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NBC Sports continues Triple Crown quest with Belmont Stakes deal

The NBC Sports Group division of US media company NBCUniversal has agreed a long-term extension with the New York Racing Association encompassing exclusive rights to the Belmont Stakes horseracing event.

NBC has shown nine of the past 14 Belmont Stakes – from 2001-05 and then from 2011-14. Terms of the new deal were not disclosed, but the New York Times newspaper said that it is likely to run until at least 2020.

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 show.

NBC Sports International will continue to distribute NBC’s coverage of the Belmont Stakes on a global basis.

NBC Sports has been seeking to secure the long-term rights to all three members of US horseracing’s Triple Crown. In February 2014, it renewed an exclusive rights deal for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks under a 10-year contract running through to 2025. Only the Preakness Stakes remains to be signed to a long-term renewal.

NBC will broadcast the 147th Belmont Stakes this Saturday, featuring American Pharoah’s bid to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.