California Chrome to Vie for Historic Triple Crown on NBC's Coverage of Belmont Stakes, 6/7
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome runs for history, aiming to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, as NBC Sports Group presents 16 hours of programming surrounding the 146th Belmont Stakes - more than double the number of hours initially scheduled.
Coverage from Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., begins Friday, June 6, at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and culminates with the running of the 146th Belmont Stakes Saturday, June 7, at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Highlights of NBC Sports Groups' Belmont coverage include:
Live coverage of every Saturday race in NBC/NBCSN telecast windows - including the first two events of the "Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win & You're In," the Metropolitan Handicap and the Ogden Phipps Stakes, as well as the Manhattan Handicap
California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion, a special 30-minute documentary narrated by Bob Costas
Three hours of Belmont Classics - highlighting past Belmont Stakes winners
A feature on California Chrome's journey to the Triple Crown
Josh Elliott takes a look at Triple Crown Spoilers of years past, including three consecutive Triple Crown upsets: 2002 winner Sarava (beat Triple Crown hopeful War Emblem), 2003 winner Empire Maker ridden by NBC analyst and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey (topped Triple Crown contender Funny Cide), and 2004 winner Birdstone (beat Triple Crown hopeful Smarty Jones)
A feature on the unlikely team of co-owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin coming together with trainer Art Sherman and jockey Victor Espinoza to take their horse to the brink of the Triple Crown
Bob Costas' essay on the elusive Triple Crown
NBCUNIVERSAL SURROUNDS BELMONT WEEK: TODAY, CNBC and The Weather Channel will provide live reports on-site at Belmont Park Friday, MSNBC will air live updates Friday and Saturday, and SportsDash with Yahoo! Sports will be on-site Wednesday through Friday. Correspondents and hosts on-site include Dylan Dreyer reporting live for TODAY, Stephanie Abrams for The Weather Channel's Wake Up with Al, Sam Champion for The Weather Channel's AMHQ with Sam Champion, CNBC's Morgan Brennan, and SportsDash with Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports' Carolyn Manno. NBC Sports Regional Networks will provide interviews and other Belmont-related content featuring NBC Sports Group's on-air team throughout the week. On Friday, TODAY's Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb toast to the Belmont Stakes with Belmont Jewel cocktails instead of their signature glasses of wine, The Dan Patrick Show features an interview with Belmont Stakes host Bob Costas, E! News takes a behind-the-scenes look at the Belmont with Josh Elliott, and Access Hollywood provides a special Belmont feature. In addition, NBC Sports Radio will feature interviews with NBC Sports Group's commentators during Belmont week.
COMMENTATORS: NBC Sports Group coverage of the Belmont Stakes features Bob Costas, a 26-time Emmy Award-winner, and veteran NBC Sports commentator Tom Hammond; analysts Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey; analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; NBCSN host/NBC reporter Laffit Pincay, III; reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers and Jay Privman, and race caller Larry Collmus. In addition, Josh Elliott and Carolyn Manno will provide a mix of features and interviews at Belmont Park.
The coordinating producer of NBC's horse racing coverage is Rob Hyland, a veteran of the network's horse racing coverage since 2001. The Belmont Stakes is directed by Sunday Night Football and NBC Sports' horse racing director, Drew Esocoff. The coverage on NBCSN is produced by Billy Matthews and directed by Patrick McManus. The executive producer of NBC Sports and NBCSN is Sam Flood, who has produced 11 Triple Crown races for the network.
NBC Sports Group's programming around the Belmont Stakes begins tomorrow, Wednesday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET with California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion and continues throughout the week.
Following is a full schedule of NBC Sports Group's Belmont Stakes programming:
THE BELMONT STAKES
Date Time Event Network
Wed., June 4 6:30 p.m. California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion NBCSN
Wed., June 4 10:30 p.m. California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion (Encore) NBCSN
Thurs., June 5 5:30 p.m. Belmont Classics (2002 Winner Sarava, 2003 Winner Empire Maker, 2004 Winner Birdstone) NBCSN
Thurs., June 5 6:30 p.m. Belmont Classics (2011 Winner Ruler on Ice, 2012 Winner Union Rags, 2013 Winner Palace Malice) NBCSN
Thurs., June 5 7:30 p.m. California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion NBCSN
Fri., June 6 3:30 p.m. California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion NBCSN
Fri., June 6 4 p.m. Belmont Classics (2002 Winner Sarava, 2003 Winner Empire Maker, 2004 Winner Birdstone) NBCSN
Fri., June 6 5 p.m. Belmont Stakes Access NBCSN
Fri., June 6 8 p.m. California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion NBCSN
Fri., June 6 8:30 p.m. 140th Kentucky Derby NBCSN
Fri., June 6 9:30 p.m. 139th Preakness Stakes NBCSN
Fri., June 6 10:30 p.m. Belmont Stakes Access (Encore) NBCSN
Fri., June 6 Midnight California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion NBCSN
Sat., June 7 2:30 p.m. Belmont Prep NBCSN
Sat., June 7 4:30 p.m. The 146th Belmont Stakes NBC
Sat., June 7 7:15 p.m. Stanley Cup Final - Game 2: N.Y. Rangers at Los Angeles NBC
Sat., June 7 7:30 p.m. Belmont Post-Race Show NBCSN
NBC SPORTS LIVE Extra BELMONT STAKES COVERAGE
NBC Sports Live Extra - the NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets - will stream NBC and NBCSN's Belmont Stakes coverage. The vast majority of the content will be streamed live via "TV Everywhere," the media industry's effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.
For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play and on Windows 8 and Windows mobile devices.
Belmont Stakes coverage airing on NBCSN and NBC, including the running of the 146th Belmont Stakes, will be streamed to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra.
NBC Sports Live Extra's Belmont Stakes coverage includes:
An online-only isolation camera on Triple Crown contender California Chrome during the race
Exclusive analysis by NBC Sports commentators in the days leading up to the race plus post-race, online commentary by NBC commentators
Replays and highlights from the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes
Belmont Stakes coverage will also air on the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via "TV Everywhere," which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs
BELMONT STAKES ALL-ACCESS
NBC Sports Group will implement its All-Access social media strategy for Belmont week, where horse racing fans can access content from the Belmont at a "social center" housed on NBCSports.com/Belmont. Fans can access and sort social media content from Instagram, Twitter and Vine through various streams including horse racing experts, horses (including the horses themselves, jockeys and trainers), a photos-only section and Vine videos. Belmont All-Access aggregates what's trending around the race and what's hot in the social world. In addition, fans can plug in their first and last names and will be given their 'Horse Name' to be shared on Twitter.
Twitter: Viewers and Tweeters alike will be encouraged to join the conversation by using the hashtag #TripleCrown. Reminders will appear on screen throughout all of NBC's Belmont 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 on Twitter;
Facebook: Fans will have the chance to join in on the Belmont broadcast:
Everyone at home can pick their winner with the "Choose the Winning Horse" Facebook poll on www.facebook.com/NBCSports. The nation's votes will be tallied and shown on-air during the Belmont broadcast.
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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 and the Breeders' Cup. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when the NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.
KENTUCKY DERBY: California Chrome's exciting victory in the 2014 Kentucky Derby marked the fourth time in six years (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014) that NBC's Kentucky Derby coverage averaged more than 15 million viewers. From 1991-2008, Kentucky Derby average viewership did not reach 15 million.
PREAKNESS STAKES: NBC Sports' coverage of the 2014 Preakness Stakes registered a 6.0 household rating - ranking as the highest-rated Preakness Stakes since 2009 (6.8 for Rachel Alexandra's victory). The 6.0 HH rating for California Chrome's exciting victory marked a 15% increase from 2012 when I'll Have Another won the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
AWARDS FOR NBC'S HORSE RACING COVERAGE: Since its involvement in the Triple Crown, NBC Sports has been honored with 13 Eclipse Awards for its thoroughbred racing coverage including the award for Television - Live Program for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. NBC's previous wins in that category include: Preakness (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008), Kentucky Derby (2007, 2012), Belmont (2004) and Breeder's Cup (2001). Additionally, NBC Sports has won three Eclipse Awards in the features category: 2002 War Emblem (Preakness broadcast), 2005 Afleet Alex (Kentucky Derby broadcast) and 2009 Mine That Bird (Preakness broadcast). The 2005 and 2006 Preakness broadcasts were nominated for the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Special.