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Unprecedented global coverage secured for second running of World’s Richest Race – the 2021 $20m Saudi Cup

Action from 2020 Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Jenadriyah near capital Riyadh (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

HBA Media has secured extensive broadcaster growth for the second running of the much-anticipated Saudi Cup, which takes place this Saturday, 20th February at King Abdulaziz Racecourse.

Capitalising on the success of the 2020 broadcast and the increased global interest in the event, HBA Media has licensed the live production to eight new broadcasters ensuring that the Saudi Cup is accessible in every major continent around the world and in some 140 territories.

Furthermore, a deal with Twitter (MENA) will see the Saudi Cup streamed live to their millions of users across the Middle East. Saudi TV are the host broadcaster across the MENA region.

This year-on-year territory increase is brought about following a first-time commitment of major new broadcasters including: RAI (Italy), Sky Italia (Italy), Sport TV (Portugal), Setanta (Baltics), Movistar (Spain), NENT (Scandinavia), CYTA (Cyprus) and Fite (Global).

HBA Media, the international horseracing media rights agency, has distributed a selection of broadcast packages for the prestigious Saudi Cup from expanded highlights and replay opportunities, to a bespoke one-hour programme titled The Golden Hour, or through the traditional full world feed service.  IMG Productions remain responsible for the highly visual five-hour raceday coverage, in partnership with HBA Media.

Fox Sports 1, with 83 million subscribers, take on an exclusive linear deal in the USA to broadcast The Golden Hour, featuring the live Saudi Cup, with both Fox Sports 2 and TVG covering the full undercard. The world-renowned ESPN Sportcenter will showcase highlights from the two-day meeting. TSN in Canada will also broadcast the one-hour centerpiece.

Once again, Sky Sports Racing and Racing TV will continue to provide coverage in the UK with Virgin Media offering a free-to-air linear broadcast in Ireland.

Europe has seen the largest increase in broadcaster uptake for the Saudi Cup. In addition to the new signings, European channels also include Polsat (Poland), S Sport (Turkey), Match TV (Russia), Silknet (Georgia). Fans in Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Herzegovina come under the helm of Sport Klub.

ESPN will deliver the Saudi Cup in Spanish to its established audience across Latin America and for the first time, it will air on ESPN2 in Brazil.

Forty-eight countries in Africa will be served by SuperSport (Africa) while SportsMax (Caribbean) will provide Caribbean viewers with another international raceday.

Asia is covered by Shanghai TV, Wuhan TV, Beijing TV (China) and The Green Channel (Japan).

India will be covered through Eurosport India, taking the world’s most valuable race into over 40 million homes.

Racing.com, Australia’s free-to-air horseracing network, will again broadcast The Golden Hour.

Significant highlights and news coverage has also been secured with Trans World Sport, Sports Unlimited, Sports Confidential, SNTV and Reuters – further expanding the worldwide reach of the Saudi Cup.

Tom Ryan, Saudi Cup Strategic & International Racing Director, said:

“We are pleased that so many people around the world will have the chance to follow the Saudi Cup on Saturday February 20th, thanks to HBA Media’s distribution.  This is an important event in Saudi Arabia’s evolving society and continues to act as a launch pad to further development of our growing racing industry.”

Henry Birtles, Chief Executive of HBA Media, said:

“It is a testament to the work of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, by getting the event across the line in the face of all too familiar challenges brought about by the pandemic, that HBA Media has been able to deliver a tremendous global distribution for this year’s Saudi Cup.  Wherever they are in the world, we hope that everyone watching enjoys the ride.”