GMA NETWORK, Inc. has moved to take advantage of the foreseen growth in the local gambling industry by establishing a joint venture that will broadcast horse races and manage betting systems.“There are more palpable indications already that this year will be far better than the previous. We are containing the programming cost this year, and clear indications that recurring or traditional trade revenues will go up,” Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr., GMA president and chief operating officer, told reporters in a briefing yesterday.
"[The] agreement was executed between our 100% subsidiary GMA New Media, Inc. and Manila Jockey Club today for the establishment of a joint venture corporation to be called Gamespan, Inc.," GMA Network said in a disclosure on Friday.
Gamspan shall operate and manage the computer systems owned by Manila Jockey Club and will set up a new infrastructure for taking bets in horse racing and other sports.
It shall also have the exclusive broadcast rights to all the races and other games operated by the Manila Jockey Club, coverage of which may be up for distribution to different broadcasters to maximize viewership, it added.
According to the disclosure, Gamespan's authorized capital stock shall be P100 million with a par value of P1 apiece.
In November last year, the listed racetrack operator inked a memorandum of understanding with state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) for the placement of off-track betting (OTB) stations in Pagcor's casinos and affiliate gaming firms.
Profits of GMA Network plunged 30% to P1.58 billion in January to September 2011 from P2.72 billion in the same period in 2010 on the back of lower advertising revenues.
Meanwhile, Manila Jockey Club booked P41.65 million net income for the first nine months last year, six times higher than P6.37 million in the previous year due to higher revenues.
Shares of GMA Network slid by 1.08% to P9.15 apiece while shares of Manila Jockey Club also went down by 3.90% to P1.48 apiece when the stock market closed on Friday. -- CHCV