12/05/2014 4:39PM

Gulfstream simulcast in doubt as rights stalemate continues


With Gulfstream set to start its winter meet tomorrow, a simulcasting cooperative and Gulfstream’s parent company remained locked in a stalemate Friday night over the rights to simulcast signals, threatening the availability of Gulfstream’s races on its opening weekend at sites in a handful of states.

Though Gulfstream’s parent company sent the cooperative a detailed proposal seeking to end the stalemate Friday, it was unlikely the proposal would lead to any immediate lifting of the blackout, according to officials for both sides. The proposal was sent by Monarch Capital Management Company, which controls the simulcast rights to tracks owned by the Stronach Group, to a group called the MidAtlantic Cooperative, which represents 23 racetracks, including most sites in Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania.

Scott Daruty, the president of Monarch, said the proposal delineated the rates Monarch believed should be paid for each site within the MidAtlantic Cooperative, a sharp departure from the group’s previous contract, which charged the cooperative’s members a flat rate. The prices varied depending on the amount of live racing conducted by a site, Daruty said, among other factors.

“It’s pretty much the way we price to everyone else in the country, which is pricing each site on an individual basis depending on the business they do,” Daruty said.

Phil O’Hara, the executive director of the cooperative, said he received the Monarch proposal Friday afternoon and was attempting to convene the group’s board Friday night for a detailed discussion of the proposal. However, he would not comment on whether he believed a deal could be reached by the start of Gulfstream’s Saturday card, which features the Claiming Crown event.

Signals from the Monarch tracks, which include Laurel, Tampa Bay, Golden Gate, and Turf Paradise, began to be cut off at the cooperative sites last weekend. A previous contract between the two parties expired Nov. 30.

Monarch has offered to allow the cooperative’s sites to continue to offer wagering on the company’s signals while the negotiations took place, but the cooperative has declined.