No one has to worry about picket lines tonight for a big awards show telecast from the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel. Besides, there won’t be any actors receiving awards. In fact, many of the award winners won’t even be allowed into the hotel, picket lines or no. So, the winning horses will be represented on video clips as TVG, “America’s Horseracing Network,” telecasts the Eclipse Awards, regarded as the “Oscars” of horse racing.
The most important of the awards is “Horse of the Year,” which will be presented at the end of the telecast.
While 90% of TVG’s airtime is occupied by live race telecasts, with the company taking online wagers in 14 states, network Sr. VP/GM David Nathanson, pictured, told TVBR that even though no wagers will be taken on the awards, the Eclipse Awards telecast is a big draw for breeders, trainers, horse owners and other aficionados of quality horses who may or may not be interesting in the wagering side of the business.
With riverboat gambling and Indian casinos popping up in more and more states, Nathanson says increased competition has kept horse race wagering relatively flat in recent years at around 15 billion annually. “The part of the business that we’re in, account wagering – also known as ADW, which stands for advanced deposit wagering, where you put money into an account and wager based on money that’s in your account – that is the fastest growing segment of the horseracing business, and helping horseracing to continue to grow steadily,” Nathanson said. Although TVG, a subsidiary of Gemstar-TV Guide, is licensed to take online wagers in only 14 states, it also sells advertising and is carried on cable and satellite systems in all 50 states, as well as overseas.