NBC Sports Group and Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) have reached a 10-year agreement extending NBCSG’s exclusive rights to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and Longines Kentucky Oaks through 2025, it was announced today.
The 10-year renewal extends the partnership which began in 2001 and includes multiplatform rights to the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, and Derby and Oaks day programming which will be televised on NBC and NBCSN and featured on NBC’s digital platforms.
“We are excited to extend our partnership with Churchill Downs for both the iconic Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby and are proud to have them as signature elements of our Championship Season,” said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. “This decade-long deal is a testament to the strength of the relationship between Churchill Downs Incorporated and NBC Sports, and underscores NBC’s commitment to the sport of horse racing. We will continue to utilize the wide-ranging media platforms of NBCUniversal to surround the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby with wall-to-wall coverage and extensive promotion.”
“This agreement extends our relationship with NBC to 25 years and includes what will be a very special historical moment, the 150th Kentucky Derby in 2024,” said Churchill Downs Chairman and CEO Bob Evans. “We will not only achieve our financial objectives with this deal, but we will also continue to benefit from NBC’s unique media assets and innovative perspective to help us continue to grow the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby brands.”
Utilizing NBC Sports Group’s “Big Event Strategy,” three of the last five Kentucky Derby races have recorded at least 16 million viewers. NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby over the last 13 races averaged over 2 million more viewers than the previous 12 Kentucky Derby broadcasts (14.3 million vs.12.0 million, up 19 percent).
The Kentucky Derby stands as America’s oldest continuously held major sporting event; this year’s 140th Run for the Roses is Saturday, May 3, 2014.