FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 2nd, 2019
JOHN LEGEND, KATIE LEDECKY, KELLY CLARKSON, CHARLES BARKLEY & SHAQ TO PICK KENTUCKY DERBY WINNERS ON NBC’S DERBY COVERAGE SAT., MAY 4, AT 2:30 PM ET
Laila Ali Narrates Show Open & Several Special Scenes at Churchill Downs
TODAY Show & Tonight Show to Feature Kentucky Derby Segments as NBCUniversal Surrounds Derby Day
NBC Sports Surrounds Derby with Social Media Blitz
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 2, 2019 – NBC Sports celebrates the 145th Kentucky Derby with more than 18 hours of Kentucky Derby Week coverage highlighted by a five-hour live NBC broadcast from Churchill Downs at 2:30 p.m. ET this Saturday, May 4. A complete schedule of NBC Sports Group’s exclusive coverage of the Kentucky Derby is available here.
In preparation for the Derby, NBC Sports asked a number of celebrities and NBCUniversal personalities for their horse picks, including John Legend, Adam Levine, Charles Barkley, Katie Ledecky, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Shaquille O’Neal, Blake Shelton, Lil Jon, Gabrielle Union, and more. Their picks will be revealed during NBC’s Kentucky Derby broadcast on Saturday.
Former professional boxer Laila Ali, daughter of Louisville native and former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, will narrate NBC Sports’ show open, as well as several scene-setting vignettes this Saturday. 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 145th “Run for the Roses” this Saturday.
In addition, Grammy Award-winning country music superstar Jennifer Nettles will perform the national anthem inside the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle prior to the race.
Throughout the weekend, NBC Sports will surround the 145th Kentucky Derby with a social media blitz, including a 360 glam cam, the return of the Peacock Paddock, and comprehensive content across On Her Turf and theSkimm social accounts.
360 GLAM CAM: NBC Sports will execute a Derby-themed 360 glam cam on the red carpet for celebrities to show off their look and make their picks.
PEACOCK PADDOCK: As the first stop on the Kentucky Oaks Pink Carpet and Kentucky Derby Red Carpet, the Peacock Paddock will capture the atmosphere at Churchill Downs to share with fans across the country.
Included in the Peacock Paddock is a 55-inch touch screen monitor to showcase derby fashion, social media trends, Kentucky Derby parties around the country, and assist lifestyle correspondents Dylan Dreyer and Von Miller with their segments.
ON HER TURF: The On Her Turf Instagram account will present a total social media blitz focused on women working in horse racing, including coverage of the Oaks on Friday and the Derby on Saturday. On Her Turf encourages fans to use #KYDerby and share pictures of new flip flops that will be distributed. In addition, Kathryn Tappen hosted a new Derby-themed podcast episode this week with NBC Sports’ Donna Brothers and Britney Eurton.
THESKIMM: NBC Sports has partnered with theSkimm to showcase content all weekend long across multiple social platforms.
EVERY PLATFORM, EVERY MOMENT: NBC Sports will be everywhere on every social platform during Derby Week, bringing fans closer to the first leg of the Triple Crown. Daily behind-the-scenes access via NBC Sports’ Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages will highlight exclusive areas at this once-in-a-lifetime event.
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:
NBC ENTERTAINMENT – Famed musician and judge on The Voice Kelly Clarkson will star in a special promo during NBC’s primetime entertainment programming leading up to Derby Day. Click here to watch the full promo.
TODAY & WEEKEND TODAY – Dylan Dreyer, co-host of the 3rd hour of TODAY and weekend TODAY weather anchor, will contribute to TODAY and Weekend TODAY live from Churchill Downs Friday and Saturday morning on the latest horse racing news and developments.
3RD HOUR TODAY – Dreyer will report live from Churchill Downs on Friday. She will try a $1,000 mint julep and also give a sneak peak of the making of her outfit for Derby day.
TODAY WITH HODA AND JENNA – On Wednesday, NBC Sports Group correspondent Rutledge Wood hosted a game of Derby trivia with fans from the plaza and the winner won a trip to the Derby. This morning, TODAY with Hoda and Jenna featured a new segment on how to throw the ultimate Kentucky Derby party.
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 gave away Derby hat prizes to the audience all week leading up to Derby day. In addition, tonight’s episode will feature a special “Piggy Predictors” to forecast Saturday’s winner.
CNBC – On Friday, NBC Sports’ Kentucky Derby host Mike Tirico will speak with CNBC’s Kelly Evans on CNBC’s “The Exchange” (M-F 1PM – 2PM) from Churchill Downs. Additional guests will be announced. Separately, CNBC’s Eric Chemi will break down the current state of horseracing, including how external events are impacting the business of the sport.
GOLF CHANNEL – NBC’s Kentucky Derby host Mike Tirico will join Golf Channel’s Morning Drive tomorrow to preview the field, and discuss his third year covering 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’ 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.