NBC Sports Group has reached an agreement with Churchill Downs Inc. on a 10-year deal to televise the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks (both gr. I) through 2025, it was announced in a joint release Feb. 26.
The two companies' current pact expires after the 2015 running of each race.
NBC has been televising the two races since 2001. The 10-year renewal includes multiplatform rights to the races, plus additional programming throughout the two days. The Derby is run each year on the first Saturday in May, with the Oaks taking place the previous day. The NBC Sports Group includes the parent network as well as its NBCSN, a dedicated sports channel, and other digital platforms.
"This decade-long deal is a testament to the strength of the relationship between Churchill Downs Inc. and NBC Sports, and underscores NBC's commitment to the sport of horse racing," NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said in a release. "We will continue to surround the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby with wall-to-wall coverage and extensive promotion."
Since 2001, NBC's coverage of the Derby has averaged approximately 14.3 million viewers.
"We will not only achieve our financial objectives with this deal, but we will also continue to benefit from NBC's unique media assets and innovative perspective to help us continue to grow the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby," CDI chairman and CEO Bob Evans said in the release.
The 140th Kentucky Derby is slated for May 3, 2014. It is America's oldest continually held major sporting event.