05/22/2016 11:46AM

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.


Abigail Anderson More than 1 year ago
Great news! Do any Canadians here know if that means that TSN will carry it too? 
Junior Blake More than 1 year ago
BEin sports also provides coverage that week. They take the European feed.
L More than 1 year ago
Good on you. Cheltenham next. thank you.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
I would not be surprised one bit if this winds up being incorporated into the TODAY show, with for that week TODAY expanded to at least five hours each day from 7:00-Noon in all time zones (or for that week, it being "live everywhere" from 7:00 AM-Noon or 1:00 PM ET/4:00 AM-9:00 or 10:00 AM PT). Such a marriage could be a huge boost for both TODAY and the sport.
Chas More than 1 year ago
Hey, anything is better than tvg coverage or lack of...
Gerald Queeney More than 1 year ago
Great I watch and bet for the last 4 years great racing!
Larry Kaufman More than 1 year ago
this will be a huge waste of money by NBC. the average person only watches the triple crown races and breeders cup classic. there will be little interest here, even the people that bet everyday will have little interest. At least NBC will have a job for johnny weir

Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
Not a waste at all.  If anything, NBC is likely to make a major event out of it and because of the time of day have it incorporated into the TODAY show, with perhaps that week special five or six-hour editions of TODAY from 7:00 AM-Noon or 1:00 PM ET as noted in my other comments.  This looks like a marriage that can help both the TODAY show and the sport. 
David Crossley More than 1 year ago
Except it's doubtful they will show any races.  And for the West Coast, will they show the races live on NBCSN (if they show any races)--and show them again when the Today show is shown on the West Coast?
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
My thinking is they would do the whole thing if they choose to go that route and for that week possibly went the "live everywhere" route and have the west coast come on at 4:00 AM PT just for those five days (everyone outside the eastern time zone getting the show earlier than usual).  Ascot is an extremely unique situation because you have the Royal Family (which has over the years at times been talked to death on TODAY) there all five days and the meet has a lot of flavor outside of the actual racing that makes it so special.  It's exactly the kind of event a lot of women who normally would watch GMA on ABC or CBS's morning show would come over for that.

That said, it's not likely but I can see where the news division might see it as a something that can be heavily promoted and made into a massive event that has its own history rather than some of the stunts you see on morning shows now.