05/15/2008 11:00PM

Deal reached on NYRA signal

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A group representing racetracks in eight states has reached a multi-year deal with the New York Racing Association that will allow the tracks to import the association's races, an official of the group said on Friday.

The deal was reached on Wednesday, according to Mike Weiss, the general manager of Beulah Park and the president of the Southern Racing Cooperative, a company that negotiates the signal rights on behalf of racetracks in Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, and Texas. Most sites were able to offer patrons the ability to bet on the signal from NYRA's Belmont Park on Thursday, Weiss said.

The signal from Belmont Park had been blacked out in the states since Belmont opened on April 30. NYRA also operates Aqueduct and Saratoga Race Course.

NYRA officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Weiss declined to provide terms of the deal, but would say that the agreement was a multi-year contract.

“We're happy to have Belmont back, and happy to know that we will be able to offer the Belmont Stakes," scheduled for June 7, Weiss said.

NYRA had been seeking an increase in the rate that simulcast sites pay for its signal. The push for the increase had also resulted in a dispute with a separate cooperative representing tracks in the Mid-Atlantic, but that dispute was settled on May 8.