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.
The last Saturday in October in 2005 works for NBC Sports in regard to coverage of the World Thoroughbred Championships, but Breeders' Cup might have another problem.
NBC Sport's coverage of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) earned a final rating of 7.6 and captured 21% of the viewing audience. The rating was highest since 1989 when the race earned an 8.5.
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 kicks off coverage of horseracing's 3-year-old picture Saturday with a 90-minute telecast of "NTRA's Road to the Kentucky Derby." The show will air from 4:30-6 p.m. (ET) and will feature live coverage of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) from Keeneland.
NBC Sports has won the Eclipse Award for National Television-Live Racing Programming for its production of the 2001 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
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.
Since the official Kentucky Derby (gr. I) chart began listing an "off" time in 1963, the race has never started past 5:42.30, the estimated post time of the 1971 running won by Canonero II. That will change this year.
A heavy-duty cable that runs the length of stretch at Churchill Downs will hold a camera that will give television viewers a European-style look at the Breeders' Cup.
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