Tom Durkin April 26 announced his decision not to renew his contract to call the Triple Crown races this year for NBC Sports.
NBC and its sister station Versus will air 25 hours of programming surrounding the 2011 Triple Crown, including live coverage on NBC of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes.
NBC announced national television ratings for the May 2 Kentucky Derby that rose from 2008 figures.
Legendary sportscaster Jim McKay, who played an integral part in helping Thoroughbred racing prosper in Maryland, died from natural causes June 7. McKay was 86.
Ratings for the one-hour portion of NBC's Kentucky Derby coverage May 5 that comprises the race segment of the show rose 5% over year-ago figures. NBC announced that 13.8 million viewers tuned into the race, a 7% boost from 2006.
NBC will recount the heroic story of Barbaro in a one-hour documentary that will air on the network April 29, which would have been the horse's fourth birthday.
Continuing a relationship that began in 2001, NBC Sports has reached an agreement with Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment/Maryland Jockey Club to telecast the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes an additional five years, from 2006 to 2010.
NBC Sports' coverage of Saturday's 136th Belmont Stakes June 5 generated the event's highest overnight rating in 27 years.
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