Arlington Park, Belmont Park, Calder, Churchill Downs, Del Mar, Ellis Park, Fairplex Park, Hollywood Park, Hoosier Park, Keeneland, Laurel Park, Los Alamitos, Oak Tree at Santa Anita, Pimlico, Prairie Meadows, Ruidoso Downs, Saratoga Raceway, Saratoga Race Course, Turf Paradise and Turfway Park. The network also is an exclusive marketing partner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.