Breeders' Cup Telecast Expands to Five Hours

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.

NBC, which has televised each Breeders' Cup since the inception of the event in 1984, originally allotted four hours for the show. For the bulk of its history, however, the Breeders' Cup has run 4 1/2 hours. It is unclear at this time whether the extra 30 minutes this year will be parceled out between each of the eight races, will be added in before the running of the Classic, or be back-loaded to the end of the program after the Classic. NBC is expected to make a formal announcement on the expanded telecast sometime later this month.

"Expanding the coverage is something I've advocated for a long time," said Tom Hammond, who serves as NBC's anchor on its Triple Crown and Breeeders' Cup telecasts. "Each one of the Breeders' Cup races is a championship event and deserves more time to set up and analyze. In the past you'd have a great race you'd like to savor, but couldn't. I don't think the extra 30 minutes will let us kick back and sip Pina Coladas, but it will help."