12/12/2007 12:00AM

N.J., TVG agree to new deal

EmailThe New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority has signed a contract with Television Games Network that assigns the television rights of Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands to TVG but allows the NJSEA to sell wagering rights to other companies, an authority official said Wednesday.

Alex Dadoyan, the authority's assistant vice president of simulcasting and account wagering, said the contract would last for one year. Under the terms of the agreement, races from Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands will be broadcast live only on TVG, but the authority will seek to strike deals with TVG's competitors to give those companies' customers access to betting on the tracks' races.

"It's really the best of both worlds," Dadoyan said. "TVG has the most widely distributed television network, and we get to take advantage of that, and we still get access to the other account-wagering companies."

Last year, Monmouth and the Meadowlands operated under an agreement with TVG that made their wagering rights available only to TVG customers and TVG's sublicensing partners, such as Youbet.com. TVG is the largest account-wagering provider in the United States and is available in 30 million homes.

The agreement underscores the rapid changes in the account-wagering market brought on by dissatisfaction among horseplayers and horsemen about the unavailability of signals on many account-wagering platforms. In the past, TVG sought agreements with tracks that gave the company control over the distribution and betting on the signals, but the company's position has softened lately.

In November, TVG reached an agreement with California's racetracks and horsemen that divided the broadcast rights between TVG and HorseracingTV, a network owned by Magna Entertainment Corp. and Churchill Downs. Under that agreement, all account-wagering companies are able to take bets on races from California tracks.

Dadoyan said that the NJSEA anticipated signing a wagering contract with the Magna-Churchill partnership.