American Digital Communications Inc. said last week that it
will bring live horse racing to home-satellite TV viewers next month with the launch of
its "TrackPower" simulcast service over the Loral Skynet Direct platform.
There are now two companies with plans to deliver live
horse racing over satellite platforms. Bensalem, Pa.-based The Racing Network has plans to
sell a satellite dish for $320 and a $14.99 monthly subscription service for racing.
They will provide competition to United Video Satellite
Group Inc.'s Television Games Network, a cable service that is expected to launch
later this year.
Under the ADC plan, racing fans will be able view the
$19.99-per-month service over the same direct-to-home satellite platform that delivers
EchoStar's "SkyVista," which offers a 20-channel "Best of
Satellite" package, also for $19.99 per month. The dish will retail for $399.
Graham Simmonds, director of business development for ADC,
said this gives TrackPower an edge over proprietary platforms that deliver only racing,
such as TRN.
He added that he expects EchoStar to make its more robust
Dish Network direct-broadcast satellite service available to the same set-top boxes that
deliver TrackPower, although subscribers would still need a second dish measuring 90
centimeters in diameter.
Initially, TrackPower will be strictly a video service, but
it could offer interactive betting in six to 12 months, Simmonds said.
TRN said last week that it had lined up deals with more
than 40 tracks to provide live content on a nonexclusive basis.
UVSG has signed most of the top-tier tracks in New York,
Kentucky, California and Florida to exclusive deals. One of those fell through recently
when Santa Anita Park in Acadia, Calif., dropped out of the UVSG alliance, saying that the
company had failed to meet date and performance guarantees in the deal.
ADC is expected to announce deals this week with it first
racetracks: Fair Grounds Racetrack in New Orleans, Santa Anita and the Meadowlands in New