Updated on 08/01/2012 3:49PM

Breeders' Cup, HRTV make broadcast deal


HRTV, the television network co-owned by Churchill Downs and the Stronach Group, will broadcast all of the Breeders’ Cup races for this year’s event live with the exception of the Classic under a deal reached with Breeders’ Cup covering cable broadcast rights, the two companies announced Wednesday.

The deal is the first in Breeders’ Cup history allowing a network other than the primary rights-holder to broadcast races live on television. This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be broadcast live by NBC and its related networks, under a four-year deal reached last year replacing ESPN and ABC.

The deal also gives HRTV the rights to produce the Breeders’ Cup simulcast show, a production that is distributed to simulcast sites around the world. HRTV’s main competitor, TVG, had previously produced the simulcast show.

According to an HRTV official, the network’s television coverage will be different than the simulcast show, which caters more heavily to gamblers who may or may not be able to hear the show’s audio feed.

Under earlier television-rights agreements, horse racing networks were not allowed to broadcast the Breeders’ Cup races live. An exception occurred last year, when ESPN allowed TVG to broadcast the Breeders’ Cup Marathon live. ESPN’s coverage of the Friday races began after the Marathon had been run.

The Breeders’ Cup races also will be streamed live on HRTV.com and breederscup.com.

This year’s Breeders’ Cup is scheduled for Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita Park in Southern California. HRTV is based at Santa Anita.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mixed news. The BC goes to a cable simulcast, but on HRTV. What, were there no lower-rated cable networks available? Could they find one available in fewer places? It's "nice" that they're doing this, but I know informercials that will get higher ratings, since HRTV is not available in an awful lot of places.
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Good news; this will cater to the true racing fans, and the analysts on HRTV are generally superior to NBC, too. (But which network will Gary Stevens appear on?) One quibble: It was NBC, not ESPN, that allowed TVG to show the B.C. Marathon last year, prior to their own coverage.
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Great news. Now I don't have to be subject to all the "fluff" and nonsense backstories on NBC. Maybe HRTV will improve the camera angles too. For racing fans, the extraneous, non - handicapping information is annoying. Does anyone really care who Kim Kardashian likes in the BC Sprint?
VanSavant More than 1 year ago
Cathy; Ummm...maybe...kind of...ummm...nevermind (snort!).