U.S. Races to be Beamed Overseas

TRN International, a subsidiary of the Racing Network, has signed an agreement with Satellite Information Services of England to provide six hours of daily live television coverage of North American Thoroughbred racing.

Meanwhile, it has been reported in Great Britain that the TV Games Network is in negotiations with 59 racetracks for broadcast rights.

TRN, headquartered at Philadelphia Park, will use a transatlantic satellite link to transmit racing each night from 6-11:45 p.m. in Great Britain. Licensed wagering operators in England will be able to commingle bets with U.S. pools, according to a TRN statement.

The racing will be shown on BskyB, a satellite system available to four million subscribers.

In an interview with The Blood-Horse earlier this year, TRN president Bill Hogwood said the goal is to become a "worldwide provider." At the time, he said he was working on software that would permit transmission of wagers from overseas into U.S. pools.

Hogwood said revenue will be returned to U.S. tracks under the system. The new channel could be ready by the end of October.

David Holdgate, chief executive officer of S.I.S., said the pari-mutuel system is an ideal platform for the Internet market. He said the new TRN product "will compete effectively against other forms of legalized sports betting within Europe."

The Sporting Life, a British newspaper, reported that the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Ltd. have heralded their support for TVG. That was confirmed by Chip Tuttle, the NTRA's vice president of communications.

Tuttle said NTRA commissioner Tim Smith and Breeders' Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr. both authored letters that went to racing officials in England. TVG is a marketing partner of the NTRA, while Philadelphia Park, home of TRN, is a member of the NTRA.