Overnight ratings for NBC's coverage of major Triple Crown prep races Saturday, April 12, showed a slight increase in viewership over last year's numbers.
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."
On Friday Keeneland's 15-day spring meet opens in Lexington. The track has some new and improved ways to watch its races, whether you're on the grounds or at home.
Peace Rules and Ocean Terrace are among the 141 horses nominated to the April 15 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.
NBC will air the Bluegrass Stakes, Arkansas Derby, and Wood Memorial on April 12 as part of its 2003 horse racing coverage.
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 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 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.
NBC and Magna Entertainment are expected to announce around the first of the year that the network will televise several of the Sunshine Millions races from Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park Jan. 25.
The first Sunshine Millions has generated interested in the racing community, and also with a national television network.
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, 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 sportscaster Tom Hammond, who has worked on all 18 Breeders' Cup programs to date, will appear on Saturday's telecast from home while recovering from heart surgery.
A conflict with a four-day Future Farmers of America convention has moved the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships' return to Churchill Downs from 2005 to 2006. Belmont Park is expected to hold the event in 2005.
NBC broadcaster Tom Hammond, who has worked on all 18 Breeders' Cup programs to date, will likely miss the Oct. 26 telecast while recovering from heart surgery.
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.
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.
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.
The final television ratings for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) fell one rating point from a year ago to 7.1 and captured 18% of the viewing audience.
NBC Sports announced that its coverage of the Triple Crown this year will be telecast in high definition television, or HDTV.
Despite heavy competition from Tiger Woods and The Masters golf tournament, NBC's live coverage of the Toyota Bluegrass Stakes (gr. I) produced solid television ratings.
Belmont Park has agreed to move the Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) back one day to Sept. 29 this year so that the event can be shown as part of a huge Preview Day of live racing on NBC.
Two television networks will provide 2 1/2 hours of coverage of major Triple Crown preps April 13.
NBC, which enjoyed solid ratings in its inaugural year of covering racing's Triple Crown in 2001, partially due to cross-promoting the races with its NBA playoff games, will no longer be televising NBA games when its current contract runs out in the spring of 2002.
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.
The five-hour Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship telecast on NBC earned a 1.7 rating and captured 4% of the viewing audience. They were the lowest ratings the championship has ever received.
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.
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.
The final television ratings for the Belmont Stakes rose 61 percent to a 4.5 and 13 percent market share. The combined ratings for the Triple Crown rose 49 percent to a 6.1 rating and a 17 percent market share.
The Blood-Horse has learned that NBC's 2001 telecast of the Breeders' Cup October 27 will be lengthened to a five-hour program, representing an extra 30 minutes of coverage over previous years.
Record handle figures and higher television ratings were Belmont Park's rewards the day of its premier event. These were payoffs of clear skies, increased national and local publicity, and a showdown between Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos and Preakness (gr. I) winner Point Given.
Overnight television ratings for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) jumped 44 percent to 4.9 and captured 13 percent of Saturday afternoon's viewing audience in the country's top 51 media markets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hat hoopla started early Friday with Tony Offutt's mechanized table-sized hat. Offutt attracted the attention of the backside's most popular man this morning, Al Roker. Let's amend that...the most popular man besides trainer Bob Baffert.
- By Steve Haskin
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.
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.
Breeders' Cup lost ground in the battle to improve television ratings this year, and for the fifth consecutive year set a record low.
The overnight rating on NBC's Breeders' Cup Preview climbs 25% higher compared with last year's preview.
Saturday's "Breeders' Cup Preview" from Belmont Park will be televised live on the NBC network from 4:30-6:00 p.m. ET.
- By Ray Paulick
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.
In an effort to maximize television coverage of the Triple Crown series, a new post time of 6:04 p.m. (EDT) has been established for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes, beginning in 2001.
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