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HBA Media lands Saudi Cup rights distribution contract

Credit: Saudi Cup

The HBA Media agency has signed a multi-year deal with the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia to distribute media rights worldwide on behalf of Saudi Racing, including rights to the world’s richest race, the $20m (€18m) Saudi Cup.

The deal announced today (Thursday) involves UK-based HBA become the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia’s dedicated horse racing media and distribution partner.

HBA will handle worldwide broadcast and multi-platform distribution for the Saudi Cup, which is scheduled to be run for the first time at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh on February 29, 2020.  The main event is complemented by a support card comprising seven additional races, bringing the total prize money fund near $30m.

HBA Media’s role as the official agency to handle all media content around Saudi Racing throughout the calendar year will include overseeing and working with global production companies responsible for programming surrounding the Saudi Cup itself. It will also include the creation of year-round support content and a full digital and social media content service that will seek to deliver an extensive regional presence.

HBA Media this year retained its international rights to both the Melbourne Cup and the Breeders’ Cup.

The British-based horse racing specialist also extended production and distribution contracts with the US racecourse owner group Stronach Group earlier this year, running until 2021. That deal secured the exclusive rights to the most lucrative horse race in North America – The Pegasus Cup. Following the Pegasus Cup deal, HBA Media went on to announce a slew of deals across a range of territories for the event.

Henry Birtles, chief executive of HBA Media, said today: “The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia has made its intentions very clear. Horseracing in KSA has well and truly landed. The Kingdom is making giant strides in a bid to hold its own as major global player in ‘The Sport of Kings’.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for racing and HBA Media is delighted to be involved in the big plan. Through its flagship event, the Saudi Cup, we look forward to ensuring the sport in the Kingdom gets the coverage these exciting new developments warrant.”

Tom Ryan, Saudi Cup strategic director, added: “We are very excited to be working with HBA Media, who have proven their dedication, commitment and knowledge as we seek to establish a comprehensive media strategy around the Saudi Cup and the sport of horse racing in the Kingdom.”