HorseRacing TV will present complete, live, uninterrupted coverage of the first two days of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale Nov. 7-8. HRTV coverage will begin each day at 10 a.m. EST.
Veteran television executive Basil DeVito Jr., who served as senior vice president for television and sponsorship for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association from 1998-99, has rejoined the organization as president of NTRA Productions.
- By Tom LaMarra
Mark Shapiro, the ESPN executive who was instrumental in moving the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to his network in 2006, is leaving ESPN effective Oct. 1 to become chief executive officer of Red Zone, a private entertainment investment company founded by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.
The Claiming Crown, which will offer $650,000 in purses for seven races, will be broadcast live on HorseRacing Television July 16 from Canterbury Park in Minnesota.
NBC Sports' coverage of the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) managed a 4.5 national rating/11 share for its 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. EDT telecast.
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.
It was about 10 years ago that Louisville singer-songwriter Tim Krekel sat down with his guitar and wrote a seemingly simple song--"No Mo Do Giacomo"--about a guy who had run out of money after living the high life for too long.
Though numbers fell short of last year's figures, NBC Sports said the television viewership for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) reflects the race's status as a "premier" network television event.
The son of a National Thoroughbred Racing Association executive follows the Churchill Downs chaplain in a handicapping contest against TV Games Network commentator Todd Schrupp.
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.
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.
Saturday's $250,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., will be televised on ESPNEWS at 6:30 p.m. ET.
After years of promises and disappointments, true two-way interactivity for horse-race wagering will reach 10 million TV sets nationwide this month through the Dish Network's launch March 2 of the TVG Interactive Horseracing channel.
Trying to piggyback on the phenomenal success of televised poker, the racing industry has high hopes for ESPN's one-hour program covering the National Handicapping Championship, which will air Sunday, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m. ET.
National television ratings for the Sunshine Millions on NBC Jan. 29 stayed on a par with year-ago numbers for the event.
NBC's telecast of the Jan. 29 Sunshine Millions from Gulfstream Park in Florida and Santa Anita Park in California earned modest overnight ratings for the network that ticked down below the 2004 edition.
NBC Sports will present live coverage of the third annual Sunshine Millions on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
African-American jockey Jimmy Winkfield, who won back-to-back runnings of the Kentucky Derby at the turn of the 20th century, is the subject of a feature on the CBS "Evening News" that will air today, Monday, Jan. 17.
- By Tom LaMarra
The amount of money Breeders' Cup contributes to the Thoroughbred Championship Tour beginning in 2006 will hinge on the television contracts negotiated this year by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association for next year and beyond.
WAVE 3 in Louisville, Ky., won the Media Eclipse Award for local television for its pre-and post-race coverage surrounding last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 4.
TVG will break new ground when it presents a live telecast of the 34th annual Eclipse Awards, Monday, Jan. 24 from 6-10 p.m. PT. The network's telecast, from the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, marks the first time horseracing's "Oscars" will be presented live on TV.
The TV Games Network and HorseRacing TV have announced new carriage agreements that will expand their reach.
- By Tom LaMarra
With membership contracts set to expire at the end of 2005, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association is formulating a long-range strategy that is expected to rely on dues in some form. Meanwhile, the search for a chief executive officer won't begin until the master plan is in place.
NBC's coverage of the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships registered the lowest television ratings in the 21-year history of the event.
NBC's coverage of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 30 from Lone Star Park drew a smaller television audience than the 2003 telecast from Santa Anita Park, according to overnight ratings.
TVG will offer extensive pre-and post-2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships coverage, beginning on Saturday, October 23, with the first of six, one-hour airings of "The Works."
The 18-year-old television deal between the partners in Triple Crown Productions has been dissolved. Just days after New York Racing Association chairman Barry Schwartz said the NYRA would move in another direction, it was announced Oct. 4 the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), third leg of the Triple Crown, would be broadcast via ABC Sports beginning in 2006.
- By Tom LaMarra
Planning for The American Dream Derby, the first reality television program based on horse racing, is well under way in advance of a three-week shoot set to begin Oct. 31, officials with The Network For Games (GSN) said.
A busy slate of stakes contests coast-to-coast means plenty of television action for racing fans who seek couch potato status this weekend.
- By Tom Precious
A rift has developed among the partners in Triple Crown Productions, which holds the television rights to the three grade I Visa Triple Crown events: the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, and the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park.
A look back at the greatest moments in Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships history and a simulated race involving the 19 previous winners of the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) will be featured in "20 to 1: The Breeders' Cup Legacy" to air Sunday on NBC from 4:30-6:00 p.m. (ET).
TV Games Network launched on cable television in 13 markets via Comcast Communications, the company announced Sept. 14. About 11 million subscribers will have access to the network through the new carriage deals.
TV Games Network will offer exclusive live coverage of the Keeneland September yearling sale Sept. 13-15, with reports from the Keeneland sale pavilion beginning each day at 1 p.m. (EDT) and continuing until 7 p.m.
The Breeders' Cup Classic Division Powered by Dodge takes center stage this weekend as 3 year olds and up start serious preparation for the headline event at Lone Star Oct. 30. The action will be televised by the ESPN family of networks.
The TV Games Network will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a one-hour special that will air July 21 at 9 p.m. EDT. The show will be rebroadcast several times beginning at 12:30 a.m. July 22.
TVG will present live, on-site coverage of the 2004 Claiming Crown this Saturday from Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn.
The second "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships on TVG/Fox Sports Net" show of the season will air Saturday from Calder Race Course in Miami, and will feature the Grade III, $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap, part of Calder's "Summit of Speed." The show will air on TVG, Fox Sports Net 2, Fox Sports New York, Fox Sports South and the Sunshine Network from 5:00-6:00 p.m. ET.
"Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships Powered by Dodge," a four-month, 17-program series, returns on the ESPN networks beginning July 4 with taped coverage of last Sunday's Budweiser Irish Derby from The Curragh in Ireland.
NBC Sports' coverage of last Saturday's 136th Belmont Stakes was the week's No. 1 rated show on network television while generating the event's highest national rating since 1981.
Azeri vs. Funny Cide in the Met Mile headline busy holiday weekend.
The new At The Races television service in Great Britain will begin live coverage of local racing June 11, with its rival, The Horse Racing Channel, still to name a start-up date.
Prompted by Smarty Jones' immensely popular run at the Visa Triple Crown, the NTRA, NYRA, and ESPN have put together an extensive block of Belmont week programming.
Interactive horse racing network TVG plans extensive coverage of Smarty Jones' effort to become Thoroughbred racing's 12th Triple Crown winner, including live coverage of his first post-Preakness Stake s(gr. I) public gallop, Saturday at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) from Philadelphia Park in Bensalem, Pa.
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.
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.
The one-hour race segment of NBC's Kentucky Derby coverage May 1, spanning 5:44-6:46 p.m. ET, tied for the highest-rated since 1992.
River Downs embarks on its 79th season of racing April 9 with numerous on-track promotions and a the redesignation of its top stakes as a grade III event.
River Downs, which has the longest continually sponsored stakes in the United States with the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes, has announced an extension of Pepsi Americas' sponsorship of the Pepsi Bassinet Stakes for another three years.
Attheraces, the racing channel in Great Britain that is scheduled to go off the air March 29, said it plans to continue broadcasting United States races in the evening and would continue to negotiate with British racecourses to carry their product.
- By Mark Popham
Attheraces, the dedicated racing broadcasting channel in Britain, is set to go off the air on Monday, March 29 and the prospect is that it will never return.
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