NEW YORK (December 14, 2015) — Breeders’ Cup and NBC Sports Group today announced a three-year renewal of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series the two groups introduced last year, televising 16 of the best Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races from top race tracks in the U.S. Following on the success of this year’s partnership, the country’s top horse races leading up to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will continue to be televised by NBC Sports Group through 2018.
In 2016, the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In, presented by Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing," will consist of nine telecasts on NBC and NBCSN and feature 16 “Win And You’re In” races plus other major stakes races on the road to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships such as the Travers Stakes from Saratoga. The series will also be streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra. Winners of these Challenge races, which combined offer more than $10 million in purses, automatically qualify for a spot in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park, Nov. 4-5, 2016.
“We are thrilled to extend our partnership with NBC Sports Group for the 2016-2018 seasons,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “Thanks to our partnership with NBC, Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing, as well as the efforts of our partner racetracks, we have been able to reach a much broader audience in the months leading up to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, and we look forward to capturing even more fans in the coming seasons.”
Putting the spotlight on premier racetracks across the country, the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series begins on Belmont Stakes Day, June 11, with the Metropolitan Handicap and the Ogden Phipps from Belmont Park, and continues with live telecasts of American fixtures including the William Hill Haskell Invitational from Monmouth Park; several races from Saratoga, including The Woodward; The Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park; the Shadwell Turf Mile from Keeneland; and The Gold Cup and Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita, among others. In addition, several NBC Sports Regional Networks will present replays of select races after their initial telecasts on NBC and NBCSN.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with the Breeders’ Cup,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN. “We are coming off of a tremendous year for the sport, and look forward to many more to come.”
This year, NBC Sports Group’s viewership for the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In” jumped 136% year-over-year for the nine telecasts, according to official national data released by The Nielsen Company.
Collectively, NBC and NBCSN averaged 936,000 viewers for the nine shows between June 13 and October 4 – up 136% from last year’s Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series (397,000 average).
In addition, viewers streamed 383,000 live horse racing minutes via NBC Sports Live Extra – up 315% from last year’s series (92,000 minutes).
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series microsite, which experienced an 80% increase in total page views from last year, will continue to feature dedicated coverage to the Challenge Series with unique content and a team of writers, producers, and experts focusing on racing, lifestyle and human interest features from some of the country’s most iconic racetracks. Starting in 2016 the microsite will be powered by content from America’s Best Racing.
America’s Best Racing is a multi-media fan development platform initiated and funded by The Jockey Club to increase the profile and visibility of North America’s best Thoroughbred racing events.
Below is the 2016 “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win And You’re In” schedule on NBC and NBCSN. Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races are listed in bold.
|Saturday, 6/11 2:30-7 PM||NBC
The Ogden Phipps
|Belmont Park||Dirt Mile
|Saturday, 6/25 8-9 PM||NBCSN||The Gold Cup at Santa Anita||Santa Anita Park
|Saturday, 7/9 4:30-6 PM||NBC||Belmont Oaks
|Belmont Park||F/M Turf
|Sunday, 7/31 5-6 PM||NBC||William Hill Haskell Invitational||Monmouth Park||Classic|
|Saturday, 8/27 4:30-6 PM||NBC||The Travers
Sword Dancer and "Summer at Saratoga"
TBD #WinandYoureIn Stakes
|Saratoga Race Course||Classic
|Saturday, 9/3 5-6 PM||NBCSN||The Woodward
Spinaway Stakes and "Summer at Saratoga"
|Saratoga Race Course||Classic
|Saturday, 10/1 5:30-8 PM||NBCSN||Awesome Again plus other Super Saturday races from SA and BEL||Santa Anita||Classic|
|Saturday, 10/8 5-6 PM||NBC||Claiborne Breeders' Futurity
Shadwell Turf Mile
The Jockey Club Gold Cup
|Keeneland Race Course
|Saturday, 10/9 5-6 PM||NBC||Dixiana Bourbon Stakes
Juddmonte Spinster Stakes
|Keeneland Race Course||Juvenile Turf
About Breeders’ Cup
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 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 (grade I) races and purses totalling $26 million, will be held Nov. 4-5 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. 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.
About NBC Sports Group
When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network), Golf Channel, 10 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, Royal & Ancient, Churchill Downs, NYRA, Breeders’ Cup, Premier League, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.
About America’s Best Racing
America’s Best Racing is a multi-media new fan development and awareness-building platform, initiated by The Jockey Club, designed to increase the profile and visibility of North America’s best Thoroughbred racing events, with a primary focus on the sport’s lifestyle and competition. You can follow America’s Best Racing at americasbestracing.net as well as on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, and Instagram.
About Lane’s End
Since founding Lane’s End in 1979, Will Farish has built one of the world’s premier thoroughbred farms through industry-leading success in its stallion and sales divisions, while offering clients top-caliber services, such as matings, boarding and bloodstock representation. Over the years, Lane’s End has developed some of the sport’s most influential sires like A.P. Indy, Kingmambo, Dixieland Band, Smart Strike and has been named the Leading Stud Farm in North America 13 times. Their current roster includes proven stallions such as Candy Ride (ARG), Lemon Drop Kid, Mineshaft, Curlin and City Zip. As well as a young group of impressive stallions like Quality Road, Noble Mission (GB), Discreetly Mine, The Factor, Union Rags, Twirling Candy and Morning Line. Lane’s End also has an extraordinary record at the sales, achieving leading consignor status on 26 occasions, while selling more than 365 stakes winners and counting. Of those, Lane’s End has been the consignor of champions such as A.P. Indy, Saint Liam, Rags to Riches and Lemon Drop Kid. Learn more at www.lanesend.com.