NBC Sports Renews Broadcast Rights To The Kentucky Derby And Preakness Stakes

NBC Sports, Churchill Downs Incorporated and Magna Entertainment/Maryland Jockey Club have reached an agreement giving the network the exclusive broadcast rights to the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, beginning in 2006 and continuing through 2010.  The announcement was made today by Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics; Tom Meeker, President and Chief Executive Officer, Churchill Downs Incorporated; and Joseph A. De Francis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Maryland Jockey Club. The new agreement extends the relationship between NBC Sports and the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes an additional five years; NBC Sports has exclusively broadcast both races since 2001.

Ebersol, NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer, Meeker and De Francis will hold a press call today at 4:00 p.m. ET. The dial in number is (312) 461-0644.

"We are thrilled to extend our partnership with thoroughbred racing's two most prestigious properties and continue our business relationship with the two leading companies-- Churchill Downs and Magna-- in thoroughbred racing," said Ebersol. "We've enjoyed a spectacular relationship with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, and we look forward to continuing it through the next five years."

Said Meeker: "We are delighted to renew our relationship with NBC Sports and secure continued network television exposure for our company's signature event, the Kentucky Derby. NBC has been a fantastic broadcast and marketing partner for the Kentucky Derby and for horse racing. The network has helped raise the profile of our industry through its innovative coverage and dynamic marketing of our sport's classic races. Beyond that, NBC has consistently delivered compelling story lines, strong ratings and a fresh approach to presenting these more than century-old sporting events to a broad and diverse audience. We look forward to NBC's continued affiliation with horse racing and to the network's coverage of the 131st Kentucky Derby on May 7."

Said De Francis: "We are pleased to renew our broadcast partnership with NBC Sports. As television audiences continue to splinter, our relationship with NBC allows us the opportunity to reach more than just sports fans. Our agreement with NBC Sports not only affords us the stature and exposure of a continued presence on network television but also allows us to benefit from NBC's consistent promotion through the Kentucky Derby leading into the Preakness."

The Kentucky Derby stands as America's oldest continuously held major sporting event; the 131st Run for the Roses is Saturday, May 7, with coverage beginning at 5 p.m. ET on NBC. The Preakness Stakes, celebrating its 130th running, is Saturday, May 21, with coverage beginning at 5 p.m. ET on NBC.

Churchill Downs Incorporated, headquartered in Louisville, Ky., owns and operates world-renowned horse racing venues throughout the United States. The Company's racetracks in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Louisiana host 121 graded-stakes events and many of North America's most prestigious races, including the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, Hollywood Gold Cup and Arlington Million. CDI racetracks have hosted nine Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships - more than any other North American racing company. CDI also owns off-track betting facilities and has interests in various television production, telecommunications and racing services companies that support CDI's network of simulcasting and racing operations. CDI trades on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol CHDN and can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.

The Maryland Jockey Club was founded in 1743, and thus today is the oldest sporting association in the North America. After 262 years it remains the corporate name of Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, which opened in 1870, and is home to the Preakness Stakes®, the middle jewel in horse racing's famed Triple Crown, and the historic Pimlico Special. In 2002, Magna Entertainment Corp. (MEC), North America's number one owner and operator of horse racetracks, based on revenues, purchased a majority share of the Maryland Jockey Club and it has become an important part of MEC's expanding network of major North American tracks.