NBC Sports Group, the sports arm of American broadcast network NBC, has acquired the domestic media rights to the inaugural running of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park.
The exclusive deal was agreed with racecourse owners, the Stronach Group, and will see the network broadcast a 90-minute live programme from the Florida track on 28th January. It will also stream live coverage of the meeting on its digital platforms NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
The nine-furlong Pegasus World Cup Invitational will be raced on dirt, with a restricted field of 12 horses, each of whose owners have reserved a spot in the starting stalls for US$1 million. Furthermore, the owners can race, lease, share a starter or sell their place in the gate as they see fit.
The race purse will stand at US$12 million, with the winning owner taking home a world-record US$7 million. The 2016 Dubai World Cup winner Califormia Chrome’s owners have purchased a slot, likewise the world’s preeminent breeding operation Coolmore Stud and Reddam Racing, the owner of 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist.
“We are excited to work with The Stronach Group to present such a unique and lucrative race as we continue to present the best horse racing in the world,” said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports.
The Stronach Group’s chairman and president, Belinda Stronach, added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with NBC to bring the world’s richest thoroughbred horse race to audiences across The United States.
In addition, The Stronach Group has revealed that it is partnering with UK-based agency Henry Birtles Associates (HBA) to distribute the international television rights to the race.
“The Stronach Group is thrilled to be partnering with HBA to bring The Pegasus World Cup Invitational to a worldwide audience,” said Stronach. “At the intersection of sport and entertainment, The Pegasus World Cup Invitational is poised to take its place on the annual racing calendar as a marquee event featuring entertainment, fashion and of course, the best live thoroughbred racing.”
HBA managing director Henry Birtles added: “HBA is delighted to be involved in the inaugural running of this momentous event. As the first event of its kind on the thoroughbred horse racing calendar, we are very excited.”