BC Clas­sic TV view­er­ship down sharply

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Matt He­garty Fol­low Matt He­garty on Twit­ter @DRFHe­garty

The fi­nal hour of last Satur­day’s Breed­ers’ Cup broad­cast on NBC had to­tal view­er­ship of 1.6 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the net­work, down 20 per­cent from last year.

The view­er­ship fig­ure was well down from the 2016 and 2015 Clas­sic broad­casts, when view­er­ship was 2.2 mil­lion and 3.9 mil­lion. The 2015 Clas­sic broad­cast fea­tured Triple Crown win­ner Amer­i­can Pharoah mak­ing the fi­nal start of his ca­reer. The last time view­er­ship was as low as 1.6 mil­lion was in 2011, when the event was broad­cast by ESPN.

This year’s Clas­sic at Churchill Downs was held three hours ear­lier than the prior two years. In 2016 and 2017, the two-day Breed­ers’ Cup was held in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

NBC is the dom­i­nant broad­caster of pre­mium live rac­ing events. It also broad­casts all three races of the Triple Crown, and it has agree­ments with the Breed­ers’ Cup to broad­cast a num­ber of the event’s prep races.

◗ NBC an­nounced this week that it has reached a sixyear me­dia-rights ex­ten­sion through 2025 with Royal As­cot in Eng­land. NBC first agreed to broad­cast races from the pres­ti­gious five-day event last year.

For next year, NBC said it will broad­cast live from As­cot for 4 1/2 hours on its NBC Sports Net­work from Tues­day through Fri­day, June 18-21, with four ad­di­tional hours of broad­cast time for the fi­nal day of the meet, June 22.

◗ NBC also an­nounced this week that it has reached an agree­ment with The Stronach Group to broad­cast the Pe­ga­sus World Cup and a com­pan­ion turf race on Jan. 26. The Pe­ga­sus is run at Gulf­stream Park, owned by the The Stronach Group.

The agree­ment calls for a 90-minute live pro­gram fea­tur­ing the $9 mil­lion Pe­ga­sus World Cup on dirt and the $7 mil­lion Pe­ga­sus World Cup Turf In­vi­ta­tional.

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