via press release:
NBC SPORTS GROUP AND NEW YORK RACING ASSOCIATION REACH LONG-TERM BELMONT STAKES EXTENSION
Belmont Stakes Day and Additional Racing Throughout the Year Featured on NBC & NBCSN
American Pharoah Runs for Triple Crown History in 147th Belmont Stakes This Saturday, June 6 at 4:30 PM ET on NBC
NEW YORK, NY – June 3, 2015 – NBC Sports Group and The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) have reached a long-term agreement extending NBCSG’s exclusive rights to the Belmont Stakes, it was announced today.
The renewal extends the partnership which began in 2001 and since such time, NBC has televised nine of the past 14 Belmont Stakes (2001-05, 2011-14). The extension includes multi-platform rights to the Belmont Stakes, Belmont Stakes Day, and key stakes races throughout each year, which will be televised on NBC and NBCSN and featured on NBC’s digital platforms. The Metropolitan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day, the Belmont Gold Cup Invitational, the Belmont Oaks on July 4, the Wood Memorial, various summer races from Saratoga, and the Jockey Club Gold Cup are also among the high-profile NYRA races that NBC Sports Group will showcase.
NBC Sports International will continue to distribute NBC’s coverage of the Belmont Stakes globally through the term of the deal. NBC Sports Radio will broadcast the Belmont Stakes through the term of the deal as well.
This Saturday, June 6 at 4:30 pm. ET, NBC will televise the running of the 147th Belmont Stakes, featuring America Pharoah’s bid to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
“We are excited to extend our partnership with the New York Racing Association for the Belmont Stakes and NYRA’s other high-profile races,” said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. “Also known as ‘The Test of the Champion,’ the Belmont Stakes is a prominent feature of our Championship Season. This extension is a testament to the strength of the relationship between NYRA and NBC Sports Group, and underscores NBC’s commitment to the sport of horse racing.”
“We are thrilled to extend our strong partnership with NBC Sports,” stated Chris Kay, Chief Executive Officer and President of the New York Racing Association. “NBC Sports has given our great sport an unprecedented platform to further cultivate and grow a new generation of racing fans, and they have offered an unparalleled focus on the most prestigious races run at the New York Racing Association’s three championship tracks at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga.”
The 2014 Belmont Stakes on NBC, featuring California Chrome’s Triple Crown attempt, averaged 20.5 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). The 2014 Belmont Stakes was one of only two TV shows in the second quarter of 2014 to average 20 million viewers.