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NBC reassembles Triple Crown broadcasts

Feb. 22, 2011 at 6:46 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- NBC Sports said Tuesday it will broadcast all three legs of thoroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown for the first time since 2005.

The network said it has acquired the rights to broadcast the Belmont Stakes through 2015 and renewed a deal with the Maryland Jockey Club to carry The Preakness for the next four years as well.

Coupled with an existing long-term deal with Churchill Downs to air the Kentucky Derby, NBC will have all three Triple Crown "jewels" in its stable for the first time since the Belmont Stakes moved to ABC in 2006.

NBC Sports Group Chairman Dick Ebersol said the network will combine forces with cable TV's Versus Network -- also owned by NBC parent Comcast -- to provide expanded horse racing coverage for thoroughbred fans.

"Everyone at NBC Sports Group is delighted that the Triple Crown has been reassembled," Ebersol said. "We are now uniquely positioned to significantly expand the reach of these iconic events with extensive coverage on Versus."

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