Monday, April 30th, 2012


Coverage From Churchill Downs Begins Wednesday and Continues All Week on NBC and NBC Sports Network Bob Costas and Tom Hammond Host Kentucky Derby Coverage Kentucky Derby Extra Provides Live Streaming on with Additional Camera Angles and Live Commentary Gary Stevens and Randy Moss Both Like Union Rags NBC Sports Group Presents 27½ Total Hours of Horse Racing’s Triple Crown Over Next 5 Weeks

NEW YORK – April 30, 2012 – The NBC Sports Group will present 14½ hours of Kentucky Derby coverage beginning on Wednesday, May 2 at 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and culminating with the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on NBC, Saturday, May 5 beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


The expanded Kentucky Derby coverage, which includes 8.5 hours on Derby Day on NBC and NBC Sports Network, will include:


  • Live coverage of the Kentucky Derby Draw on NBC Sports Network, which will determine the post positions;
  • 11½ total hours on NBC Sports Network, which was re-branded from VERSUS earlier this year;
  • Three hours of “Derby Classics” (Barbaro, Mine That Bird, Animal Kingdom) to air on NBC Sports Network.


COMENTATORS: The NBC Sports Group coverage of the Kentucky Derby will feature co-hosts Bob Costas, a 22-time Emmy Award-winner, and veteran NBC Sports commentator Tom Hammond; three-time Kentucky Derby winner Gary Stevens; contributing analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; analyst Randy Moss; host Laffit Pincay, III; reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers and Jay Privman; race caller Larry Collmus. Also, TODAY’s Jenna Wolfe will contribute features and Catt Sadler of NBCUniversal’s E! will talk Kentucky Derby fashions and handle celebrity interviews.


Additionally, Hall-of Fame jockey and two-time Kentucky Derby-winner Jerry Bailey will join NBC Sports Network’s commentary team on Derby Day. Bailey, who also won twice in the Preakness and twice in the Belmont, won the Kentucky Derby in 1993 (Sea Hero) and 1996 (Grindstone).


The coverage on NBC will be produced by Rob Hyland, a veteran of the network’s horse racing coverage since 2001, and directed by Sunday Night Football and NBC Sports’ horse racing director, Drew Esocoff. The coverage on NBC Sports Network is produced by Billy Matthews and Rich O’Connor and directed by Patrick McManus. The executive producer of NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network is Sam Flood, who has produced 11 Triple Crown races for the network.



1. Union Rags

2. I’ll Have Another

3. Creative Cause

4. Bodemeister

5. Gemologist



1. Union Rags

2. Creative Cause

3. Gemologist

4. Hansen

5. Bodemeister


27½ HOURS OF TRIPLE CROWN COVERAGE: The NBC Sports Group will present 27½ hours of Triple Crown coverage this season from Churchill Downs, Pimlico and Belmont, including “classics” from the Preakness and Belmont, live racing from all three tracks prior to the three Triple Crown races, and post-race coverage of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont on NBC Sports Network.  This marks the second straight year that all three Triple Crown races will air on NBC.




Wed. May 2 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Derby Classics – Barbaro NBC Sports Network
5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Kentucky Derby Draw NBC Sports Network
Thur. May 3 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Derby Classics – Mine that Bird NBC Sports Network
5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Live from Churchill Downs NBC Sports Network
Fri. May 4 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Derby Classics – Animal Kingdom NBC Sports Network
5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Kentucky Oaks NBC Sports Network
Sat. May 5 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Kentucky Derby Saturday NBC Sports Network
4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Kentucky Derby 138 NBC
7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Kentucky Derby Post-Race Show NBC Sports Network


Fri. May 18 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Preakness Classics NBC Sports Network
4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Black Eyed Susan Stakes NBC Sports Network
Sat. May 19 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Preakness Stakes Saturday NBC Sports Network
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Preakness Stakes NBC
6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. Preakness Post-Race Show NBC Sports Network


Fri. June 8 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Belmont Classics NBC Sports Network
5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Live from Belmont NBC Sports Network
Sat. June 9 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Belmont Stakes Saturday NBC Sports Network
5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Belmont Stakes NBC
7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Belmont Post-Race Show NBC Sports Network





Taking a page from Sunday Night Football Extra and Super Bowl Extra, Kentucky Derby Extra is the online connection to coverage of the Kentucky Derby. Available at with live streaming of the NBC broadcast of the Kentucky Derby, other features of Kentucky Derby Extra include:


  • Four online-only camera angles that showcase the activity happening across Churchill Downs on Derby day;


  • Online-only analysis by NBC and NBC Sports Network commentators;


  • Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey will answer fans’ questions and offer analysis throughout the broadcast;


  • Replays and footage from all the key Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races;


  •  A video simulation of how this year’s Kentucky Derby might play out.





DERBY ALL-ACCESS: NBC Sports will implement its All-Access social media strategy for Kentucky Derby week on both NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. A dedicated social media producer will be on-site for behind the scenes content including Breaking News, photos and video from Churchill Downs.

Twitter: Viewers and tweeters alike will be encouraged to join the conversation by using the hashtag #DERBYonNBC. Reminders will appear on screen throughout all of NBC’s Kentucky Derby week coverage.


  • On-air integration of live tweets from celebrities, horse-racing experts and @NBCSN will be featured on screen throughout the broadcasts to keep viewers up to date with what’s happening and trending on Twitter;


  • For the ultimate horse racing fan, @NBCSN will live tweet the Kentucky Derby Draw Show on Wednesday and provide interactive trivia and “Did You Know” tweets during the Derby Classics shows Wednesday through Friday.


Facebook: Fans will have the chance to join the Derby party at Churchill Downs, by submitting their photos of their Derby parties and Derby hats no matter where they are, to the NBC Sports Facebook page where a selection of the fan images will be shown on-air. (Submit photos at


  • Everyone at home can pick their winner with the “Choose the Winning Horse” Facebook poll on The nation’s votes will be tallied and shown on-air during the Kentucky Derby broadcast.


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NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: The NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup, which was broadcast on NBC from 1984-2005. Last year marked the first time that all three Triple Crown races appeared on one network since NBC last aired the Triple Crown in 2005. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001. This year, the NBC Sports Group will present 27½ hours of Triple Crown coverage across NBC and NBC Sports Network.


NBC Sports Group is also the home to Summer at Saratoga, Autumn at Keeneland, and, in collaboration with The Jockey Club, the Road to the Kentucky Derby series that provided live coverage of six major prep races for the 2012 Kentucky Derby.


KENTUCKY DERBY: Last year the Kentucky Derby drew 14.54 million viewers; the fourth most-watched Kentucky Derby in 21 years. Since implementing NBC’s Big Event Strategy, the last three Kentucky Derby races have recorded at least 14.5 million viewers including the 2010 Derby, which was the most-watched for the event in 22 years.


NBC’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby over the last 11 years averages more than 2½ million more viewers than the previous 11 Kentucky Derby broadcasts on ABC (14.1 million vs.11.5 million, up 23 percent).


PREAKNESS STAKES: Last year’s coverage of the Preakness Stakes on NBC drew 8.8 million viewers, a gain of five percent over 2010 and the second most-watched Preakness in five years.


Since NBC began broadcasting the Preakness in 2001, every Preakness telecast on NBC over that period attracted more viewers than any Preakness telecast on ABC in the previous seven years.  Viewership for the Preakness is up an average of 63% in the 11 years on NBC compared to the previous eight years on ABC.


BELMONT STAKES: Last year, NBC’s first broadcast of the Belmont Stakes since 2005 drew 6.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched Belmont in a non-Triple Crown year since NBC last broadcast the Belmont in 2005.


Since its involvement in the Triple Crown, NBC Sports has been honored with 11 Eclipse Awards for its thoroughbred racing coverage, Preakness (2002-03-05-06-08), Kentucky Derby (2007), Belmont (2004) and Breeder’s Cup (2001).  Additionally, NBC Sports has won three Eclipse Awards in the features category: 2002 on War Emblem (Preakness broadcast), 2005 Afleet Alex (Kentucky Derby broadcast) and 2009 Mine That Bird (Preakness broadcast), and the 2005 and 2006 Preakness broadcasts were nominated for the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Special.