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Friday, February 16, 2007

Upon Further Review..

- Thanks to Steve D for enlightening us regarding TVG. I don't know that exclusivity per se is the problem. Those with Dish Network aren't complaining. (I had Dish before switching last spring in anticipation of the Rangers' Stanley Cup run - two days later, Direct TV picked up OLN, and a week later, the Blueshirts were swept out of the playoffs). As Patrick points out over at PHBH, in the NFL, the AFC is basically exclusive to CBS and the NFC to FOX. It goes back to the oft-repeated issue that racing lacks an effective central office and commissioner directing affairs in the best interest of the sport. The NFL would never grant the AFC rights to the Fox Soccer Network (which Nathanson laughingly included in his list of networks that TVG has wider distribution than)

Similarly, in an ideal world, the NTRA would work with the various tracks to ensure wide distribution for all, preferably, as Steve D notes, with scarcer product and staggered post times. In the real world of course, horse racing ain't the NFL, and not enough people care enough to create a demand for HRTV on Direct TV or TVG on Time Warner. That's something an energetic racing commissioner could be working on as well.

Patrick is also looking for some more information on what percentage of bets from various outlets go back to the source track. Nathanson states that TVG returns 14%, claiming that that's more than any other ADW provider. That would be commendable if it's true, but given some of the questionable assertions elsewhere in his column, I'd want to see that for myself.

- Late Scratch provides a likely scenario for Jerry Bossert's story about the governor office denying rumors of NYRA-NY negotiations to extend the franchise. It did seem strange that nobody picked up on or checked out the WRGB story given some excellent coverage we've seen from reporters like James Odato of the Times Union and Tom Precious of the Buffalo News. Hell, I suppose I could have made the same call!

Personally, I don't know if I'm buying the denial. There's a lot of logic in the rumor. The two leading contenders have those troubling political entanglements, and the state has had its chance to contend the land claim in court only to back down. But then again....Logic? In Albany? Upon further review....

- And yes, thanks to Late Scratch and others who inquired about my health. I'm mostly recovered from a brief but intensely nasty bout with the stomach flu. You don't wanna hear anymore. Trust me.