TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer) announced today she will introduce a bill requiring NJTV to broadcast the New Jersey lottery drawings.
Since July 1, the New Jersey Lottery has been streaming its daily lottery drawings only on its Web site and on its Facebook page.
Watson Coleman wants the drawing to be available on the state's public television network. NJTV is the private nonprofit that replaced New Jersey Network earlier this month.
"Not everyone owns or has access to a computer, so limiting live drawings to the Internet would leave many residents who play the lottery in the dark," Watson Coleman said in a statement announcing the bill. "NJTV said it was committed to providing New Jersey content. This is a perfect opportunity for them to do just that."
Kellie Castruita Specter, senior director of communication for WNET, which operates NJTV, said the new network has been talking with lottery officials about televising the drawing.
"We are interested in running the drawing," she said. "We don't know when, but we're hoping as soon as possible."
New Jersey Lottery spokeswoman Jacquie Fiorito said the lottery hopes many broadcasters, and not just NJTV, will want to televise the drawings. She said lottery officials are talking to several media outlets about what they have to do to access its new TV ready, Internet drawing.
"We would love to see the public call whatever station they're watching and tell them to run the numbers," said Fiorito. "We're all for it."
The lottery had been paying NJN $1.2 million a year to broadcast its daily drawings. Earlier this year, it decided not to renew its contract but instead to produce the drawing in house and stream it on its website, Fiorito said.
That decision was made earlier and independent of the state's move to spin off NJN to a private entity. Both changes occurred on July 1.