UPDATE: So, they found a way to "work it out". Kinda.
TVG will now get to show the undercard races. They still can't broadcast from onsite.
The fact that this was even an issue is still absurd but, hey, we need at least a couple of "the racing industry has it's head buried in the sand" moments every year. Right?
I'm going to make this quick because I have handicapping to finish up, but yesterday the Paulick Report published this little gem: Marketing Deal Blocks TVG From Televising Breeders' Cup Undercard.
Long story short: TwinSpires and the Breeders' Cup negotiated some kind of deal which excludes TVG from not only broadcasting any of the undercard races on Friday and Saturday from Santa Anita, but they can't even broadcast from the track itself during the day - even if they aren't showing races. [I mean, of course they did. Of course it's CDI. Are we even surprised anymore?]
Think about what that means and then think about other sports in this country. Perhaps think about tonight's Game 7 of the World Series between the Cubs and Indians. FOX has broadcasting rights but other networks and stations will broadcast from the stadium in the hours leading up to the game. Just as is the case for every major sport in America.
Why is it that we are always talking about horse racing as the sport that's out of step with every sport in America? I mean, come on, guys, it's not that freaking hard.
If TVG can't show the actual Breeders' Cup races (like last year), I think that's fine. But excluding them from the undercard AND from broadcasting onsite? Absurd. And this is happening just so an ADW can continue its pissing match with TVG. Plus, video streams of races on TwinSpires are typically of poor quality (they could learn something from XBTV, which is freaking awesome.)
TVG might not be in HD, but the stream quality on TwinSpires is decidedly worse. So, "Yay, Horse Racing" - you've once again found away to reduce and degrade coverage of a signature event.
By the way, this isn't about whether you like TVG or not. Fact is, TVG is the only dedicated horse racing channel on TV in America. To negotiate a deal that excludes the only dedicated horse racing channel in America from on-site coverage of the Breeders' Cup is beyond incompetent. This goes to the Breeders' Cup, as well. I place most of the blame at TwinSpires, given they probably asked for the "exclusivity" in exchange for their sponsorship. But the Breeders' Cup should not be entering into deals which restrict and reduce coverage of the event.
But, again, are we even surprised any more?
One last thought: thank God I'm flying down to LA to go to the Breeders' Cup in person this year cause I certainly don't want to give TwinSpires a dime more of my play. I'm not a whale in any shape or form, so I'm sure TwinSpires won't miss my action. But I'm not a $20 weekend player, either.
Oh wait: NYRA Bets recently became active for Washington state residents. I signed up this morning.