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Apr 29, 2005

Breeders' Cup races moving to ESPN


New York, NY (Sports Network) - The Breeders' Cup will be changing networks,

 as ESPN has agreed to a deal with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association

 and Breeders' Cup Limited to begin televising the richest day in horse racing next year.

NBC had been the broadcast home of the Breeders' Cup since its inception in

1984. The network's final broadcast of the World Thoroughbred Championships

will be this year from Belmont Park on Long Island.

Under the new eight-year agreement, ESPN will be begin televising the Breeders'

Cup from Churchill Downs in 2006.

The show will run two hours longer than the current NBC program, as ESPN will

 have a seven-hour live broadcast from Noon to 7 p.m. (et). In addition to the

 Breeders' Cup program, ESPN and ABC will have five two-hour broadcasts of

 major stakes races from June through October.

The move of the World Thoroughbred Championships to ESPN falls on the heels

of the earlier announcement that the Belmont Stakes will be televised on ABC

beginning in 2006.

The Breeders' Cup is held annually in the fall at some of the major racetracks in

North America. The World Thoroughbred Championships is made up of eight races

 worth a total of $14 million. The highlight of the card is the $4 million

Breeders' Cup Classic.

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