Sky Sports Racing has signed a long-term deal with NBCUniversal that sees it gain the exclusive broadcast rights to the Kentucky Derby in the UK and Ireland.
The channel, the successor to At The Races, has also extended its current multi-year agreement for network coverage of the other two legs of the fabled US Triple Crown series, the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.
The $2 million Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
Inaugurated in 1875, the legendary 1 1/4-mile race for three-year-olds is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in North America. Known as the “The Run for the Roses,” “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” and “America’s Race,” the Kentucky Derby is the most attended horserace in the US, frequently attracting over 160,000 racegoers.
In 2018, Justify, trained by Bob Baffert, became the 13th horse ever to win the Triple Crown after a dominant victory in the Belmont Stakes leading to a valuation on retirement estimated by Forbes at over $60 million.
Matthew Imi, Chief Executive, At The Races said: “This agreement reinforces our long-term commitment to the biggest racing events on the international stage and we will help raise the profile of these great fixtures even further in the UK and Ireland with coverage and cross promotion across Sky Sports.
“The Kentucky Derby is an institution in the US, and in recent years, the achievements of American Pharoah and Justify have brought the Triple Crown series to mainstream attention around the world.
“We also value our partnership with NBCUniversal and there are excellent opportunities for further cooperation in helping promote racing on both sides of the Atlantic.”