HBA Media, the UK-based horse racing agency, has today (June 8) announced a trio of new deals, with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the NBCUniversal (NBCU) US network, and the New York Racing Association (NYRA).

HBA has said the agreements all “strengthen the agency’s comprehensive international racing portfolio.”

The Hong Kong Jockey Club tie-up runs through 2025 and entails HBA receiving rights to distribute seven Group 1 contests across two principal race days.

The contests include the Hong Kong Sprint, Mile, Cup, and Vase, alongside the FWD Champions’ Day.

The separate deals with the NYRA and NBCUniversal, meanwhile, give HBA distribution rights to three of US horse racing’s most historic events – the Triple Crown.

Through these agreements, international broadcasters will be able to access the full Triple Crown series, despite the races being split in terms of domestic coverage (NBCU shows the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, while Fox Sports shows the Belmont Stakes).

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The deal has been unveiled in advance of the 2023 Belmont Stakes on Saturday (June 10).

Henry Birtles, HBA Media’s chief executive, said: “I am immensely proud that HBA’s racing portfolio continues to grow in stature and quality.
“With the inclusion of the Triple Crown and Hong Kong Jockey Club’s premier races, we are honored to be helping secure an international audience for these world-class sporting events.
“Our Crown Jewels package has already resulted in increased distribution and commercial revenues for all our clients – we are indebted to them for their support as we continue in our efforts to drive the sport forward on the global stage.”

Alex Barnes, vice president for sports distribution at NBCUniversal, added: “NBCUniversal is delighted to be working with HBA Media on the international distribution of the Triple Crown. NBC Sports’ long-standing history in production and broadcasting of these great races, along with HBA’s knowledge and heritage in the sport, will ensure that the Triple Crown races will be seen by as many people as possible around the world.”

The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s head of commingling, Sam Nati, also commented: “We are particularly pleased to work with HBA Media to ensure that we reach a global audience to showcase these events.”

HBA also holds international distribution rights to iconic horse racing action from events including the Saudi Cup, the Pegasus Cup, the Breeders’ Cup, and Royal Ascot.

Image: Michael Reaves/Getty Images