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Breeders Urge TVN To Join Packer

Tuesday, 18th April 2006

Away from the track, the TV Wars Saga hotted up with the Easter Eve announcement that "the Australian horse breeding industry called on rebel racing broadcaster ThoroughVisioN to join forces with James Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd & make a run at Tabcorp's lucrative wagering business," reported The Australian newspaper. Aushorse chairman & Arrowfield Stud principal John Messara "has written to TVN shareholders (the Sydney & Victorian raceclubs) saying their decision on whether to accept PBL's $25 million bid for a 25% stake "was critical to the racing industry's future growth". Messara's open letter declared: "With PBL as a share-holder, the exploitation of racing's intellectual property can be optimised & the ownership of the Victorian wagering licence can become a reality. One just needs to look at the financial robustness of the Japan Racing Association & the Hong Kong Jockey Club to see what impact ownership of wagering can have." The newspaper noted "a bidding battle is expected to begin next year over the Victorian wagering licence, which Tabcorp holds until 2012". And Messara added the racing industry's growth was "being limited by its reliance on TAB distributions, which were also declining due to other gaming & leisure options".

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