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Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday Morning News

- Churchill Downs and Magna will detail at a Monday morning press teleconference three new agreements, including Churchill's purchase of 50% of HRTV, on which Churchill's races will be televised as each of its tracks' agreements with TVG expire. Churchill's upcoming spring meeting will be the first to appear on the network. And the show formerly known as The Works will migrate to HRTV:

As part of its 2007 offerings, HRTV(TM) will broadcast "Target Louisville," a 30-minute television program highlighting the training, workouts and final preparations of Kentucky Derby contenders. "Target Louisville" will air daily during the week leading up to the 133rd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. [Magna Press Release]
Churchill will also announce the formation of their own ADW company, to be called, and the two companies will form a joint venture, TrackNet Media Group. That entity will allow the two companies' tracks to be offered on each other's ADW platforms, Churchill's new one and Magna's Xpressbet; and for the companies to package their races and sell them to third parties, thus giving them greater bargaining power in selling their signals to other tracks, OTB's, casinos, and ADW's.

- Here are some early Beyer returns for Saturday's races:
Scat Daddy - 95
Great Hunter - 101
King of the Roxy - 103
Corinthian - 107
The Fountain of Youth number indicates a continued lack of progress Beyer-wise for all of the top four finishers, most notably Nobiz Like Shobiz, who regressed from the 98 earned in the Holy Bull, and didn't show anymore maturity either. But here's a big step forward for Great Hunter, whose previously lackluster numbers were the main flaw in his record. King of the Roxy also moved forward in a big way, but as we noted yesterday, he's destined to remain in one-turn affairs. And Corinthian improved one point on his seasonal debut, and looks like a horse who's ready to build on those numbers.


Lenny said...

Thus begins the downward spiral of TVG. Maybe now they will change the business model that has proven to be a complete failure for the last decade. I would like to point out that on Sunday the TVG analysts did talk about the races at Gulfstream and Santa Anita, something they rarely do. Also Todd Schrup mentioned GP on Blinkers Off on Friday. It was once taboo for TVG to mention the tracks they did not cover, maybe this is a sign that they are heading in the right direction.

Hopefully Directv will pickup HRTV in the near future, but if not at least I can play the CDI tracks on Xpressbet. One thing not mentioned in the press release was whether Xpressbet would continue to provide free video and no-fee wagers. I would expect that they would, but with a virtual monopoly on all the top tracks they can seemingly do as they please.


Handride said...

I dont know how you can call making all that money a failure, but they would be well served to look to partner up and consolidate further. They do have all those households and they do bring a legitimate value to the tracks they have exclusive agreements with.

AJ Kreider said...

Love your blog, btw.

I can't figure out those beyers, honestly. Corinthian gets a 107 for going a 1/16 farther than Scat Daddy in 155. Surely, Scat Daddy would've gotten that distance in 155 and change. The last 3/8ths of the FOY were slow, but the winner's last 3 weren't that slow.

And Scat Daddy was carrying more weight than Corintian. A 95 seems a bit short, especially when you consider that they went through a mile faster than they went in the Holy Bull (run at a mile).

But such arcana as speed figs have always been a mystery to me.

alan said...

TVG did announce some stirling financial results last week, so they're not failing financially...but certainly in terms of their usefulness to us viewers.

AJ - thanks for reading, I appreciate it. In order to have run the 1:55.06 that Corinthian did, Scat Daddy would have had to run another sixteenth in approx 6 seconds. The last eighth went in 13.75, so Scat Daddy went a bit faster than that. But if you factor in the fact that he was more likely slowing down rather than speeding up (and I believe that the Beyer boys do make that assumption), I think it's more likely that he would have checked in at around 1:56. I think you do make a valid point in that the figures are often hard to figure, but this one seems to make a little sense, anyway. And they don't figure weight into the figures, as the Sheets guys do.

Lenny said...

TVG's business model is a failure. The exclusive deals they made have backfired on them and in a few years they will be left with second and third tier tracks like Sunland, Tampa Bay and Turf Paradise. On top of that is the fact that they went behind CDI's back and sent their signals over to the UK. TVG is greedy in everything they do from per wager fees to gouging other AWD's for the right to wager on their exclusive tracks.

It is nice to see the bad guy getting what it deserves for once. Maybe now they will stop trying to portray themselves as a good guy for racing and change the way they operate or risk going out of business. TVG cares about making money and could not care less about the horse industry. That is not to say that the people that cover the races do not care, just the executives who pad their wallets with per wager fees.


Tote Board Brad said...

I maintain TVG will be sold to either the Magna/CDI venture so that both channels are controlled by one house, or sold to another industry group. I'm setting the over/under for this to happen at 30 months. It would be ideal if Fox kept their minority share, though.

Lenny said...

It would make sense to have both channels controlled by one entity. It would also make sense to have one channel based in the east or midwest and keep the other in California. For example have TVG move to New York or Kentucky and cover the European races and the eastern and central timezones while allowing HRTV to cover the mountain and pacific timezones and racing from Asia and Australia.

Another solution would be to divide the tracks across the country evenly so that neither channel is overwhelmed by too many races at one time. Currently many tracks (Delaware, Philadelphia, etc.) are only shown on Monday and Tuesday because there is not enough time during the rest of the week to squeeze in their races.

Also consolidating the ADW's would make sense. Maybe have an Xpressbet East and an Xpressbet West so as not to bog down the site, but at the same time keeping the same interface. On major racing days these sites often crash or are so busy that it takes several minutes to get a bet in. Most importantly though would be free video and no per wager fees.