The solid overnight ratings for the first edition of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) could be something to build on for future editions of the event as organizers hope one day television rights provide revenues for the stakeholders.
The rematch between Arrogate and California Chrome in the Jan. 28 Pegasus World Cup drew the best afternoon ratings for a non-Triple-Crown horse race since American Pharoah's victory in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Classic.
The overnight rating for the race portion of the May 7 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) was down almost 14% from last year to 9.3 with a 21 share, according to Nielsen ratings and NBC Sports Group, which televised the event.
Led by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and two-time Breeders' Cup champion mare Beholder, 200 horses, including 32 from overseas, have been pre-entered for the 2015 Breeders' Cup World Championships.
NBC's two-hour broadcast that included Keen Ice's upset victory over Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 29 drew an overnight rating of 1.33, the best for the race since 2004.
NBC sportscaster Bob Costas said it's unlikely there will be as much interest in a potential Triple Crown winner if that possibility exists in next year's Belmont Stakes since the elusive feat was accomplished this year
The overnight television rating for the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), which produced the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years in American Pharoah, was down slightly from last year, according to The Nielsen Company.
Horse Racing Radio Network and TVG will offer radio and television coverage, respectively, from Pimlico Race Course beginning May 13. NBC will televise the Preakness live from 4:30-6:30 p.m. EDT May 16.
NBC Sports said the May 2 telecast of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Churchill Downs registered a 10.8/24 overnight household rating and share, the highest since it first broadcast the race in 2001.
NBC and the NBC Sports Network reported markedly improved viewership numbers for their Nov. 1 coverage of the main Breeders' Cup card, compared with 2013 numbers, as both afternoon and primetime ratings were up.
NBC Sports' analysts Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, and the Breeders' Cup social media team will conduct a live chat on Twitter Monday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. ET, discussing the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.
Fresh off a 9 1/4-length drubbing of her own division and undefeated in four starts for Winchell Thoroughbreds this year, Untapable seeks a challenge versus males July 27 in the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I).
NBC Sports Group will offer 16 hours of programming surrounding the 146th Belmont Stakes (gr. I), more than double the number of hours initially scheduled. Coverage includes other grade I races from Belmont Park.
The Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), televised in prime time on the East Coast by NBC, took a substantial fall from year-ago numbers, registering a rating of 1.4, down from 2.2 last year, according to numbers released Nov. 4.