|Wednesday, March 07, 2007|
|Bundling of interests in US racing market|
The two largest US racecourse operators Magna Entertainment and Churchill Downs have bundled some of their most important contents. A new joint venture, TrackNet Media Group will distribute the racing product of both companies on different platforms, like Internet (ExpressBet.com) and HRTV, the horse racing TV channel.
Both companies also agreed not to conduct “rebating” without each other’s approval. In other words, Magna will no longer offer out of state rebates to bettors in places with a Churchill racecourse and vice versa. This practice has proved to diminish the returns to the racecourses and racetracks considerably.
The new joint venture would also allow bettors to use one betting account for betting at all platforms, whether they belong to Magna or Churchill’s, although this still has to be approved by various stakeholders.
The newly announced arrangements will also have an impact on the existing distribution of the racing product, like through TVG or Youbet.com
Looking at the experiences in Australia or the UK, the additional TV offer is bound to give opportunities to others, including foreign contents.