Maintaining momentum on its goal of enhancing global horse racing coverage, HBA Media distributed broadcast rights for the Lexus Melbourne Cup and Breeders’ Cup this week.
The two races, flagship fixtures of the Australia and North American horse racing sectors respectively, have been picked up by an extensive list of European and American media outlets.
Taking place yesterday, the Melbourne Cup was broadcast in over 190 territories via 20 broadcasters, whilst the Breeders’ Cup in Kentucky later this week will be picked up by 21 networks.
Frank Sale, Managing Director of HBA Media, said: “The Melbourne and Breeders’ Cups are two of the most anticipated race meetings within our global horseracing portfolio.
“Our strong working relationships with both federations on content and distribution has resulted in several new broadcasters showcasing the races for the very first time.
“This collaborative effort with both parties has ensured these fantastic events continue to receive the worldwide recognition they deserve.”
In Europe, contracts have been signed with traditional broadcasters and OTT platforms – Sky Sports Racing and Racing TV in the UK and Ireland, Virgin Media in Ireland, Polsat in Poland, Setenta in Eurasia and the Baltics, Sport TV in Portugal, WeDoTV in the DACH nations and Kanal 75 in Sweden.
An agreement with ITV in particular has been highlighted by HBA, marking the return of stateside racing content to the free-to-air channel, as the network makes its second broadcast of the Breeders Cup.
This follows a similar contract between ITV and HBA Media, covering the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, as the terrestrial TV outlet seeks to expand its racing content, as well as wider sporting coverage after securing UK rights to the NFL and LaLiga.
In Australia, both fixtures have been picked up by Racing.com and Entain, as the international betting and gaming group’s Entain Australia subsidiary looks to bolster its sports media operations in the country.
Dave Campbell, Executive General Manager of Victoria Racing Club, added: “The VRC through our expanded VRC Media division have focused on building out a live and on-demand content platform that caters to our international broadcast partners.
“We are thrilled that this content strategy has ensured both the Lexus Melbourne Cup and the Melbourne Cup Carnival itself have widespread coverage, bringing the unique colour and entertainment on and off the track to millions across the globe.”
In the Americas, FOX Sports showed the entire Melbourne Cup Carnival to 70 million households, whilst ESPN/Star+ secured rights to both races in South America.
In Asia, SPOTV will provide coverage in Southeast Asia, SPN in India and the wider Indian subcontinent region, and Wasu.tv in China. SuperSport and DMI signed deals in Africa and the MENA region respectively.
Justin McDonald, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Breeders’ Cup, commented: “Breeders’ Cup was founded in 1984 with the goal of bringing high-quality racing to an international audience, and we’re proud that the Breeders’ Cup World Championships continues to be one of the most anticipated events on the thoroughbred racing calendar each year.
“We are grateful to our broadcasting partners for all they do to ensure that the Breeders’ Cup is accessible to all our amazing fans around the world.”