Programming Change: Same-Day Coverage of Florida Derby

Programming Change: Same-Day Coverage of Florida Derby
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Tim Smith: "...we have tried to explore and maximize all avenues for bringing their top racing events to our fans."
From the NTRA
The $1-million Florida Derby, a major prep race for the Kentucky Derby, will air during a special segment on SportsCenter Saturday, March 10, on ESPN2. Airtime for SportsCenter on March 10 is 6:00-7:00 p.m. (ET), with wire-to-wire coverage of the Florida Derby scheduled to be shown approximately one hour after the live running of the Grade I race for 3-year-olds from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla.

As previously scheduled, expanded coverage of the Florida Derby will also be shown on Sunday, March 11, during the "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby" live telecast of the Louisiana Derby from 4:30-5:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2.

The March 10 SportsCenter program on ESPN2 will be both preceded and followed by NCAA college basketball conference tournament games as part of "Championship Week."

"We're very pleased that the NTRA and ESPN have arranged to provide fans same-day coverage of the Florida Derby," said Gulfstream Park chairman Doug Donn.

"Since the Magna Entertainment Corporation-owned tracks rejoined the NTRA, we have tried to explore and maximize all avenues for bringing their top racing events to our fans," said NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith. "We knew long ago that there were no live broadcast windows available for the Florida Derby due to college basketball's 'Championship Week' on the ESPN networks, so I want to thank ESPN and NTRA Productions for their hard work in making this happen. We're delighted to have achieved same-day television exposure for the Florida Derby and, at the same time, to have created a ratings bonanza for horseracing thanks to its presence on SportsCenter."

"We're thankful to ESPN for its continuing support and commitment to bringing the best of Thoroughbred racing to its viewers," said Jim Wilburn, president of NTRA Productions. "This ensures that, for the first time in many years, all major prep races for the Kentucky Derby are on one network." him to run into us.". .

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