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.
A familiar television sports program dedicated to Thoroughbred and Harness Racing, is returning to the airwaves. Horsin' Around TV returns March 20. The half-hour program will air twice each Saturday on Fox Sports Net Chicago, at 5:30 a.m. and again at 11 a.m.
The Maryland Jockey Club March 12 will begin broadcasting television advertisements designed to promote horse racing and the importance of racing and breeding to the Maryland economy.
The March 6 Santa Anita Handicap highlighted the first of six two-hour presentations of horse racing from Santa Anita Park on HDNet, a television network dedicated to the high definition format.
HorseRacing TV™ (HRTV) will set a single day network record when it offers live coverage of 18 stakes races from the Middle East and throughout the United States on Saturday, March 6.
The two Thoroughbred racetracks in Chicagoland have inked a two-year contract for a daily replay show that airs on local television.
Mark Wilson has resigned as president and chief executive officer of the TV Games Network but will take over as chairman of the company, Gemstar-TV Guide announced Feb. 4.
- By Tom LaMarra
With major contracts for television, sponsorship, and membership up for renewal this year, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association believes 2004 is the year that could spark major growth in horse racing for the long term, commissioner Tim Smith said.
Autotote's long-awaited racing channel is set to debut Feb. 4 in southern Connecticut, and officials said it's only the first step toward a 12-hour-a-day production
Organizers of the Thoroughbred Championship Tour and Breeders' Cup are working on an agreement that would facilitate launch of the proposed high-level stakes series for 2005.
- By Tom LaMarra
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has approved a proposal for expanded television coverage and up to $2 million in purse enhancements in the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program as part of a new-look summer racing schedule.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Breeders' Cup board of directors, at a special meeting Nov. 1 in Lexington, signed off on purse-money commitments tied to televised races in 2004.
Final television ratings for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 25 were down 10% from last year's numbers, NBC announced.
Creators of the Casino and Gaming Television Network are betting a national interest in gambling will translate into a desire to watch it on television.
Television ratings for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 25 stayed on an even keel with last year's numbers, according to overnight ratings taken from 55 metered markets.
When one thinks of horses and television it's natural to conger up yesteryear and Mr. Ed, but not this week on NBC. "Ed" the television show, will feature a trip to the races, a hypothetical racetrack, Jasper Park, actually filmed at Monmouth Park in August. The episode airs Wednesday night at 8 p.m.
The Horse Farm Workers' Educational Assistance Fund announces 46 scholarship recipients for 2003... MEC appoints Greg Lewis VP television production.
Thoroughbred racing got plenty of television exposure Aug. 22 during the three-hour "Squawk Box" program on cable network CNBC--and so did two racing executives who have been at odds in recent years.
TVG will now be available on Cox Communications digital cable service in Santa Barbara and Bakersfield, California.
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.
The 1 1/2-hour Belmont Stakes telecast on NBC produced an overnight rating of 10.4, the highest for any horse race since the 1990 Kentucky Derby and the highest for a Belmont since 1987, when ratings were introduced. The overnight rating for the race exceeded overnight ratings for other major sporting events over the weekend.
The ESPN networks are offereing extensive coverage of 2003 Belmont Stakes Week, featuring 11 1/2 hours of programming on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Classic, beginning Sunday, June 1 and continuing through Saturday, June 7.
With the buzz growing ever louder over another potential Triple Crown winner, the racing industry is marshalling its marketing forces to make sure the public at large becomes aware of what's at stake at Belmont Park June 7.
Because of complications with its schedule, NBC initiated a time change for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in which Funny Cide will attempt to win the Triple Crown.
The national rating for the last 75 minutes of NBC's Preakness Stakes telecast May 17 was down 12% from last year's number of viewers.
Coverage of the May 17 Preakness Stakes on NBC from 5-6:45 p.m. (EDT) earned a 5.6 overnight rating and a 15 share, compared with a 6.5 overnight rating and 15 share in 2002.
TV Games Network has reached agreements with two cable television services that will carry the 24-hour horseracing and interactive wagering network.
Average household viewership of the lineup of Visa Triple Crown programming presented by the ESPN networks during the 2003 Kentucky Derby week rose sharply over the previous year's totals according to data supplied by Nielsen Media Research.
Final TV ratings for last Saturday's telecast of the Kentucky Derby were down 10% from 2002 figures, following a trend of lower ratings for major sporting events in the second quarter of 2003.
The overnight rating for this year's Derby was down a bit from last year's figure, but the Derby was the highest-rated sports program of the weekend.
You won't be able to walk very far in any direction this weekend at Churchill Downs without bumping into someone with a camera or a microphone.
Seabiscuit, a film by Stephen Ives, will air on PBS's "American Experience" at 9 p.m. April 21.
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.
In a deal announced April 9, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., part owner of TV Games Network parent Gemstar-TV Guide, would acquire General Motors' stake in Hughes Electronics and another piece of Hughes from public shareholders.
More from Aqueduct on Kissin Saint and watching the Wood on television.
HorseRacing TV has signed a multi-year agreement with Cox Communications that extends the network's viewership into Orange County, Calif., and expands its coverage in San Diego. In addition, HRTV, operated by Magna Entertainment, will add three markets in Pennsylvania.
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.
Viewers can see racing live from Keeneland April 4-25 on TVG.
Three months into its four-month meeting, Santa Anita Park will finally have its races shown in Southern California on a nightly replay program.
NBC will air the Bluegrass Stakes, Arkansas Derby, and Wood Memorial on April 12 as part of its 2003 horse racing coverage.
By Ray Paulick -- While for some the trail to the Triple Crown begins the minute a healthy foal hits the ground, a more realistic starting point is when the first major prep races are shown on live television.
The longest running of the two British horseracing television channels, the Racing Channel, closed Jan. 31 after more than seven years on the air.
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