Betfair pays $50M for TV Games Network

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Electronic gambling company Betfair Group announced its purchase of TV Games Network — the official channel of the Thoroughbred Racing Association — for $50 million from Macrovision Solutions. The acquisition should give the U.K. company, which takes bets on the web and by phone, a solid presence in the racing business and the U.S. online gambling market.

Macrovision bought Santa Clara, Calif.-based TV Games Network from Gemstar-TV Guide last year and looked like it was going to sell to Churchill Downs Inc. before Betfair swooped in. Churchill already owns account-wagering sites and XpressBet. The network brought in $56.6 million in 2007, mostly in royalties from companies taking bets on tracks that contract exclusively with TVG — but most of these contracts are approaching expiration.

Betfair merged with rival company Flutter in 2002, drafting its investors Benchmark Capital, UBS Capital, Chase Episode I and Index Ventures. Since its founding in 1999, it has raised $700 million in capital, but it also brings in about $327.8 million in revenue a year.

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