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NBC Sports Group to broadcast various Breeders' Cup preps

Eighteen Breeders' Cup prep races will be televised by NBC Sports Group over a four-month span

The Breeders' Cup have announced a new marketing platform that will feature 18 of the best Breeders' Cup Challenge races from top race tracks in the U.S. All races will be broadcast by NBC Sports Group and will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign that will run across NBCUniversal properties as well as Time Inc. properties Sports Illustrated and People.com.

The "Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In" consists of 11 telecasts on NBC and NBCSN and features 18 "Win And You're In" races. Winners of these highly prestigious races, which offer more than $13 million in purses and awards, automatically qualify for a spot in the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on October 31 and November 1. The expanded NBC Sports partnership includes multiplatform rights to the Breeders' Cup Challenge races, which will also be featured on NBC's digital and mobile applications.

"The Challenge Series is an excellent vehicle to provide fans with a clear path to the World Championships in the fall," said Craig Fravel, Breeders' Cup President and CEO. "We are very pleased to expand our partnership with NBC Sports Group to televise the best races from the top tracks in the country and utilize the unique assets of a broad and diverse media leader such as Time Inc. to provide a variety of custom advertising content under the banner of the Breeders' Cup brand."

Putting the spotlight on premier racetracks across the country, the 2014 series begins on Belmont Stakes Day, June 7, with the Metropolitan Handicap and the Ogden Phipps from Belmont Park, and continues with live telecasts of American fixtures including the Haskell Invitational from Monmouth Park, several races from Saratoga including the Travers, the Pacific Classic from Del Mar, the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park, the Shadwell Turf Mile from Keeneland, and the Gold Cup and Awesome Again at Santa Anita, among others. In addition, several NBC Sports Regional Networks will present replays of select races after their initial airings on NBC and NBCSN.

"We are excited to present the new series of Breeders' Cup Challenge telecasts, which will help to build interest as we move from the Triple Crown races through the summer and on to the eagerly-anticipated Breeders' Cup World Championships in the fall," said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC and NBCSN.

To support the new Challenge Series, the Breeders' Cup will be launching a multi-channel marketing effort that will aim to attract new fans to the telecasts and sport. Leveraging the Breeders' Cup Celebrity Ambassadors (such as Kate Upton, Joe Torre, Bobby Flay, Elizabeth Banks and more) along with interesting and diverse horse owners who are trying to win their way into the Breeders' Cup, a series of custom content pieces -- to run on SI.com and People.com -- will provide readers a window into the thrill of horse racing at its highest level during the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series. Additional television, print and online media will run across the two Time Inc. properties as well as NBCUniversal properties, including E!, CNBC, Golf Channel, Esquire Network and more, to support the campaign and help raise awareness of and interest in the Challenge Series. A full list of Breeders' Cup Ambassadors can be found at www.breederscup.com/experience/celebrity-ambassadors.

Other Challenge platform assets include:

  • A new web site dedicated to the Challenge Series with unique content and a team of writers, producers and experts, including NBC Sports Group personality Randy Moss, focusing on racing, lifestyle and human interest features from some of the country's most iconic racetracks.
  • The Breeders' Cup Million Dollar Finish, a national consumer promotion that will allow fans to play along at home for prizes, will be supported on NBC Sports Group's multimedia platforms.
  • An on-site experiential program bringing luxury elements unique to the Breeders' Cup World Championships to major U.S. racing markets from New York to Southern California. The View, a private VIP racing experience, and Champions Terrace, where winning participants can revel in the sweet taste of victory, may visit Saratoga, Del Mar, Monmouth Park, Belmont Park, Keeneland and Santa Anita throughout the summer and fall
  • The Challenge marketing campaign is a key element in the Breeders' Cup's initiative to expand to a broader audience of influencers and fans in the months leading up to its signature event, the Breeders' Cup World Championships.

    "The Breeders' Cup World Championships has become a premier lifestyle experience full of fashion, food, entertainment, celebrities and world-class hospitality for our fans. The enhanced Breeders' Cup Challenge series is the perfect platform to extend our brand beyond the two-day event in the fall and to give our sponsors more tools to connect with their target audience," said Drew Sheinman, Breeders' Cup Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer.

    Below is the "Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win And You're In" schedule on NBC and NBCSN. Breeders' Cup Challenge races are listed in bold (all times EDT).   

    June 7 (2:30-7 p.m.) NBC Metropolitan Handicap Belmont Park Dirt Mile
      NBCSN Ogden Phipps   Distaff
    June 28 (7-8 p.m.) NBCSN The Gold Cup at Santa Anita Santa Anita Classic
    July 5 (5-6 p.m.) NBCSN Belmont Oaks Belmont Park Filly & Mare Turf
    July 27 (5-6 p.m.) NBC Haskell Invitational Monmouth Park Classic
    August 2 (5-6 p.m.) NBC Whitney Saratoga Classic
        Test   Filly & Mare Sprint
    August 23 (4:30-6 p.m.) NBC Travers Saratoga Classic
        Ballerina   Filly & Mare Sprint
    August 24 (8-9 p.m.) NBCSN Pacific Classic Del Mar Classic
    August 30 (6-7 p.m.) NBCSN Woodward Saratoga Classic
        Forego   Sprint
    September 27 (6-8 p.m.) NBCSN Jockey Club Gold Cup Belmont Park Classic
        Awesome Again Santa Anita Classic
        TBD "Win and You're In"    
        TBD "Win and You're In"    
    October 4 (4:30-6 p.m.) NBCSN Shadwell Turf Mile Keeneland Mile
        Breeders' Futurity   Juvenile
        Thoroughbred Club of America   Filly & Mare Sprint
    October 5 (5-6 p.m.) NBC Spinster Keeneland Distaff
        Bourbon   Juvenile Turf

    The complete 2014 Breeders' Cup Challenge schedule will be released later this week.

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