12/15/2010 5:15PM

Aqueduct signal returns to New York City cable television

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The signal from Aqueduct was broadcast on a local cable channel in the New York City area on Wednesday, the first time the signal had been available on the channel since New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation shut down last Wednesday.

Officials of Aqueduct’s operator, the New York Racing Association, had been working with city officials since the shutdown to secure a deal that would restore the signal to Channel 71, which is available on cable systems throughout the city. Prior to shutting down, New York City OTB had paid the city $3.3 million annually to broadcast both the NYRA signal on Channel 71 and races from out-of-state tracks on Channel 73.

NYRA officials would not comment on the restoration Wednesday, according to Dan Silver, a spokesman for the association. City officials did not immediately return phone calls.

Under current regulations, NYRA is unable to live-stream its races over its website without the approval of other OTBs, so the restoration gives New York City residents their only way to view the races live without going to the track, an ability that is considered critical to account-wagering customers.

On Wednesday, NYRA’s chief executive, Charlie Hayward, said on a radio show that the association remains in discussions with the state’s five regional off-track betting corporations on an agreement that would allow live streaming on its account-wagering platform.