08/07/2007 11:00PM

Arlington signal moves to HRTV


The in-home racing signal for Arlington Park outside of Chicago was moved to HorseRacing TV beginning Wednesday as a result of the expiration of the track's contract with Television Games Network.

Arlington Park has been a fixture on Television Games Network since the channel was launched a decade ago. Earlier this year, Arlington's owner, Churchill Downs Inc., purchased a 50 percent share in HorseRacing TV from Magna Entertainment Corp., but could not move the Arlington signal to HRTV until the contract with TVG expired.

HRTV is available on the Dish satellite network and on some local cable systems. TVG is available on the DirecTV satellite network and a far larger network of local cable systems in the U.S.

As a result of the switch, TVG and a partner, Youbet.com, will not be able to offer wagering on Arlington Park. TVG has failed to come to an agreement on a content-sharing agreement with Churchill and its simulcast partner, Magna.

The switch to HRTV comes three days before the biggest day of the Arlington meet, Arlington Million Day, which includes three Grade 1 stakes.

The loss of Arlington Park will leave TVG with slim but valuable summer pickings. The network still holds the rights to Saratoga in New York and Del Mar in Southern California, the two most popular summer signals in the United States, as well as the rights to Monmouth Park in New Jersey and a host of other minor tracks.

Other Churchill-owned tracks are still on TVG, including Calder Race Course in Florida and Fair Grounds in New Orleans. The contract with Calder expires at the end of its meet in 2008, and the contract with Fair Grounds will expire as of the start of that track's meet in November this year, according to Churchill officials.