NEW YORK (October 30, 2014) – The Breeders’ Cup and the NBC Sports Group today announced an unprecedented 10-year media rights partnership extension that will keep the Breeders’ Cup on NBC and NBCSN through 2025. The agreement was announced by Craig Fravel, President and CEO, Breeders’ Cup Limited, and Jon Miller, President of Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN.
As part of the agreement, NBC and NBCSN will combine to present at least eight hours of live coverage of the Breeders’ Cup, including live primetime coverage of the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on NBC in 2016 from Santa Anita Park near Los Angeles, and in 2017 from the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club outside San Diego.
The agreement is an extension of a current four-year agreement that began in 2012. That year marked the first time that the Classic was televised live in primetime. NBC broadcasted the first-ever Breeders’ Cup in 1984. The new 10-year extension is the Breeders’ Cup’s longest and most extensive media rights agreement.
This past year, NBC Sports Group expanded its Breeders’ Cup coverage; televising 11 programs of Breeders’ Cup qualifying races from the nation’s top tracks under the banner of “Breeders’ Cup Challenge: Win and You’re In.”
“We’re proud to extend our partnership with the Breeders’ Cup as we continue to showcase the most prestigious events in horse racing,” said Miller. “We look forward each year to concluding the horse racing season with two days of terrific racing at the Breeders’ Cup.”
The Breeders’ Cup, Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious global racing event, consists of 13 races held over two days, worth $26 million in purses and awards. The culminating event of the Breeders’ Cup, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, is contested at 1 ¼ miles on the main track, for 3-year-olds and older, and is often the determining race for the coveted Horse of the Year title. Over the years, 11 Breeders’ Cup Classic winners have been voted Horse of the Year.
“We are extremely excited to extend for the next decade our outstanding relationship with NBC and the NBC Sports Group in televising the Breeders’ Cup World Championships as a cornerstone of its long-term expanded commitment to Thoroughbred racing,” said Fravel. “The Breeders’ Cup has enjoyed an expanded and revitalized presence on NBC with new fans viewing the Breeders’ Cup Classic hour and NBC’s ability to cross-promote the Championships on its wide variety of platforms.”
NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 31st Breeders’ Cup begins Friday from Santa Anita Park with the live telecast on NBCSN from 5:00-8:00 p.m. ET, and coverage continues on Saturday from 3:30-8:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN; and from 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET in primetime on NBC.
NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Breeders’ Cup will be streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.
For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.
NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when the NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.
The 2014 Belmont Stakes on NBC, featuring California Chrome’s Triple Crown attempt, averaged 20.4 million viewers – the second-highest Belmont Stakes viewership on record, trailing only the 21.9 million viewers for NBC’s telecast of Smarty Jones’ Triple Crown attempt in 2004 (People Meter viewership dates to 1988). In addition, the 2014 Kentucky Derby marked the fourth time in six years (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014) that NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage averaged more than 15 million viewers, and the 2014 Preakness Stakes registered a 6.0 household rating, ranking as the highest-rated Preakness Stakes since 2009 (6.8 for Rachel Alexandra’s victory).
Breeders’ Cup Limited
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.