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Magna offers cable network

Jan 14, 2003 4:44 AM

Shut out by the competition’s cable network competition, Magna Entertainment Corp. (MIEC) has announced that it plans to launch HorseRacing TV, a 24-hour cable-television network that will offer live thoroughbred, harness and quarter-horse racing from tracks throughout North America.

Magna Entertainment, which controls the racing product from 12 tracks in the U.S. and Canada, has been unable to negotiate a deal with TVG, a subsidiary of Gemstar-TV Guide, to include its racetracks on cable presentations in many states, including California.

With product from such well-known racing facilities as Santa Anita, Gulfstream (the two strongest signals during the winter racing months), northern California’s Golden Gate and Bay Meadows, and the recently-acquired Maryland tracks, HorseRacing TV is expected to be an attractive package for cable television networks that are in need of sporting product.

Actually, the telecasts have been available since last summer but only to paying satellite customers. The simulcasting is handled by Racetrack Television Network LLC, an entity that involves a subsidiary of Roberts Television Network, an affiliate of Todd Roberts’ Nevada Dissemination System of Las Vegas.

According to the announcement, the network will be available to cable operators as a free basic service and shown initially in the San Diego area, as well as western Pennsylvania.