11/21/2006 1:00AM

Churchill sues TVG


Churchill Downs Inc. accused its domestic account-wagering partner, Television Games Network, of breach of contract in a lawsuit filed on Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Louisville, Ky.

The lawsuit involves TVG's plan to broadcast races from its U.S. racetrack partners in the United Kingdom through a subscription horse racing service called Attheraces. In the lawsuit, Churchill alleges that TVG did not seek Churchill's approval for the foreign broadcasts, in violation of the domestic agreements.

The domestic contracts "require that they get our approval for any sub-licensing broadcast agreement," said Julie Koenig-Loignon, a spokesperson for Churchill. "That didn't happen in this case."

John Hindman, TVG's legal counsel, said that the network would challenge the lawsuit.

In March, six months before TVG announced the agreement with Attheraces, Churchill launched a broadcasting service in the United Kingdom in partnership with Magna Entertainment Corp., a racetrack operator, and Racing UK, a British broadcasting company. Attheraces is a direct competitor to the Churchill service in the U.K. and Ireland.

The lawsuit states that Churchill would not have gone through with the partnership to broadcast races in the U.K. if TVG had indicated that the network planned to enter the European market.

The lawsuit states that Churchill has made a $750,000 investment in the U.K. service.