NBC Sports extends rights to Breeders’ Cup Challenge series

The NBC Sports Group division of US media company NBCUniversal has extended a rights deal for the Breeders’ Cup Challenge horseracing series.

The deal will run for three years, from 2016 until 2018.

Under the agreement, the NBC network and pay-television channel NBC Sports Network will broadcast 16 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races during 2016.

The series, which leads in to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, will also be streamed live on the NBC Sports Live Extra platform, while NBC Sports’ regional networks will broadcast replays of select races after their live airings on NBC and NBC Sports Network.

NBC and NBC Sports Network averaged 936,000 viewers for the nine shows that were broadcast during the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Challenge – a 136-per-cent increase on the previous year. The NBC Sports Live Extra streaming service also proved popular, with viewers streaming 383,000 live horseracing minutes in 2015, compared to 92,000 in 2014.

Next year’s Breeders’ Cup Challenge series begins on June 11 with the Metropolitan Handicap and the Ogden Phipps from Belmont Park.