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TVN Meets On Packer $25m Offer

Monday, 3rd April 2006

The Daily Telegraph declared this morning: "One of the most important racing meetings of the decade will take place in Melbourne today when the shareholders in TVN (the Sydney & Melbourne raceclubs) decide whether to accept James Packer's $25 million offer for a 25% share of the company." Although Tabcorp "has been playing hardball of late", yesterday's Melbourne Herald Sun newspaper reported "the gambling giant has been spooked by the Packer offer & has now agreed to make huge concessions to its previous terms for peace". In the background, The Australian newspaper noted TVN chief executive Peter Sweeney last week "held discussions with Telstra media chief Gerry Sutton about opening up new media opportunities including mobile phone betting" just as "Canberra-based sports betting operator Sports Acumen was launching a new service allowing punters to place sports bets through the keypads of their mobiles". Sports Acumen general manager Robert Gallagher noted the "global market for mobile phone betting was growing at 50% a year" & is "tipped to reach $10 billion in turnover by 2009"; Gallagher summed up bluntly: "Mobile phone betting is the next big thing & I'm sure James Packer, like many others, is well aware of that!" And The Sydney Morning Herald added: "Linking TVN's content to PBL's (Packer's company) pay-TV venture Foxtel could also fit into Packer's dreams of launching interactive gambling via digital TV."

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