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Feb 25, 2011

Triple Crown races to be on NBC


New York, NY (Sports Network) - All three Triple Crown races will be broadcast by the NBC Sports Group, an agreement that begins this year and runs through 2015.

NBC Sports Group chairman Dick Ebersol made the announcement Tuesday morning along with Tom Chuckas, Maryland Jockey Club President and Chief Operating Officer and NYRA chairman C. Steven Duncker.

The three Triple Crown races, Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, were last televised on one network -- NBC Sports -- in 2005. The following year, the first two legs continued on NBC with the Belmont Stakes being broadcast by ABC Sports.

"We are thrilled to return our premier race to NBC Sports," said Duncker. "They have done a terrific job covering horse racing, including their Kentucky Derby and the Preakness broadcasts over the prior decade. With an excellent production team that has pioneered innovative camera angles, and a tremendous group of on-air talent that offers unique insights into the races, NBC Sports will be a great partner for the Belmont Stakes."

The agreement will allow NBC and its broadcast partners to have more than 25 hours of coverage. Versus will carry the Kentucky Oaks for three-year-old fillies on the Friday prior to the Run for the Roses, and will also air the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes for three-year-old fillies the day before the Preakness.

"Everyone at NBC Sports Group is delighted that the Triple Crown has been reassembled. We are now uniquely positioned to significantly expand the reach of these iconic events with extensive coverage on Versus," said Ebersol. "As we previously announced, we are continuing our long-standing partnership with the Kentucky Derby. To add this extension with the Preakness while reacquiring the Belmont gives our new NBC Sports Group the three most important events in thoroughbred racing. And we want to thank Churchill Downs Incorporated and CEO Bob Evans for his leadership in paving the way for the Triple Crown to return to NBC."

NBC gained the rights to the Triple Crown series starting in 2001.

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