05/04/2016 2:10PM

TVG not authorized to show Churchill's live races


Churchill Downs has not authorized Television Games Network to broadcast the track’s races live on its flagship network or on TVG’s website for this year’s spring meet, an official for TVG said on Wednesday.

The signal blackout on TVG’s most widely distributed network and the company’s account-wagering platform began on Saturday, when Churchill began its spring meet, according to John Hindman, the legal counsel for TVG. However, the live television signal is available on TVG2, a network that TVG rebranded after acquiring its competitor, HRTV, early last year. TVG2 is available on far fewer televisions than the flagship station.

Customers of TVG are still able to bet on Churchill’s races through TVG’s website, the officials said.

Though Churchill officials did not respond to requests for comment by early afternoon, the blackout is likely related to Churchill’s position as a competitor to TVG in the account-wagering market. Churchill’s account-wagering operation, twinspires.com, was showing the track’s races live on Wednesday and taking bets on its races. 

The weeklong run-up to the Kentucky Derby is the most important promotional period of the year for account-wagering operators, as the companies attempt to exploit national attention on the Derby to entice casual racing fans to their operations. Compared to committed racing fans, casual fans are far less likely to already have a betting account.

Churchill was a former partner in HRTV with another racing company, The Stronach Group, but Churchill sold its stake in 2014, the year before TVG acquired the network. With the acquisition, TVG gained the signal rights to all of the tracks owned by The Stronach Group for seven years, as well as the existing contracts held by HRTV. At the time, Churchill had distribution contracts with HRTV, but the company has not commented since the acquisition on the term of those contracts. 

Bob Grenetz More than 1 year ago
What about states,where you can only open up accounts  with TVG,guess except for the races on nbc and nbcsn,you can't  watch any
Mark More than 1 year ago
there is nothing to be gained for our sport by limiting access to live viewers. The competitive nature of these companies is pointless when you cut off your nose dispite your face. No one who watches tvg is gonna decide to change companies. And most true player will have both. You need to develop new customers and that can only be done by allowing access to ALL avenues. Try something novel like lower takeout or betting exchanges not petty warfare over already know clientele 
Frank More than 1 year ago
even though I am not a CD fan - I dislike TVG even worse.  I miss HRTV.  

TVG has the worst broadcaster -- I wouldnt even call them HR broadcasters -- They are all a bunch of classless CA idiots!  Todd Shrupp, the idiot ego former baseball player and the entire cast of idiots just need to be fired.

Russell Young More than 1 year ago
Sorry, I respectively disagree.  They are even more entertaining now that they have incorporated a fair share of the former HRTV talent.
NJHorseplayer More than 1 year ago
I can assure you, very few people in America even know what TVG is, let alone will they be rushing there to open new accounts. In my state, we cannot even consider opening a TwinSpires account, so that's not the point here...which is that Churchill likes to flex its muscle on an ancillary (simulcast feeds) part of its core casino business and to hell with daily racing fans. If I were TVG, I'd delete the CD track feeds and wagering from my menu until CDI plays nice; hurt their handle.
Chuck Seeger More than 1 year ago

Watch the Churchill races on Friday and Saturday on the NBC Sports Network.  The rest of the Churchill meet isn't worth wasting a minute of your life on.  CDI only cares about the next two days and the gouging of the people who actually attends those days points it out (although they do a wonderful gouge job on those bogus evening cards as well).

This blackout once again shows how foolish this industry is.  It would be like Ford sponsoring a car race and unless you bought a Ford vehicle, you would not be able to watch the event.  I keep waiting for the American sports fan to wake up and realize how badly they are getting ripped off by all sports, but it hasn't hit them yet, with the exception of NASCAR. Tracks that used to be filled are now half empty on a weekly basis.

John More than 1 year ago
There are so many simple fixes for racing but we have to deal with a load of high school drop outs who claim to be "racing experts "
Here is a simple solution, show the replay show on Saturday nights, prime time !
All week long, when you go shopping(Albertsons/Vons)you, get a card with the race number and a horse # listed ., for every $5 you spend . The more cards, the more you spend !
If your horse wins, you win cash & passes & food  to your local racetrack .
Getting new players out to the races is the way they got my generation out there .
I remember Saturday nights, we would sit around and watch "Lets Go To The Races "........it was a blast..............And to add intrigue, the Feature Race paid $10,000 for the win $5000 for the place & 
$1000 for the show , steals some lotto cash into the shopping cart !
John More than 1 year ago
I was going to play between $500-$600 on the Churchill card Saturday. The run up races to the Derby are good betting options, but if I cant watch it on TVG, then I wont be betting, at least I have Santa Anita. This is a prime example of why racing is slowly folding its tent ! Too much inside arguing about signals and take outs, etc . WHAT ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT........THE BETTORS 
When we are down to one east coast track and one on the west coast, these "suits" who think they are experts will be asking "whaaa happn'd"....................................................you got greedy and screwed yourself ! Thats what happened Churchill !
Rhondac Conklin More than 1 year ago
The Stronach Group has been a nightmare since day one.Nothing positive ever comes out with these people.This was once the greatest sport of all,and we keep going straight down hill.In N.Y.they cancel the nightly replays after 25 years,and now there plans are to make Aqueduct a synthetic track.All we need now to wrap things up is having  Trump win the election.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
It is amazing how shortsighted the idiots who run racing are. if i was in charge of a track i would want my signal live in as many places as possible .i would steam it live on the internet as well. in this day and age were people are increasingly dumping cable and young people view everything online i would be promoting KENTUCKY DERBY parties on line and making everybody aware of were they could get live streaming. it would be on free tv as much as possible too.as well as every racing channel on cable. racings decline is directly linked to 3 things in my opinion the expansion of alternative gambling (not much you can do)..lack of visibility due to diminishing coverage of the sport ,specially on free tv and newspapers and news in general. ( having viewers across various platforms would help tremendously) and lack of ethics and oversight (people don't bet into rigged contests). the advantage that france and hong kong or japan have is they have one betting platform and not various corporations trying to kill each other. And the sport in the process.
APB70 More than 1 year ago
Hear, hear! Bravo! Joe Bravo!!
AzCraig More than 1 year ago
CDI is garbage and this is why they didn't deserve the Breeders Cup...Outside of two days of racing they are nonexistent...they have turned Fairgrounds and Arlingron into race fair circuits and they eliminated Calder...they basically have destroyed their brand like Indy car racing...I will watch on mute and then go along with my year not watching or betting one single race so their shareholders wont be profiting off me...I encourage the racing industry do the same so these slot hungry fools will go away for good.