ESPN drops out of bidding for Belmont; will NBC claim Triple Crown again?

by | 02.15.2011 | 7:31pm

ESPN said it is dropping out of negotiations with the New York Racing Association to televise the Belmont Stakes, suggesting that all three Triple Crown races could be reunited on NBC Sports for the first time since 2005, according to Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily. NYRA broke away from Churchill Downs and Pimlico to get its own TV deal with ESPN/ABC in 2006, but that five-year agreement has now ended. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness remained on NBC, which recently renewed its contract to televise the Derby through 2015. There is no television contract in place for the 2011 Preakness, but NBC is believed to be interested in both the middle jewel of the Triple Crown and the Belmont.

Ratings for last year's Belmont, which had neither the Derby or Preakness winners in the starting lineup, were the lowest in 10 years.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram