Punters dudded

By TONY WHITE

ONCE again the poor punter has been dudded in the high stakes power play between racing bureaucrats.

Punters wishing to watch national race coverage must now view Sky Channel and rivals, ThoroughVision (TVN).

The TVN service is available through 2200 pubs and clubs throughout Australia, but many country outlets currently do not have the dual service available.

And if you have Austar or Optus Pay-TV connected to your home service, Victorian and Sydney race coverage is no longer available.

Country Pay-TV subscribers are the biggest losers under the current regulations.

TVN is only available through Foxtel digital channel 520 at an additional subscription fee of $12 annually.

The thousands of stay at home punters, the mums, dads and pensioners, are are now unfairly disadvantaged.

Following Justice Patricia Bergin's decision after a bitter, multi-million dollar court case ending in Sydney on Tuesday, race coverage has been thrown into chaos.

Justice Bergin ruled in favour of the Australian Jockey Club and Sydney Turf Club ? stakeholders in TVN ? against the State's controlling body, Racing NSW, having no right to direct race clubs on broadcast rights.

Racing NSW were keen for the two metropolitan clubs to align themselves with Tabcorp-owned, Sky.

The court decision opens up a Pandora's box of future problems.

More costly litigation, depriving racing participants of earning potential, remains pending.



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