FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 3rd, 2018
KELLY CLARKSON, DALE EARNHARDT JR., CHARLES BARKLEY & SHAQ TO PICK KENTUCKY DERBY WINNERS ON NBC’S DERBY COVERAGE THIS SAT., MAY 5, AT 2:30 PM ET
TODAY Show & Tonight Show to Feature Kentucky Derby Segments as NBCUniversal Surrounds Derby Day
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 3, 2018 – NBC Sports Group celebrates the 144th Kentucky Derby with 14 hours of Kentucky Derby Week coverage highlighted by a record five-hour live NBC broadcast from Churchill Downs at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. A complete schedule of NBC Sports Group’s exclusive coverage of the Kentucky Derby is available here.
In preparation for the Derby, NBC Sports Group asked a number of celebrities and NBCUniversal personalities for their horse picks, including Charles Barkley, Kelly Clarkson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Savannah Guthrie, Megyn Kelly, Hoda Kotb, Adam Levine, Shaquille O’Neal, Danica Patrick, Al Roker, Blake Shelton, Kenny Smith, Justin Thomas and Shaun White. Their picks will be revealed during NBC’s Kentucky Derby broadcast on Saturday.
Actress and Kentucky-native Ashley Judd will narrate NBC Sports’ show open, as well as select scene-setting vignettes this Saturday. Judd, who has voiced the show open the prior two years, will be making her on camera debut this year as she narrates the opening tease set in a Kentucky-style speakeasy. A signature of NBC Sports’ Kentucky Derby coverage, the opening film celebrates the pageantry and rich history of Churchill Downs and will lead off the 6 p.m. ET hour of NBC’s coverage of the 144th “Run for the Roses” this Saturday.
A wide range of NBCUniversal properties joined NBC Sports Group in celebrating the food, fashion, celebrity and entertainment spectacle that is the Kentucky Derby. A summary of Kentucky Derby Week activities and activations are below:
TODAY & WEEKEND TODAY – NBC News weather anchor and NBC Sports Group’s Kentucky Derby lifestyle correspondent, Dylan Dreyer will contribute to TODAY and Weekend TODAY live from Churchill Downs Friday and Saturday morning on the latest horse racing news and developments.
TODAY WITH KATHIE LEE AND HODA – NBC Sports Group anchor and correspondent Carolyn Manno joined TODAY’s Kathie Lee and Hoda yesterday morning for a special “Who Knew” Kentucky Derby segment. Tomorrow, on “Try-day Friday,” Kathie Lee and Hoda will help ring in the weekend with mint juleps.
NBC NIGHTLY NEWS WITH LESTER HOLT – On Friday, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt will tease NBC’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby.
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon will feature a Kentucky Derby edition of “Man on Street,” testing New Yorkers’ Derby knowledge, during tonight’s show, and a special “Puppy Predictor” tomorrow, Friday, May 4, to forecast Saturday’s winner.
E! ENTERTAINMENT – E! News will bring viewers complete Derby Day red carpet coverage from NBC Sports Group’s Peacock Paddock with behind the scenes glam cam footage available across E!’s social media handles.
BRAVO – Bravo’s Top Chef, Tom Colicchio, will be on-site Saturday to whip up a special Derby Day treat in celebration of Top Chef’s upcoming season filmed in Kentucky. Vanderpump Rules’ Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright will make a red carpet appearance on the Peacock Paddock Saturday. NBC Sports Group’s features reporter Rutledge Wood also joined Monday’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen as a guest bartender.
CNBC – On Friday, Churchill Downs’ CEO William C. Carstanjen will join CNBC’s Power Lunch to preview the weekend. Audible’s Vice President of Marketing John Harrobin also contributed an interview to CNBC’s feature article on Audible, the Florida Derby-winning horse and Kentucky Derby contender, backed by Amazon.
GOLF CHANNEL – Kentucky Derby host Mike Tirico will join Golf Channel’s Morning Drive tomorrow to preview the field, and discuss his second year covering the Kentucky Derby. Golf Channel will also air a feature with No. 2 world ranked golfer Justin Thomas’ visit to Woodford Reserve.
THE DAN PATRICK SHOW – Mike Tirico joined Dan Patrick and the ‘Danettes’ on the Dan Patrick Show this morning to preview the Kentucky Derby.
NBC AFFILIATES, OWNED STATIONS AND NBC SPORTS REGIONAL NETWORKS – Kentucky Derby promotions will air throughout the week on NBC Affiliates, Owned Stations and NBC Sports Regional networks across the country, with analysis and commentary from NBC Sports Group’s horse racing team on local newscasts.
NBC SPORTS RADIO – NBC Sports Radio will feature interviews with the on-air Kentucky Derby team throughout the week.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–