NBC Sports Group Inks Preakness Stakes Rights Extension, Remains Long-Term Home of Triple Crown
The Triple Crown of horse racing will remain a staple of NBC Sports Group for “the foreseeable future”, as the Peacock has inked a long-term deal with the Maryland Jockey Club for the exclusive rights to the Preakness Stakes. Though terms were not disclosed, SBJ reports that the deal extends NBC’s rights to the second gem of the triple crown, which it has held since 2001, for the next seven years at a increased annual rights fee. The extension includes multiplatform rights to the Preakness Stakes, undercard on Preakness Saturday, and Black-Eyed Susan during Preakness week, which will be televised on NBC and NBCSN and featured on NBC’s digital platforms.
NBC Sports Group now has exclusive, long-term media agreements for all of the Triple Crown races – Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes – through at least 2020. The Preakness deal comes on the heels of an extension announced in June to keep the Belmont Stakes on NBC through 2020 and a deal signed in February 2014 for Kentucky Derby rights through 2025 (announced in February).
NBC Sports International will continue to distribute NBC’s coverage of the Preakness Stakes globally through the term of the deal. NBC Sports Radio will broadcast the Preakness Stakes through the term of the deal as well.
“We are excited to extend our partnership with the Maryland Jockey Club for the Preakness Stakes,” said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. “The second jewel of the Triple Crown is integral to our Championship Season, and now gives us long-term agreements with all of the Triple Crown races. This extension is a testament to the strength of the relationship between the Maryland Jockey Club and NBC Sports Group, and underscores NBC’s commitment to the sport of horse racing.”
“The Stronach Group is delighted to continue its long relationship with the NBC Sports Group,” said Alon Ossip, Chief Executive Officer of The Stronach Group, parent company of the Maryland Jockey Club. “This long-term agreement will allow us to build the Preakness, Black-Eyed Susan, Pimlico Special and Preakness week activities through multiple channels to reach a wider audience. The Stronach Group is committed to growing the sport of Thoroughbred racing, and we believe our relationship with NBC is another step in that direction.”
The 2015 Preakness Stakes on NBC, featuring American Pharoah’s victory enroute to the first Triple Crown in 37 years, averaged 8.9 million viewers – the seventh consecutive year the Preakness topped eight million viewers. In 12 of the 15 years it has been on NBC, the Preakness Stakes has been the most-watched sporting event of the weekend it was contested.
“We are thrilled to continue our relationship as the TV home of the Preakness Stakes,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN. “Coming to this agreement was a rewarding process from start to finish. We look forward to working with our partners with the Maryland Jockey Club and The Stronach Group for years to come.”