Contract negotiations that affect the availability of race replay videos from Magna Entertainment tracks are proceeding, but these videos still may not be available to several industry Web sites until the end of the week.
Post Time Technologies, a company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, is negotiating with TrackNet Media, the recently formed joint venture between Magna and Churchill Downs Inc. Over the weekend, the Canadian company, which archives and distributes race replay videos to several online outlets, had temporarily stop offering the videos of Magna's races to some of its partners, including the Web sites for The Blood-Horse and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
“We are talking,” said Vicky Stickwood-Hislop, chief operating officer for Post Time Technologies. “[TrackNet Media] has never given us the impression that they would not continue the contract. It is just a matter of it being a new entity and getting it done.”
Stickwood-Hislop had hoped for the replay service to have already been restored but said late Tuesday she didn't know when the deal would be done.
Other issues involving TrackNet Media have become higher profile since Monday, in particular an impasse with the online wagering company Youbet.com that could prevent Youbet.com customers from being able to wager on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 5. According to Youbet.com chairman Charles Champion, his company is being asked to drop the races from other racetracks that currently have contracts with the Television Games Network (TVG) in order to get access to the racetracks owned by Churchill Downs and Magna. Besides its flagship track, Churchill Downs’ properties include Arlington Park, Fair Grounds, and Calder Race Course, while Magna owns Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, and Pimlico among others.
According to a TrackNet Media executive, the dispute is all about creating a broad distribution of horse racing signals through a wide variety of wagering outlets and platforms, including advanced deposit wagering companies, like Youbet.com.
“The Youbet management team is aware of the fact that we are seeking a content exchange agreement with TVG,” said Scott Daruty, chief executive officer of TrackNet Media. “Youbet is the only large national ADW provider with a sublicense agreement in place allowing it to accept wagers on the TVG exclusive content on a going-forward basis. Youbet now seeks the right to accept wagers on TrackNet Media content as well – leaving Youbet as the only national provider able to offer its customers all major U.S. racing content. Such an arrangement would put all of Youbet’s competitors, including TVG, AmericaTAB, XpressBet and the yet-to-launch TwinSpires account-wagering service at a disadvantage, and it would unfairly penalize customers of those ADW platforms who want access to a broad range of content.”
Stickwood-Hislop said there is no relationship between the Post Time Technologies contract and the one with Youbet.com because they involve entirely different content.
“The Youbet.com issue is just bringing more awareness to this new entity,” she said. “As for us, there has been no talk at all about changes in price or the use of the content. The discussion has only been that this is a new entity and all contracts have to go through this new entity.”
The replay of races held at Magna tracks are available in the meantime for a fee at RaceReplays.com and two other online subscriptions services handled by Post Time Technologies.