05/22/2016 10:46AM

NBC acquires rights to broadcast Royal Ascot starting 2017


NBC Sports Group, the parent company of the NBC Sports Network, will begin broadcasting live from Royal Ascot in England next year after acquiring the U.S. media rights to the prestigious meeting in a multi-year deal, the company announced on Saturday.

The network said it will broadcast from the meeting on five consecutive days next year, from 8:30 a.m. Eastern to at least noon each day. In addition to being broadcast on NBC Sports, the coverage will be streamed on the company’s various Internet and mobile platforms.

The Royal Ascot meeting features 30 races spread over five days, and it annually attracts some of Europe’s best horses, and, sometimes, a U.S.-based horse or two. During the meet, Royal Ascot holds eight Group 1 events.

This year, Tepin, last year’s champion mare on grass in the U.S. and a four-time graded stakes winner this year, is pointing to the June 14 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. She has been installed the 4-1 favorite by British bookmakers.

In addition to the high-class racing, the Royal Ascot meeting is known for its refined social trappings, with men in some enclosures at the track required to wear top hat and tails. The British Royal Family also regularly attends the meet, arriving in a carriage procession each day.

“This agreement … will allow us to bring Royal Ascot to a mainstream American audience – one that will gravitate to the racing to watch its best horses take on ours, and indeed those more interested in fashions and uniquely British pageantry,” said Juliet Slot, the commercial director at Ascot, in a statement provided by NBC.