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Contacts: Cameron Blanchard, NBC Sports Communications, 212-664-7202
NBC EXPANDS BREEDERS' CUP TELECAST TO FIVE HOURS
TWO-HOUR PREVIEW SHOW ON NBC SET FOR SEPTEMBER 15
NEW YORK (June 26, 2001) -- NBC Sports and Breeders' Cup Limited today announced that the telecasts of the 2001 Breeders' Cup Championship, which was today re-branded as the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, and the Breeders' Cup Preview show, will be expanded by 30 minutes each, beginning this year.
NBC's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships telecast, expanded to an unprecedented five hours of live coverage, will air from 1-6 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 27, from Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. NBC Sports has been the exclusive network for the Breeders' Cup since its inception in 1984, providing four hours of live coverage of the Championship from 1984 through 1988. In 1989, NBC expanded the broadcast to 4 1/2 hours.
The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships feature top international horses competing in eight grade 1 races with purses and awards totaling a minimum of $13 million.
Said Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports, "We're pleased to be able to expand our Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships telecast to better cover the multitude of stories -- from the trainers and owners, to the jockeys and horses. The tremendous ratings increases we recently enjoyed during our Visa Triple Crown broadcasts lead us to believe that our coverage was viewed by a new generation of horse racing fans that are hungry for more and will appreciate the additional half hour."
Said Breeders' Cup President and NTRA Vice Chairman D.G. Van Clief, Jr., "We are extremely pleased with NBC's decision to increase coverage of this year's Championship. The additional half-hour will have two strong benefits. First, the post times between races will be stretched to at least 35 minutes, which will also allow our network more time to focus on all eight Championship races. Second, the extra time will allow our fans on track and at simulcast locations here and around the world, additional time to wager."
Breeders' Cup Limited added an eighth race to its program, the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, for the 1999 running. Prior to that, the event had been a seven-race card.
Additionally, NBC's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Preview from Belmont Park on Saturday, September 15, will be expanded to two hours, airing from 4-6 p.m. ET. Since 1992, NBC had broadcast the Breeders' Cup Preview show from Belmont Park as a 90-minute telecast.
This year's show will feature the $300,000 Ruffian Handicap for fillies and mares, the $200,000 Jerome Handicap for 3-year-olds at one mile and the $150,000 Belmont Breeders' Cup Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 1-1/8 miles on the turf. The Preview telecast will also include an in depth look at each of the racing divisions leading to this year's Championships.
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