Racing Net Rides Dish


Bensalem, Pa. -- The Racing Network LLC said last week thatit has won carriage on EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network.

The direct-broadcast satellite company will offer sneakpreviews of TRN's thoroughbred, harness and greyhound races starting Friday (Oct. 15)from its core service at 119 degrees west longitude. The two-hour previews will runThursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Starting Oct. 29, EchoStar will offer a four-channel TRNsports package for $24.99 per month. Dish will broadcast the racing service from itssatellite at 61.5 degrees west, meaning that current subscribers need second satellitedishes to access the package.

Earlier this year, EchoStar added a competing four-channelracing service, American Digital Communications Inc.'s TrackPower, for $19.99 permonth. TrackPower also airs at 61.5 degrees west.

TRN president Bill Hogwood said he plans to offer freehardware upgrades to current Dish customers who want to subscribe to TRN.

Unlike TrackPower and a third televised racing network, TVGuide Inc.'s TV Games Network, TRN offers no direct wagering component.

But some of privately held TRN's owners are involvedin other wagering businesses. And TRN viewers in some states could seek out wageringopportunities through third-party agents on their own.

Hogwood said the network may add an interactive wageringcomponent as the regulatory environment changes. It decided against doing so now becausesuch wagering is not yet legal in every state.

A 24-hour network, TRN plans to show up to 2,500 races perweek. Hogwood projected that the network could add 25,000 to 50,000 Dish customers to itsservice.

For cable operators that don't wish to devote fourdistinct channels to the service, TRN plans to offer regionalized programming.