FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 3rd, 2020
JOHN MICHAEL HIGGINS, BLAKE SHELTON, MARIO LOPEZ & RANDY ORTON TO PICK KENTUCKY DERBY WINNERS TOMORROW ACROSS NBC SPORTS SOCIAL MEDIA & DURING NBC’S DERBY COVERAGE THIS SAT., SEPT. 5, AT 2:30 PM ET
Derby Day Interviews Feature Houston Texans’ Three-Time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt & World No. 3 Golfer Justin Thomas
Special Derby At Home Content Across NBC Sports Social Media Platforms
GOLF Channel, Access Hollywood, The Rich Eisen Show & CNBC to Feature Kentucky Derby Segments as NBCUniversal Surrounds Derby Day
STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 3, 2020 – From the “first Saturday in May to the first Saturday in September,” NBC Sports presents coverage of the 146th Kentucky Derby, highlighted by a five-hour live NBC broadcast from Churchill Downs at 2:30 p.m. ET this Saturday, Sept. 5. A complete schedule of NBC Sports Group’s exclusive coverage of the Kentucky Derby is available here.
Beginning at Noon ET on Saturday with NASCAR Xfinity Series racing from Darlington, S.C., and culminating with the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC will broadcast 10 consecutive hours of live sports action (Noon-10 p.m. ET).
In preparation for the Derby, NBC Sports asked a number of celebrities and NBCUniversal personalities for their horse picks, including John Michael Higgins (Pitch Perfect franchise, Peacock’s Saved by the Bell), Blake Shelton (The Voice), Mario Lopez (Access Hollywood), Randy Orton (WWE Raw wrestler), and more. Their picks will be revealed across NBC Sports’ social media platforms tomorrow and air during NBC’s Kentucky Derby broadcast on Saturday.
During Saturday’s Derby coverage, Mike Tirico will interview Houston Texans’ three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt about his plans for Derby Day, and the Texans’ upcoming NFL Kickoff Game against the Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, next Thursday, Sept. 10 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. Tirico also speaks with Louisville native and World No. 3 golfer Justin Thomas.
Throughout the week, NBC Sports will surround the 146th Kentucky Derby with social media coverage, including Derby At Home, and comprehensive content across On Her Turf social accounts.
DERBY AT HOME: NBC Sports is offering Derby At Home, a virtual party experience bringing the excitement and fun of Derby Day into the home of fans. The activation includes a downloadable party kit complete with food and cocktail recipes, printable decorations, at-home fashion tips, and art projects for kids and adults, and much more. More information available at NBCSports.com/DerbyAtHome.
NBC Sports reporter Rutledge Wood will host a virtual watch party from his home and celebrate with fans around the country. Special guests include Woodford Mixologist Natalia Cardenas and CEO of the Black Bourbon Society Samara Davis.
Viewers are encouraged to take the party online and post their home Derby Party experiences using #KYDerby this Saturday.
ON HER TURF: The On Her Turf Instagram account will present social media coverage this week, including an Instagram takeover with NBC’s Kentucky Derby reporter Britney Eurton, who will give fans behind-the-scenes access on Derby Day this Saturday.
INSTAGRAM AR FILTER: The High Roller? The Fashionista? Fans can find out their Derby personality by downloading this fun Instagram filter here. The augmented reality filter must be opened on a device with the Instagram app.
SPORTSENGINE, INC.: SportsEngine, Inc., an NBC Sports Group company and the leading provider of Sport Relationship Management software, has sent out the Derby At Home Party Pack to their millions of sports families and email subscribers across the country. The downloadable party kit includes food and cocktail recipes, printable decorations, at-home fashion tips, and art projects for kids and adults, and much more.
EVERY PLATFORM, EVERY MOMENT: NBC Sports will be everywhere on every social media platform during Derby Week, bringing fans closer to the second leg of the Triple Crown. Follow @NBCSports on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for live looks around Churchill Downs and content from at-home parties across the country, highlighting this once-in-a-lifetime event.
A wide range of NBCUniversal properties joined NBC Sports Group, giving fans the “first reason to get dressed in five months,” in celebrating the cultural and entertainment spectacle that is the Kentucky Derby. A summary of Kentucky Derby Week activities and activations are below:
ACCESS HOLLYWOOD: The Kentucky Derby is known for fashionable hats so Access Hollywood takes a look at the most memorable hat moments, including Jessica Simpson at the 2004 Kentucky Derby, Billy Porter at the 2020 Grammys and all the royal fascinators.
THE RICH EISEN SHOW: NBC’s Kentucky Derby handicapper Eddie Olczyk joined The Rich Eisen Show yesterday from the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs bubble in Edmonton to talk hockey and horse racing.
GOLF CHANNEL: During tomorrow’s opening round coverage of the TOUR Championship on GOLF Channel, a handful of PGA TOUR players share what they would name their race horse. The piece will feature players among the top-30 in the FedExCup standings competing at East Lake Golf Club this week in Atlanta, including: Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau, Harris English and Collin Morikawa.
CNBC: During Friday’s daytime business news coverage, CNBC will cover sports betting and break down the current state of horseracing, including the effects of the COVID-19. On Friday afternoon, NBC Sports’ Kentucky Derby host Mike Tirico will join CNBC’s Power Lunch.
NBC NEWS: NBC News’ Blayne Alexander will join NBC Sports’ coverage in Louisville, reporting on the protests as well as the local and national impact of the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor by police in her home, which was approximately 2½ miles from Churchill Downs.
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 AUDIO NETWORK: In partnership with Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), NBC Sports Audio Network will present live Kentucky Derby coverage beginning Saturday, September 5 at 5:30 p.m. ET featuring host Mike Penna and analysts Kurt Becker and Tom Leach. The broadcast will include a simulcast of the live race call by NBC Sports’ Larry Collmus. This is the sixth consecutive year HRRN and NBC Sports have teamed to produce radio coverage of the Triple Crown, which will be available throughout North America on SiriusXM satellite radio (channels 219 on Sirius and 201 on XM) along with terrestrial affiliates throughout the United States. Live streaming can also be accessed at NBCSports.com, and the HRRN website.
NBCSPORTS.COM, NBC SPORTS APP & PEACOCK: NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will stream live coverage to desktops, mobile, tablets, and connected TVs via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to their subscription service, and making high-quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The full HD-quality video stream will come directly from NBC’s broadcasts. NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Samsung Smart TVs, Xbox, and Chromecast. NBC Sports.com, the NBC Sports app, and Peacock – NBCUniversal’s streaming service – will provide a full race replay of the Kentucky Derby.
NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Royal Ascot, and Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.