08/10/2013 4:18PM

Simulcast signals have nationwide 90-minute blackout on Friday

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The satellite network that provides simulcast signals to racetracks and satellite betting locations nationwide was out of service for approximately 90 minutes on Friday afternoon because of poor weather, track officials said on Saturday.

The disruption, caused by a thunderstorm that hit a Roberts Communication satellite uplink facility in Cheyenne, Wyo., affected television pictures, but did not affect wagering. Service was restored shortly after 4 p.m. Pacific time, but the disruption affected the signal for the first race of the Del Mar card, according to Del Mar’s chief operating officer, Josh Rubinstein.

“People could still bet, but they couldn’t see the signal,” he said.

Some simulcast locations in Las Vegas and in other parts of the United States lost all of their television signals from racetracks during the outage.

Rubinstein said that Del Mar’s simulcast customers were instructed to switch their television service to a simulcast of the TVG network, which provides coverage of Del Mar’s races. The satellite system was restored later on Friday afternoon, he said.