Bensalem, Pa. -- The Racing Network LLC said last week that
it has won carriage on EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network.
The direct-broadcast satellite company will offer sneak
previews 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 run
Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Starting Oct. 29, EchoStar will offer a four-channel TRN
sports package for $24.99 per month. Dish will broadcast the racing service from its
satellite at 61.5 degrees west, meaning that current subscribers need second satellite
dishes to access the package.
Earlier this year, EchoStar added a competing four-channel
racing service, American Digital Communications Inc.'s TrackPower, for $19.99 per
month. TrackPower also airs at 61.5 degrees west.
TRN president Bill Hogwood said he plans to offer free
hardware upgrades to current Dish customers who want to subscribe to TRN.
Unlike TrackPower and a third televised racing network, TV
Guide Inc.'s TV Games Network, TRN offers no direct wagering component.
But some of privately held TRN's owners are involved
in other wagering businesses. And TRN viewers in some states could seek out wagering
opportunities through third-party agents on their own.
Hogwood said the network may add an interactive wagering
component as the regulatory environment changes. It decided against doing so now because
such wagering is not yet legal in every state.
A 24-hour network, TRN plans to show up to 2,500 races per
week. Hogwood projected that the network could add 25,000 to 50,000 Dish customers to its
For cable operators that don't wish to devote four
distinct channels to the service, TRN plans to offer regionalized programming.