Fox Feeds Gambling Fever With New Horse Racing Deal

With the TV business eying a bonanza in advertising and other business as gambling becomes legalized, Fox Sports announced a new long-term television deal with the New York Racing Association.

The deal makes Fox Sports the primary national carrier for the NYRA and means that nearly every race from Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park will be televised, enabling bettors to better follow their wagers.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Fox’s parent 21st Century Fox is selling most of its assets to the Walt Disney Co. What remains with Fox will be focused on sports and news programming.

Under the new deal, Fox will be airing more than 600 hours a year in 2020. Fox Sports 2 began airing NYRA coverage in 2016 and aired more than 100 hours of NYRA coverage in 2018.

“NYRA has been a terrific partner and we are looking forward to presenting more horse racing on a national stage than ever before,” said Michael Mulvihill, executive VP of league operations, research and strategy for Fox Sports. "With this commitment, Fox Sports has taken the lead in developing content in the fast-growing area of sports gaming by expanding our relationship with the most prestigious name in horse racing, the New York Racing Association."

Other big sports leagues, including the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball have begun to align themselves with companies in the gaming industry, notably MGM. At the same time, network sports divisions have begun airing more programming that focuses on gambling, point spreads and picking winners. 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.