Byline: Associated Press/Bernie Wilson
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The America’s Cup will be on network television for the first time since 1992, when NBC broadcasts the first two races of sailing’s marquee regatta on San Francisco Bay in September 2013.
Officials told the Associated Press that the deal with the NBC Sports Group also includes three broadcasts on NBC this year from the America’s Cup World Series. The remaining races in the America’s Cup match will be on cable, on NBC Sports Network.
The deal is big for regatta organizers, who hope to showcase the modernized America’s Cup racing to mainstream fans. Racing will be on a short course close to shore rather than miles out to sea, and in fast, wing-sail catamarans rather than plodding sloops.
The NBC Sports Group also acquired rights to the Louis Vuitton Cup in the summer of 2013 in San Francisco, which will determine which foreign syndicate meets Oracle Racing, owned by Silicon Valley maverick Larry Ellison, for the oldest trophy in international sports.
Richard Worth, chairman of the America’s Cup Event Authority, said NBC will televise the final day of racing from three stops on the America’s Cup World Series this summer, as well as the opening two races of the 34th America’s Cup match on Sept. 7 and 8, 2013.
NBC Sports Group is not paying a rights fee. Worth said America’s Cup officials will acquire airtime and offer commercial time first to their own sponsors.