Published January 23, 2012
NBC signed the Breeders' Cup to a multiyear media rights deal beginning this November. The Breeders' Cup still had two years left on its deal with ESPN, but the Disney-owned network allowed the race to move to NBC. The move officially takes away the last horse race to appear on ESPN. ESPN in a statement said, "In the last few years, ESPN has reduced its coverage of horse racing and this event no longer fits with our overall content strategy. We value our relationship with the Breeders' Cup and jointly decided this is the best option for their event. We look forward to continuing to work with them on international coverage." NBC will carry the Nov. 2-3 event at Santa Anita Park. NBC and NBC Sports Network will combine to present nine-and-a-half hours of live coverage of the '12 Breeders' Cup, including the running of the $5M Breeders' Cup Classic in primetime on NBC. This marks the first time the Classic is broadcast live in primetime. The Breeders' Cup returns to NBC where it was broadcast from '84-'05. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed (THE DAILY). In Louisville, Gregory Hall notes the Classic will air from 8:00-9:00pm ET on Nov. 3, the only race NBC will carry. NBC Sports Network will telecast the rest of the event (COURIER-JOURNAL.com, 1/23
). Paulick Report author Ray Paulick
wrote on his Twitter account, "@NBCSports now has all top racing titles: @KentuckyDerby @PreaknessStakes @BelmontStakes @Breeders' Cup & 6 Triple Crown prep races." The Daily Racing Form's David Grening
wrote, "Don't see NBC's desire to have Breeders' Cup in primetime boding well for a return of the event to New York."