ESPN Saddles Up for Breeders’ Cup

ESPN has reached an eight-year deal with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders’ Cup Ltd. to succeed NBC as the TV home to horse racing’s biggest event each fall, beginning in 2006.

ESPN will provide seven-hour coverage of the eight Breeder’s Cup divisional championships, compared with the five currently allotted by the “Peacock.”

The pact -- including rights for ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Classic and other platforms -- also extends ABC Sports’ and ESPN’s coverage of other NTRA properties from 2008 to 2013.