NBC Wins Eclipse for Derby Coverage

NBC Wins Eclipse for Derby Coverage
Photo: File Photo

NBC Sports has won the media Eclipse Award in the category "National Television - Live Racing" for its coverage of the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Jan. 2.

The Derby telecast, produced by Sam Flood, aired on May 5, 2007 from Churchill Downs in Louisville. With Queen Elizabeth II in attendance, NBC’s two-hour telecast of the 133rd “Run for the Roses” captured the dramatic come-from-behind victory of Street Sense and the exuberance of winning jockey Calvin Borel during his return to the winner’s circle.

This is the seventh consecutive year that NBC Sports has won the live television media Eclipse Award.

“We are extremely excited to win the Eclipse Award for a terrific telecast.” said Flood. “We had an excellent team of announcers, led by our host Tom Hammond who, year after year, brings passion and dedication and sets high standards for our group that comes through with everyone.”

Flood also credited director David Michaels for securing the crowning moment of Borel returning on Street Sense in front of thousands cheering in the grandstand. “That was the magical moment,” said Flood. “We stayed with him [Borel] on the ride back and captured all the emotion of his achieving a lifelong dream. Obviously, someone in the White House was watching.”

That ride earned Borel and his fiancée, Lisa Funk, a trip to Washington, D.C. two nights later for a state dinner at the White House with President Bush and the Queen of England.

As a part of the production, NBC also utilized an aerial camera to isolate Borel guiding Street Sense as he passed 18 horses in the field before taking the lead in midstretch.

NBC’s telecast was hosted by Bob Costas and Tom Hammond, who were joined by analyst Gary Stevens, handicappers Bob Neumeier and Mike Battaglia, and reporters Donna Brothers and Kenny Rice. Tom Durkin was the racecaller.  Executive producers were Dick Ebersol and David Neal.  Rob Hyland was co-producer of the broadcast.

Judges for the National Television – Live Racing category were: Bob Fishman, director, CBS Sports, Pete Macheska, director, Fox Sports, and Bud Lamoreaux, former CBS Sports producer. 

Eclipse Awards are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.

The 2007 Eclipse Awards ceremony will be held Jan. 21, 2008 at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

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