If you turned on TVG this morning hoping to see racing from Belmont Park you were treated instead to an announcement by the network that they couldn't show the entire Belmont card due to "contractural obligations". The complete TVG press release can be found at their website.
I found TVG's reasoning that they couldn't show Belmont because they had to show other tracks quite curious so I popped up the side-by-side picture-in-picture on my TV with TVG on one side and HRTV on the other (HRTV also has the ability to show NYRA races). With 2 minutes to post for Belmont's 2nd race, HRTV was showing the Belmont live feed while TVG came back to commercial to Matt Carothers in the studio. The graphic at the bottom of TVG indicated that the next live race on TVG was at Monmouth...which was five minutes away. I'm not sure how a race that takes place three minutes after a race at Belmont precludes TVG from showing the Belmont race but apparently, in TVG world, that's exactly what happened (I'm mean, they have their over-dramatized "Double Box"...you'd think that would be a good time to use it?). The Belmont race would have been over in about a minute and a half which is plenty of time to switch to Monmouth.
Later on today, NYRA issued a statement on their website regarding TVG's decision not to show the Belmont card. NYRA's response is below:
"TVG made the decision not to show today’s races at Belmont Park, either live or by replay, without contacting NYRA," said NYRA Executive VP and COO Hal Handel. "TVG has the right to display our races but they make their own decisions on what programming to offer. We have encouraged TVG to revisit the issue, but ultimately it is out of our control."
Unless TVG executives are intentionally trying to annoy off
one of the largest racing association s in the country it looks like there is some kind of dispute taking place behind the scenes between these two. For people that have HRTV this isn't an issue, we can just change the channel (if we weren't already watching HRTV). For those that have to rely on TVG...well, it's another example of an industry that can't seem to get out of it's own way.
Some additional information from TVG on the situation, as reported by BloodHorse.com (Numbers Game: No Room for Belmont on TVG).
You can make up your own mind about TVG based on the comments from their Sr. Vice Presiden but I have to point out a comment that made me literally laugh.
"It wouldn’t make sense to show 16 or 18 races in an hour. We wouldn’t be doing a service to anyone by doing that.”
Come again? Showing 16 to 18 races doesn't make sense? TVG is still a horse racing network, right? God forbid you actually show live horse racing. And I seriously doubt that showing Belmont meant that TVG would have to show 16 to 18 races an hour. Showing Belmont would add one or two races an hour...maximum. So unless you believe that TVG is already showing 14 to 16 races an hour, which they are not, this comment makes no sense. I also found it funny he mentioned Delaware Park given the fact that TVG showed several races on tape delay from that track today.