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National Belmont TV Ratings Slump 22%

ABC Sports picked a tough time to get back into the Triple Crown business. Without Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and Preakness victor Bernardini, the Belmont Stakes was left without a star attraction, and that was reflected in national television ratings for the June 10 running from New York.

Preakness TV Ratings Tick Up

NBC's telecast of the May 20 Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course near Baltimore, Md., drew a slightly higher audience than the 2005 running. The network reported a 5.4 national rating and a 14 share for the program, which ran from 5 to 6:50 p.m. EDT.

Preakness Overnight TV Ratings Down Slightly

The overnight ratings for NBC's coverage of the Preakness Stakes May 20 indicated a small drop-off in viewers from 2005's numbers. The overnights, which measure viewership in 54 major markets, gave the overall telecast a 5.7 rating and a 14 share, down 4% from last year's 5.9/14.

Broadcaster Tom Hammond Wednesday's Guest on Talkin' Horses

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Join renowned NBC broadcaster Tom Hammond as he prepares to host this year's 132nd running of the Kentucky Derby. Hammond will share his memories and insights on the eve of racing's most celebrated event and be the special guest live online for the Wednesday, April 26th edition of bloodhorse.com "Talkin' Horses" beginning at Noon.

Retired Jockey Stevens Signs Contract with NBC

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Retired jockey Gary Stevens has officially joined NBC Sports' broadcasting team, according to his manager, Kelly Weitsma. The Hall of Fame rider finalized a long-term deal with NBC earlier this month, and will co-host the network's horse racing coverage along with broadcasting veteran Tom Hammond.

Stevens Ponders Television Series Role

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Less than two months after his Nov. 26 retirement from racing, former jockey Gary Stevens is considering an invitation to guest star in the ABC original family series Wildfire.

Belmont Stakes Ratings Down in Last Run on NBC

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Without a possible Triple Crown winner on the line, ratings for NBC's June 11 broadcast of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) dropped to an average overnight rating of 5.0 with an 11 share, down from 13.4 with a 27 share from last year when Smarty Jones made his bid for the 2004 Triple Crown.

Without Smarty, NBC's Preakness Ratings Drop

NBC Sports' television broadcast of the 130th running of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) averaged a 5.1/13 national rating/share, down sharply from last year when Smarty Jones captured the middle leg of the Triple Crown, but up slightly from the same figures for 2003.

Breeders' Cup Inks Eight-Year Deal With ESPN

The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships will be televised on ESPN beginning in 2006 under an eight-year contract between the two parties, officials announced April 29. Financial details weren't released, but officials called it a "revenue-sharing" package designed to help racing capitalize on multimedia and technology.

NBC Sports Kicks Off Live Triple Crown Coverage

NBC Sports will kick off coverage of the 2005 Visa Triple Crown season Saturday with a two-hour telecast of "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby." The broadcast begins 4 p.m. ET and will feature live coverage of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) from Santa Anita Park; Wood Memorial (gr. I) from Aqueduct.; and the Illinois Derby (gr. II) from Hawthorne Race Course.

NBC Kicks off Visa Triple Crown Season Coverage April 9

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NBC will kick off coverage of the 2005 Visa Triple Crown season April 9, with the two-hour telecast of "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby." The show will air from 4-6 p.m. (ET) and will feature live coverage of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), Wood Memorial (gr. I), and the Illinois Derby (gr. II).

NBC Sports Wins Eclipse Award for Belmont Show

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NBC Sports won the Eclipse Award for National Television – Live Racing for its production of the 2004 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 4.

Belmont TV Overnight Rating Best in 27 Years

Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) win by 36-1 shot Birdstone ended previously unbeaten Smarty Jones' Visa Triple Crown hopes and delivered a 13.4 overnight rating and a 27 share, the best Belmont overnight since a 15.4/47 for Seattle Slew's Triple Crown-clinching victory in 1977, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Preakness TV Rating Highest Since 1990

NBC Sports' broadcast of Smarty Jones' win in the 129th Preakness Stakes (gr. I) Saturday delivered a 6.1 national rating / 15 share for the full telecast, which is the best since 1990 and a 22% improvement over last year's 5.0/13, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 1990 Preakness, won by Summer Squall, generated a 7.2 rating/21 share.

Kentucky Derby on NBC Draws 7.4 Rating

NBC Sports' broadcast of Smarty Jones' win in the 130th Kentucky Derby was watched by 17 million -the second-biggest Derby audience since 1992 and an increase of 17% over last year's total audience of 14.5 million viewers, according to NBC Sports Research estimates.

Initial Ratings Show Derby TV Audience Increased

NBC Sports' broadcast of Smarty Jones' win at the 130th Kentucky Derby on Saturday (5-6:45 p.m. ET) delivered an 8.3 overnight rating and an 18 share -- tying the numbers for NBC's 2001 and 2002 Derby telecasts as the highest-rated since 1992 (9.5/26 on ABC) and giving NBC the three best Kentucky Derby overnight ratings of the past 12 years, according to Nielsen Media Research.

NBC Takes Eclipse for Live Programming

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NBC Sports has won the Eclipse Award for National Television – Live Racing Programming for its production of the 2003 Preakness Stakes, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 14. Other media Eclipse Award winners were also named.

Race Portion of Belmont Telecast Tops Weekly Ratings

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NBC's telecast of the June 7 Belmont Stakes finished in the top five among the 122 primetime network programs for the week of June 2-8 and the race portion of the telecast rated as the No. 1 show on network television.

Belmont's Media Blitz

While track officials are hoping for a record crowd for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) to watch Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide bid for the Triple Crown, they have already set a record...for press credentials.

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