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Saturday's Derby Preps on NBC

With the first jewel of the 2003 VISA Triple Crown, the 129th Kentucky Derby, three weeks away, NBC Sports will focus on horseracing's 3-year- old picture Saturday with a 90-minute telecast of the "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby."

Liebau: 'Something for Everybody' at Sunshine Millions

The respective presidents of Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park said they have pulled out all the stops in marketing this Saturday's $3.6-million Sunshine Millions, a unique program matching Florida-breds vs. California-breds at the two Magna Entertainment owned racetracks.

NBC to Telecast Three Sunshine Millions Races Live

NBC will telecast live three of the Sunshine Millions series of eight races January 25. The Sunshine Millions is a product of Magna Entertainment to be run at the company's two flagship facilities, Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park. The format of the eight races is California-bred horses squaring off against Florida-breds. The eight races have combined purses of $3.6 million.

NBC Wins Media Eclipse Award

  • News

NBC has been awarded the Media Eclipse Award for National Television -- Feature for its segment on Russell Reineman's sale of War Emblem to Prince Ahmed Salman's The Thoroughbred Corp. just prior to the Kentucky Derby, which War Emblem won.

Hammond Returns to NBC Broadcast Booth

Tom Hammond, who appeared on last month's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships telecast on NBC while recovering from heart bypass surgery, will return to the broadcast booth Saturday for the Notre Dame-Rutgers football tilt.

Ivanavinalot Out of Juvenile Fillies; Other Developments

Ivanavinalot, morning-line third choice for Saturday's Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), was scratched Thursday morning. Breeders' Cup officials said the daughter of West Acre, trained by Kathleen O'Connell, had developed a fever and been treated with medication.

NBC To Air Breeders' Cup Preps Sunday

  • News

NBC Sports will air The NTRA Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships live from Arlington Park Sept. 29 from 4:30-6 p.m. (eastern time). Arlington will be the site of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 26.

Strong Overnight Rating for Belmont Telecast

Overnight ratings for NBC's broadcast of Saturday's 134th Belmont Stakes were strong, with the Belmont telecast earning a 9.2 rating and 21 share. In addition, the 9.2 rating topped this year's Kentucky Derby overnight, which was 8.3.

Preakness TV Overnight Rating Up

NBC Sports coverage of the 127th Preakness Stakes Saturday generated a 6.5 overnight rating and 15 share (5-6:45 p.m. ET), the highest overnight rating for the Preakness since 1990's 7.8/20 on ABC, according to Nielsen Media Research.

NTRA Releases Spring TV Schedule

  • News

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association unveiled its spring 2002 television schedule for Thoroughbred racing and outlined the full complement of programming planned for next year.

Championships on NBC Through 2005

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Breeders' Cup, and NBC Sports have agreed to a four-year extension that will keep the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on NBC through 2005, officials from the organizations announced Tuesday at a press conference in New York City. The Breeders' Cup has been televised on NBC since it began in 1984.

Weekend TV Schedule Adjusted in Light of Crisis

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Thursday afternoon that racing broadcasts on NBC and CNBC have been canceled this weekend, but a program scheduled for ESPN will go on, with some adjustments. The changes are tied to Tuesday's terrorist attacks on New York City and the ongoing effects.

Preakness Ratings Increase 56 Percent

The NBC coverage of the 126th Preakness Stakes on Saturday delivered a 5.6 national rating/16 share from 5:00-6:39 p.m. EST.

The 5.6 rating represents an impressive 56 percent increase over last year's 3.6/10 on ABC and ties 1992 as the highest rated telecast since 1990 when it earned a 7.2/21. NBC's broadcast peaked from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. with a 7.2/19.

Analyzing NBC's Preakness: 90 Minutes is 30 Too Many

They have similar hair styles and both train good horses, so perhaps Bob Baffert was beginning to panic when Kentucky Derby winner John Ward got all the air time to launch one-liners on NBC's coverage of the Preakness. With Baffert's Point Given knotting the score with Ward's Monarchos, however, expect a tight battle of witticisms for the upcoming Belmont.

National Rating For NBC's Derby Debut Was Up 40 Percent

NBC Sports' debut broadcast of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) attracted 40 percent more viewers than a year ago. The national rating for the 5 p.m. to 6:42 p.m. program earned an 8.1 rating and captured 21 percent of viewers compared with last year when the Derby earned a 5.8 rating and a 17 percent market share. The rating is the highest since 1992 when the Derby earned a national rating of 8.9 and a 26 percent market share. Each rating point currently represents slightly more than one million households.

Derby TV Ratings Show Marked Increase

With help from a later start, the final hour-plus of the Kentucky Derby telecast outdrew last year's by about 40 percent. NBC Sports' debut broadcast under a five-year, $51.5 million deal to air thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown series produced a 9.2 national rating from 5:30 to 6:42 p.m. EDT Saturday.

XFL Prez Says Racing Can Learn From Successes, Failures

Maybe you're not a fan of the WWF, or particularly impressed with the startup XFL. But in the opinion of Basil DeVito, Thoroughbred racing can learn from their successes and failures. DeVito, a former National Thoroughbred Racing Association executive who now is president of the XFL, presented the Warner L. Jones Jr. Distinguished Lecture at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky. The event was sponsored by the University of Louisville's Center for Equine Management.

Ratings Up 26% in NBC's Initial Kentucky Derby Telecast

NBC, which paid a reported $51.5 million to telecast the Triple Crown for five years and end a 26-year run for ABC, saw a 26% increase in the overnight ratings for Saturday's Kentucky Derby. In figures compiled by the A.C. Nielsen Co., the Derby garnered an 8.3 rating in 51 television markets nationwide and a 20% share. That's up from the 6.6 rating and 17 share the Derby received in 2000 on ABC.

It's Your Turn, NBC

By Steve Haskin -- OK, NBC, it's all yours. You got the whole kit and kaboodle, or is it the whole enchilada? However you want to say it, the Triple Crown is yours to improve, maintain, or ruin.

Wire Act

By Lenny Shulman -- The racing industry is a lot like Europe in the Dark Ages -- come up with a new idea and be prepared to burn at the stake.

Survivor

By Ray Paulick -- In the Thoroughbred world's version of the hit television show "Survivor," my money would not have been on Jim Wilburn, the impresario for racing on ESPN and ESPN2, to make it past the first couple of meetings of the tribal council. But popularity and performance are two distinct variables.

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