It was announced today that TVG and Churchill Downs (Tracknet) have reached an agreement for TVG to distribute and resell the Tracknet signals. Although we have yet to see all the details, on the surface this looks like good news. One of HANA's main planks is an end to exclusivity, and distributing the product to anyone who wants it.
TVG for years operated on a business model built on exclusive wagering and broadcast contracts with racetracks, but appears to be shifting toward exclusivity only in television broadcast rights, such as for the recently-completed Keeneland spring meet.
“What were circumstances that prevailed 10 years ago may not necessarily prevail now,” Nichols said. “And you have got to recognize the commercial reality, and adapt to that commercial reality. I think that (Keeneland) deal is indicative of our ability to surmise how things have changed, and to put into place a deal that enables us to offer exclusive television, and be rewarded for that, but also to compete with other ADWs and broaden the appeal of not only Keeneland, but premium U.S. horse racing.”
We are encouraged at this first step. Betfair has clearly delivered on one of their first public moves for horseplayers. Now, we will see what they will do on one of HANA's other major planks: Affordable pricing for horseplayers to increase handles.