NBC had the rights to the two-day horse racing series from its start in 1984 until 2005. As part of the new deal, the main event, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, will run in primetime on the network on the East Coast — a first. Friday and Saturday’s other coverage is set for NBC Sports Network, recently rebranded from Versus. The pact reaffirms the network’s commitment to the sport, after it aired all three Triple Crown races last year for the first time since 2005. From the release:

NEW YORK – January 23, 2012 – The Breeders’ Cup and the NBC Sports Group today announced a multi-year media rights partnership beginning with the 2012 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, November 2-3, from Santa Anita Park, featuring the first-ever running of the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in primetime. The agreement was announced by Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup Limited President and CEO, and Jon Miller, President of Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. NBC and NBC Sports Network will combine to present 9 ½ hours of live coverage of the 2012 Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., including live primetime coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Classic on NBC on Saturday, Nov. 3 (8-9 p.m. ET). This marks the first time in its history that the Classic is broadcast live in primetime. The Breeders’ Cup returns to NBC where it was broadcast from its inception in 1984 through 2005. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

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