As the Kentucky Derby gets under way at Churchill Downs in May, some
horse racing enthusiasts will be able to mix up their mint juleps and
place their bets without getting up from their living room couches.
EchoStar Communications Corp. and its Dish Network satellite
television service have teamed with TVG Network to launch the first
nationwide interactive horse racing channel.
"It fits our sports-minded audience," said Scott Higgins, director of
interactive TV programming for Douglas County-based Dish Network.
The rollout of the new interactive channel began Wednesday. By the
end of the month it will be available to more than 10 million Dish
Viewers, using their Dish remote control devices, can choose among
live races, odds, picks and information on how much money has been
wagered on any given race.
Dish subscribers who open a wagering account also can place bets via
their television screens if they live in California, Idaho, Indiana,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio,
Oregon, Washington or Wyoming.
Because of government restrictions on certain types of gambling,
Colorado viewers will not be able to use their TV remote controls to
place bets, just as they are forbidden from placing bets by phone or
over the Internet at online casinos.