TVG Rebranding HRTV As TVG2

by | 10.28.2015 | 12:00pm

TVG, America's horseracing television network, today announced that HRTV, which it acquired in February 2015, is being rebranded as TVG2 effective Oct. 28.  Correspondingly, HRTV.com will be renamed TVG2.com.  The move allows TVG to better leverage its television production infrastructure to provide improved horseracing television products to consumers and television distributors alike.

Already since the merger of TVG and HRTV, dramatic improvements in televised horseracing have occurred:

  • The output of both networks is in high definition utilizing TVG's state-of-the-art television studios in Los Angeles;
  • TVG and TVG2 (HRTV) are on-track to televise over 40,000 live races in the first year after the merger, compared to less than 30,000 unique live races prior to the transaction.
  • TVG has developed and implemented a system with premium track operators that allows for cooperative post time coordination across the country and real-time track to track alerts of late post time changes, significantly improving the viewer experience.
  • TVG simulcasts TVG programming on TVG2 (HRTV) during hours when live racing was not previously available on that network (leading to 396 hours of additional live racing programming on TVG2 (HRTV)), or more than 1,000 additional live races.

“We've made good progress in integrating the two television productions, and integrating the brands was the logical next step in the process to optimize television coverage for horseracing. Our goals have always been to provide a better fan experience, increase our appeal to distributors, and drive revenue to the industry,” said Kip Levin, CEO of TVG.  “Importantly, having TVG and TVG2 allows us to better utilize TVG's state-of-the-art television facilities to deliver a premium product for both networks.  We look forward to continuing to work with our important track and distribution partners to deliver more races and higher quality broadcasts to racing fans like never before.”

Soon after the February merger, TVG and its partner tracks undertook steps to better coordinate post times at major North American racing venues to avoid conflicts.

The aggregate audience of TVG and TVG2 has grown to 56 million homes, all of which can now access more live racing than ever before. The combined social media reach of TVG and TVG2 is now over 1 million people, helping to drive viewers and wagering.

“Our content and reach means we can help the sport directly grow viewing and legal wagering numbers.” Levin added.

For more information about TVG, visit: tvg.com

  • cgriff

    I see all the benefits, I guess – but for Palooka Joe in Western PA where TVG(ONE) is not available on cable – I’ve lost all access to the top races. TVG1 gets the premier race venues and events…..and HRTV, even if you call it by any other name (TVG2) still stinks for coverage. While others are watching the Spa and Santa Anita and Del Mar – I was left with Emerald Downs and Zia Park. Would love to see the second network not be programmed like the proverbial “red headed stepchild.”

    • JerseyGirl

      Agree.

  • SmokinD

    I feel your pain cgriff, since I live in SE Pa. and only have access to TVGJV, . . . uh, I mean, TVG2. HRTV used to be such a great channel with quality programming (most notably Pursuit of the Cup/Crown) and credible, knowledgeable on-air personalities until that unfortunate buyout changed the dynamic of everything. I’ve contacted my cable provider (Service Electric) numerous times to add/replace it with TVG(1), alas to no avail. So like you I am stuck with the second-tier tracks and resigned to the fact I’ll be watching the marquee meets by way of my ADW accounts on my laptop.

    • Al

      Me too from NW PA!

  • JustJoe

    I guess people on this board don’t bet enough to justify getting RTN on DISH. I watch all the major tracks in HD. If it’s not in HD, I don’t bet it.

    • Ernest Vincent

      I was thinking along those same lines. One can hook up their computer stream to a large screen.Or HD it. And if they are true players, the Babble of tv personalities and its distraction are not even wanted IMHO. If they are not investing a small sum to see it, proly not betting very often.

      • JustJoe

        Call DISH Network they set the whole thing up. I have two receivers so I see two HD channels at on time. I will be watching Keeneland while you guys are watching talking heads and commercials for stuff you don’t buy.

  • Charles Smith

    Back in the day when there was actually some competition in telecast horse racing, one of TVG’s rivals went out of business and off the air unexpectedly. When this was announced on TVG, Todd S. showed the class and dignity he has become so well known for by giggling and making sport of the other network’s demise. On it’s own, TVG operated as a public company for 13 years-during that time period, TVG never had a profitable quarter. With the exception of the Los Alamitos night coverage, I don’t watch TVG anymore. I have Dish Network/RTN now, for 50 bucks a month I can watch whatever track I want. Today’s TVG is best suited for the newbie/recreational player.

    • JerseyGirl

      Not even. Tvg is pure crap.

    • Ruffian31

      Back when TVG first started, they actually had some really neat programming of past great races broadcasts to fill the airspace. Now they don’t. Boring.

      • Charles Smith

        Yes, they did have very good classic programming. In the first years, they used to repeat the entire broadcast day overnight. Then, as the losses piled up, one fiscal quarter after another, they decided to pull the taped racing and replace it with infomercials. That’s the TVG way-do whatever it takes to squeeze out a few more dollars.

      • JerseyGirl

        Correct. Very good HR docs at that. There’s so much empty space time Tvg could fill with more and newer docs as well as great movies-horse, trainer, etc. I’ve yet to see 50-1.

  • hadrianmarcus

    RTN, Calracing, NYRA, ADW accounts, Horse Racing Now app…..there are still tons of ways to watch quality horse racing and avoid the constant shilling of TVG. TVG was indifferent to HRTV customers left cold with secondary tracks. They’ve refused to embrace Roku and stream to potential customers to their platform. Their coverage of the ‘sport’ of horse racing is non-existant because they are busy ramming their betting options down your throat. International racing coverage has been cut to the bare bones. HRTV’s sale was equine sports loss. TVG will service the existing gambler just fine. They do nothing to make the sport grow.

    • Sal Carcia

      The NYRA cited the loss of HRTV as an outlet as a reason for a decline in revenue earlier this year. I was a bit surprised. Both HRTV and TVG help the tracks increase their handle.

  • Sal Carcia

    TVG does not have an HDTV channel on most (if not all) cable providers. I suspect HDTV only comes into play when they broadcast on the different FOX Sports outlets. In all, very few viewers get TVG in HDTV. It would be nice if we could though.

    • Kathy Agel

      It’s not in HD on DirecTV, either.

  • Five

    Oh, so you “significantly improving viewer experience”.
    Here’s how……STOP having ads.
    Ads…..while horses parade……while live races are running.
    I am sick of it.
    Does TVG really need a little more cheap income to make a profit ?

  • Ernest Vincent

    In the digital age one can watch free/ live on a track’s websites, ADWs site etc, from anywhere, anytime. ADWs have videos of past races and the will pays for all bets except obviously tri and super.

    Horse channels are usually an extra cable charge.
    I have heard from most posters, albeit it is usually a small finite sample of say 8 to 12 that the tv ‘announcers’ end up branding their wares. Also I would surmise, gauging by the tolerance levels of some horse players, pundits and bankroll deficit players that they would be critical and annoyed by such simplistic format tv programming.

    Most public handicappers are 33% cause dah chalks/M/Ls statistically run that way. They discuss five horses, two will be close in comparison, two should do much better this next time out because …., then the “I can’t take that short price” so a mention of a 5th.

    Leave one’s ego at the door, think for one’s self, walk up to the window or website and have a knock-out punch.

    • JerseyGirl

      Agree! The ego of a certain “pundit” cannot be denied. It’s all about him. I do prefer to see the race on tv rather than a computer; as it is now, I’ve done both simultaneously, very harrowing while also using app on iPhone, lol??

      • Ernest Vincent

        Just not my style. Don’t know any personalities etc. No knocks either way. I do have robust cable and can afford the add-on. Wouldn’t watch it in my betting/gambling scenarios.

        I do like to see how the betting public thinks. And what they know or don’t know.

        • JerseyGirl

          Having robust TV hasn’t made a difference for HR. I have it too;(

  • Patricia Jones

    this does nothing for the live streaming hrtv viewers cannot get tvg this merger was a big mistake no thought to the racing fan by the way fans watch their favorites which happen not to work for tvg this is a waste of money and time

    • JerseyGirl

      ITA??

  • Ida Lee

    I noticed the other day that TVG was available on my cable service which was quite surprising cause in the past I could only get TVG and HRTV on Dish. I wonder if this has anything to do with the new setup.

    • JerseyGirl

      Not unless a deal was made with your cable company. Tvg2 is up; no Tvg on my lineup.

    • whirlaway

      Probably not I have had tvg for years in new england and it has been
      around quite a bit, are you going to give it a try?

    • Al

      That is right Ida. A friend of mine in Kentucky has Dish and gets both.

  • JerseyGirl

    Improvement? Not so much. HRTV does not televise any races at several tracks, like Belmont. Often they cut away from a stakes race at SA, for example so a race in the middle of nowhere can be seen. If HRTV opens up to all the stakes at all the tracks then I’d say Tvg 2 could be an improvement. Keeping Tawd is a negative no matter how I look at it.

    • Five

      I agree re your Tawd comment.
      Note to TVG execs…..Tawd is not appealing to look at nor to listen to.
      Constant TVG touting……….make him stop talking at least 5 seconds
      before the gates open…….wow…….so much irrelevant information.

      • JerseyGirl

        Exactly. Tawd contributes zero to the game. Don’t miss him or anyone else at Tvg; luckily, tvg2 has Rich Perlman – the only good transfer made, IMHO ‼️

  • UKBlue

    TVG has been horrible from the moment it came on the air. Maybe this helps explain why it has never made any money; really weird why Betfair would even want to own it. The commentators on TVG are nothing but a bunch of clowns. HRTV going off air & TVG not hiring everyone from HRTV was a bad day for horse racing & the fans that follow & gamble on races. Pursuit of the Cup & Crown had the best Triple Crown & BC info so of course TVG had to screw it up. I’ve given up trying to watch TVG; it’s so bad I can’t put myself through that kind of pain trying to watch.

    • Rand1

      You are so right! I couldn’t have said it better.

    • Charles Smith

      You’re right, they should have hired more HRTV people. They refused to hire HRTV’s top commentators Aaron V. and Jeff Siegel, I suppose they thought they wouldn’t fit in with the non stop touting that the TVG brand is so well known for. Jobs in the horse racing commentary business are few and far between, neither Aaron or Siegel has surfaced yet.

      • idavis

        THEY are on Xpressbet and go to Jeff Siegel website or get their info on Twitter. They also work at Santa Anita, visit SA website, and also, sometimes you can catch on YouTube or Periscope. Not as accessible, but still out there.

        • Charles Smith

          They have Internet gigs, Siegal has a blog. The two of them represented the face of HRTV. They deserve better than what they are left with, but that’s racing.

    • bert black

      Betfair bought it get their foot in the door of the USA. I hope Betfair goes bankrupt. They charge winning gamblers up to 62% commission on their profits.

    • Ruffian31

      Amen there!

  • Marlaine Meeker

    Does anyone know if Directv is picking up TVG2? It seems here in the U.S. our coverage of any races is sub par to races abroad. The Arc was beautiful to watch. It felt like you were running along side of the horses.

    • Buckpasser

      I sent an email to TVG about this. They replied that you need to request that they add the channel. As an aside I have been requesting HRTV for years on Direct tv and nothing happened. Previously I had understood that TVG had owned a minority stake in direct tv and prevented HRTV from being on the satellite company. I read this in the Wall Street Journal awhile back. What the problem is now I don’t know as AT&T has taken over direct tv and I believe their company offers hrtv and of course TVG is on direct tv.

      • Marlaine Meeker

        Thank you for this info. I, too requested the same from Directv and you see where that got us.

        • Ruffian31

          Make that three, and that’s why I never signed up for DirectTV.

  • Craig

    RTN for $25 a month with unlimited replays and live streaming is the way to go…the so called experts on TVG is laughable…How they pick some of these horses is not in the racing manual 101.

  • gus stewart

    Well good timing to press release this topic. The closet thing I have seen to TVg and its personalities is the Presidential debates. They are the second coming of the talking heads!!!! All talk about, I like this horse and that one has a shot and of course that one changes riders and on and on. Debates lots of talking meaning nothing, policies, taxes, borders, but remember 95 percent of them are bought and paid for. in this world, Accountability is trumped by entertainment, just keep talking and betting your money, then send me my check. Please don’t get to thinking what they say really means anything. Not going to benefit your finances, they like our politicians, are just paid puppeteers!!! it really is good comedy if you take it the right way, you know like wrestling!!! gotta give them credit. Use technology to watch, no need for the mute button.

  • J

    Bring Back HRTV and it’s on Air Talent. I find myself Hitting The Mute Button with TVG. Aaron & Jeff were GREAT.

    • Ruffian31

      Ditto!

    • Nancy Marashio

      HRTV brought a joy to viewing horse racing, focusing on the horses and their connections. TVG ignores their right to include the best of what HRTV offered, even refusing to include sire and dam when they do post parades. I really miss the HRTV depth!

  • john davies

    At the time Betfair took over TVG I had Directv who had TVG in their line up and not HRTV, Betfair wanted to get into the US market and at the time they pushed and pushed their betting exchange, which is where you bet against other people, you can bet in running, and the odds will appear on your computer as the race unfolds. They got some English guy on there to try and sell it but the California Legislator refused to pass it,OH my. I am English and have lived in Georgia for 31 years, and what they spectacularly forgot to realize is that America is not the UK, there are still many parts of the country, like where I live that treat Horse racing as morally wrong, and next to smoking pot. When the country as a whole does not embrace the sport, and the whole betting concept it is going to be very hard to sell this sort of stuff, and when you have to travel like I will this weekend 6 or 7 hours to just even watch the sport I love the new fans we all want in the sport are not going to be there. Just a question how many people do you think in Georgia have ever been to a horse race track, I can tell you in my circle hardly any, and the ones that have come from different parts of the country. After my mother in law moved in we got Uverse, Uverse carries HRTV but not TVG, so I learned very quickly what channel was the best, my Thursday nights when i came home were a treat to watch against the odds, then the best by far Jeff and AV on the Saturday and Sunday mornings, and we had quality racing to watch. Then without warning bam, all gone, and of course as earlier stated they have left us HRTV customers out to dry, no they dont care about the viewers they just want to have the gamblers. You see I cannot legally open and account in the State I reside in be
    cause in the year 2015, it seems like I am living in 1815. If it rains anymore get an early bet on Found, golden horn wont run on soft.

  • Mike Oliveto

    I wonder if we’ll get to see HRTV (TVG2) on DirectTV anytime in our lifetime…

  • I’m in Canada where you can’t sign up for TVG so HRTV was a blessing. I don’t like the “new look” of HRTV either because no-one is really speaking to me (a non-betting, 58 yr + racing fan) and now I’m worried that TVG2 won’t give me the international & BC coverage I’m looking for. Agree with many comments below about the yucchy quality of TVG announcers!!!!

    • Ruffian31

      Apparently they don’t think much of all their prior customers because when I used to write HRTV, they would actually answer. Since the merger, I get auto responses and NO ONE answering any messages. During the TC, I complained about not having Pursuit of the Crown anymore and they replied with all the shows they planned to showcase and NEVER put forth. Yah, some customer service. They don’t care anymore. What a waste.

      • theosmachine

        That is because they are owned by TVG now. They don’t care about former HRTV fans.

        • Ruffian31

          That’s pretty apparent.

  • Patricia Jones

    i just tried to sign in to my hrtv account live stream i was greeted with the message that this site not safe someone could be trying to steal my info i pay on a monthly basis for this account and have since feb 2011 so what is tvg doing now i hope paddy power takes them over and replaces them with some individuals that care

    • Always Curious

      Me too! I thought a betting site determined ‘not safe’, scared me off.

  • Ruffian31

    The merger has improved programming? Really? Are they serious? It’s actually gone DOWNHILL. ALL the programming and shows I used to watch are now gone. ALL the analysts I watched and learned from are gone. I quit watching the channels altogether as a result of the merger because it’s horrible. They don’t do anything they used, it’s just all about gambling now. My state doesn’t allow online gambling, so what good really are the channels? Shame…I now no longer watch the races on these channels, and I was religious about watching as often as I can. VERY sad. I’ll turn to other avenues and watch the races post show on youtube from now on.

  • A longtime fan of the sport

    I also miss HRTV, especially the commentators like Millie Ball, Jeff S., and Zoe Cadmen. TVG spends more time on betting rather than on the horses, their pedigrees, and connections. I miss the shows that HRTV aired. HRTV always displayed the sire and dam of the horses in the post parades. I always felt that the people on HRTV really cared about the actual sport of horse racing, not just how much you might win on a bet.

    • Always Curious

      Yes! You never see the post parades to see the horse’s condition..

  • ccmann2

    What a bunch of crap. TV coverage of horse racing was significantly diminished in terms of quality when TVG bought HRTV. Why is showing under 30,000 races per year an improvement now that 40,000 races per year can be shown? How good are those additional 10,000 races? Why does Kip Levin continue to misunderstand the difference between quantity and quality? I, for one, watch significantly less horse racing on TV since HRTV’s demise. TVG/HRTV advertisers, are you reading this? Last time I looked, there were 46 comments and not a one was positive about TVG’s takeover of HTRV last February.

  • Scott Becker

    I have given this “merger” almost a year, and the only thing it has done is made me stop watching horse racing on a daily basis. I only watch the really big televised races on NBC or the races that feature a horse I have been following. I hate the new format and the loss of HRTV commentators like Zoe Cadmen, Aaron Vercrusy, Jeff Siegal, and many others who got lost in the shuffle (pardon the misspelled names). I used to record many shows from this channel like Pursuit of the Crown/Cup and looked forward to viewing them like a kid waits for Christmas morning, and because of shows like that i often hung around and watched other interesting shows that coincided; i was a TRUE fan. The commentators were knowledgable and personable. Now when i tune in it makes me cringe to watch TVG announcers reiterate what Scott Hazleton or Christina Blackard says. I’m sorry, but you have lost a fan of horse racing TV because of this change. I can’t stand the new high tech look as i much preferred the more personable format of HRTV. It just seems to me that TVG is only after the money…I know they have to make money to stay in business, but not at the loss of numerous customers. What a loss not to have had these shows and valuable commentators during this last incredible year as American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown and Breeders Cup Classic. It was an incredible disappointment!

  • razorback715

    TVG putting Oaklawn on TVG2 does no good for me. It’s not on Direct TV (if it is it is well hidden). Opening day at Oaklawn and I’m getting to watch Tampa Bay and Fairgrounds neither of which I really care about and Santa Anita which too often seems to travel on reputation. I don’t know how TVG decides which tracks get what coverage, but it is not doing a great job.

  • Always Curious

    I thought who wrote this piece of dung? Oh it’s a press release. TVG advertisement. For the life of me I can’t discern the improvement of renaming HRTV to TVG2 in this article. I hate TVG, for all the reasons everyone else has already elaborated upon. Usually my comment about hating TVG gets taken down. I can’t tell you the number of times others have missed a race not knowing which channel to watch. No coverage of Royal Ascot? Couldn’t believe it. I bailed on TVG. It is not worth it on my cable bill. It is so much easier to live stream the races now, free and not even affiliated with a betting operation. I can deal with a post race video when I can’t stream. I am no young tech savvy and just learned how. I don’t miss TVG one bit. I handicap based on what I read here and other sources. Who needs their endless blather. BTW I watched British coverage of Dubai and it was far superior. It woke me up on how far off TVG is. Yes you can live without TVG!

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