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Written 10 years ago! Could have been written last week (tip of the hat to turfnsport at Track Champions)
24-Hour Racing Network Looks Like a Real Loser
By ANDREW BEYER, WASHINGTON POST
August 01, 1999
When the Television Games Network, a 24-hour channel devoted to horse racing, made its debut last week, there was one moment that perfectly demonstrated the philosophy behind the new venture. A race had been run, and the results were official, but host Ken Rudulph chose not to announce the payoffs right away.
Instead, he opened a daily newspaper. "Before we check out the results," he said, "I've got to check out my horoscope . . . " And he proceeded to read the forecast for Libra that promised "success in financial matters."
Gentlemen, there's no fighting here. This is the WAR ROOM!
President Merkin Muffley
Ah yes. I remember the good ol' days...
Pre-internet, pre-TVG. The only way to get race results was to wait until the next morning's paper. And that was for only the SoCal tracks - KY and NY didn't even exist in those rarefied times. The only way to bet in the OTB-less wasteland of San Diego was to actually attend real live racing. Those were the days, huh?
It's no small coincidence that racing began it's long downward spiral the moment TVG went on the air.
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I'd say Mr. Beyer couldn't function without that TVG station now. I remember the days when you only knew the results of major stakes races around the country were when Trevor would announce them during the Santa Anita card.
If wishes were horses then beggars would ride-
& If dirt were dollars we'd all be in the black
I'd say most of us couldn't live with out our tvg, it's more than just results and live racing, the info, insight, and interviews are priceless assets , The Hosts are not supposed to be all things to all people, there is someone for everyone. They are so diverse that they mirror tv and movie casts everywhere. Its time that the good qualities of even your less favorable people are taken into account and given some credit. If anyone can do a better job, grab some investors and start a network. If you hate it don't watch it, if you have ever gotten ANY useful info, don't insult it. If you are relying on the hosts handicapping to make a living, you're putting to much stress on your relationship and it's time for a trial seperation
I agree 200%, Given a World "Without TVG" then most serious horseplayers would be in a very negative place right now. Yeah for sure sometomes the TVG commentators get a little irritating especially Carothers, Rudolph & Sarge, but thats why they made the "Mute Button".
However it should be noted that its actually not the same TVG as it was in 1999 as the famous British betting operation called "Bet-Fair purchased TVG in April-'09. Shortly after Bet-Fair purchasing TVG, I noticed some positive results right away, like the Wagering war with Churchill Downs being over, allowing for wagers on all Churchill mowned tracks, where-as the former owners of TVG couldnt seem to know how to negotiate a deal that made everyone happy.
For sure there are always going to be detractors & people who want to bad-mouth & poo-poo on TVG for various reasons, but I can remember before TVG came on the air there was very little TV coverage of horse-racing period, unless it was the Tri-Crown & even then that was just about 3-4 minutes with maybe a reply of the final stretch run. So if any serious horseplayer wants to go back to those days then they've got to be same people saying lets go back to the horse & carriage too because I hate all the smog that cars are causing.
You are kidding right? Have you ever heard of RTN or video streaming?
When RTN is added to Dish Network this fall there will not be a serious horseplayer in the U.S. that still watches TVG (if it is even still around).
I Googled this "Racetrack television network." They want me to pay $100 a month to watch track feeds that I can watch on my laptop for free through TwinSpires? And they're not going to give me personalities or behind-the-scenes features?
TVG is great. I don't understand why people rail on Ken/Todd/Matt for peppering their handicapping chatter with cultural references. Last time I checked, that popular show over on ESPN that shows highlights in other sports has won several Emmys for a similar presentation.
There's 25 minutes between races, and TVG doesn't sell a whole lot of on-air inventory. They need to talk about something.
It's not going to be $100 a month.
DISH Network® to Carry Racetrack Television Network Subscription Package
ENGLEWOOD , Colo. , May 12 -- DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH) today announced that it has entered into a long-term agreement with Racetrack Television Network (RTN) and HorseRacing TV (HRTV) for the creation of a subscription racing package. The subscription package will be offered to DISH Network® subscribers under the brand name “Racetrack Television Network,” and will consist of up to 80 channels of live thoroughbred, quarterhorse, harness and greyhound racing.
Each racetrack in the package will have its own dedicated channel, allowing viewers to watch the same live, uninterrupted simulcast feed as is shown in commercial wagering establishments. The simulcast feed will include full wagering information, paddock shots, and post parades. Depending upon the time of year and the number of racetracks operating the package will include as many as 700 live races daily. DISH Network subscribers will be able to watch all of the exciting racing action for the everyday low price of $49.99 per month.
In addition to the 80 channel package, DISH Network viewers will have the opportunity to subscribe to a “Best of RTN” package. The “Best of RTN” package will consist of the live simulcast feeds of 12 of the top RTN racetracks running at any given time. The “Best of RTN” package will cost $29.99 per month.
Both the 80 channel and “Best Of RTN” packages are expected to launch in September, 2009
As part of the agreement announced today, HRTV and DISH Network have entered into a long-term extension of HRTV’s carriage arrangement on DISH Network. HRTV and RTN will work cooperatively to market and promote the subscription package.
“With the recent running of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes around the corner, we are all reminded of the popularity of horse racing,” said Michael Kelly, Executive Vice President of DISH Network. “We are pleased to be able to offer DISH Network subscribers the most complete package of racing content available in the marketplace.”
“This new arrangement with DISH Network allows us to greatly improve and expand the existing distribution of the RTN package of racing content,” said Todd Roberts, President of Racetrack Television Network. “Through this new relationship with DISH Network, it will now be easier than ever for racing fans across the country to access the full-card simulcast feeds available on RTN. Furthermore, our relationship with HRTV allows us to market and promote both the RTN package and the sport of racing in general, in ways never before possible.”
RTN is a subscription based television network that offers live, uninterrupted, full card simulcasts from thoroughbred, harness, quarter horse, and greyhound racetracks throughout North America and other parts of the world. RTN currently offers up to 40 channels of service via its private, direct to home satellite network for a monthly subscription fee. RTN is scheduled to launch an internet and mobile version of the service in September, 2009.
For those who might be interested, Today on TVG during the Hollywood Park Replay Show, TVG showed the last 20 or so runnings of the Hollywood Gold Cup. If you missed it, you might be able to see it again as sometimes they repeat the special replays after the last night t-bred signal is run.
For specific times when these golden replays from yester-years of the Hollywood Gold Cup will be shown again, send in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have to admit it was a real treat for real racing fan & very cool watching horses like Swaps, Native Diver, Pearrault, Cigar, Siphon, Real Quiet & so on down the line.
My overriding complaint with TVG, and one they refuse to answer, is truth in broadcasting. HRTV will tell you if a race is delayed by only a few seconds, but TVG does the "plausibly live" thing making it APPEAR the race is being shown live. They even do this for races that have been official for more than 10 minutes.
Shame on TVG for not letting viewers know a race they are watching could be as much as 15 minutes old.
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