NBC Sports Group Re-Ups Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series for Three More Years
Breeders’ Cup and NBC Sports Group have inked 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,” says 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,” says 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.