NBC Ramps Up for Derby Coverage on TV

141st “Run for the Roses” Saturday, May 2 at 4 p.m. ET on NBC

15 NBC Sports Group Commentators to Contribute to NBC & NBCSN Telecasts Beginning Wednesday, April 29

Johnny Weir & Tara Lipinski Reprise Roles as Fashion experts

NBC Sports Live Extra to Live Stream Kentucky Derby on NBC with Exclusive Camera Angles and Analysis

NBC Sports Radio Provides Live Coverage of the Kentucky Derby for the First Time

New Social Offerings for NBC Sports Group’s “Peacock Paddock” Include a Vine 360 Booth & 55-inch Touch Screen

STAMFORD, Conn. –  NBC Sports Group presents 15.5 live hours of Kentucky Derby coverage, a record for the event, beginning Wednesday, April 29, at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and culminating with the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby on NBC, Saturday, May 2 at 4 PM ET. Coverage begins on Saturday at Noon ET on NBCSN before moving to NBC at 4 p.m. ET.

Following are highlights of NBC Sports Group’s Kentucky Derby week coverage, which includes 7.5 hours on Derby Day:

  • Live coverage of 19 races on Thursday, Friday and Saturday – every race in NBC/NBCSN telecast windows:
  • Four live races on Thursday, April 30 at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN
  • Seven live races on Friday, May 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
  • Eight live races during NBCSN (Noon ET) and NBC’s Derby Day (4 p.m. ET) coverage
  • Live coverage of the Kentucky Derby Draw on Wednesday, April 29, at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN to determine the post positions;
  • The most comprehensive coverage plan in Kentucky Derby history with more than 50 cameras, including a camera suspended 80-feet high on the Churchill Downs video board structure, an 80-foot crane on Turn 1, a 4K main play-by-play camera, a robotic camera in the paddock saddling area, and a 4K super-slow-motion reverse finish-line camera;
  • Bob Costas presents an essay on Kentucky Derby longshots;
  • Eddie Olczyk, NBC Sports Group’s lead NHL analyst, joins the Kentucky Derby broadcast team for the first time;
  • Josh Elliott reports feature stories including a profile of 52-year-old jockey Gary Stevens, who  makes a Derby comeback nine months after undergoing knee replacement surgery; and a look back at previous Kentucky Derby-winning Horses including last year’s Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome;
  • Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski return as NBC Sports Group’s Derby fashion and lifestyle experts

NBCDerbyCOMMENTATORS: NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby features hosts Bob Costas, a 26-time Emmy Award-winner, and Tom Hammond, a veteran NBC Sports commentator; analysts Randy Moss andJerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey; analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Eddie Olczyk; NBCSN host/NBC reporter Laffit Pincay, III; reporters Kenny RiceDonna Brothers and Jay Privman; and race caller Larry Collmus. After making their Kentucky Derby debuts last year, Josh Elliott and Carolyn Mannoprovide a mix of features and interviews at Churchill Downs, and Olympic figure skaters and NBC figure skating analysts Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski reprise their roles as fashion and lifestyle experts.

The coordinating producer of NBC’s Horse racing coverage is Rob Hyland, who has been a part of the network’s Horse racing coverage since 2001. The Kentucky Derby 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 byCharlie Dammeyer. The executive producer of NBC Sports and NBCSN is Sam Flood, who has produced 12 Triple Crown races for the network.

29½ HOURS OF TRIPLE CROWN COVERAGE: NBC Sports Group will present 29½ hours of Triple Crown coverage this season from Churchill Downs, Pimlico and Belmont, including live racing from all three tracks prior to the Triple Crown races, “classics” from the Preakness and Belmont, and post-race coverage of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. This marks the fifth consecutive year that all three Triple Crown races will air on NBC.



On Derby Day, NBC’s wall-to-wall sports coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. ET with a second-round NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game. NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET, and leads right into primetime coverage of the PGA TOUR’s World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play from TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif. at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Players Championship from TPC Sawgrass airs on Golf Channel and NBC from May 7-10, including Golf Channel’s Golf Central Live From The Players starting on Monday, May 4.

NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 2, begins at Noon ET on NBCSN, with coverage of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 1, at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. NBC Sports Group’s live Kentucky Derby coverage begins Wednesday, April 29, with the Kentucky Derby Draw at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Also on Derby Day, NBCSN presents a second-round NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game in primetime, with coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.


NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will stream Kentucky Derby week coverage on NBC and NBCSN via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store. For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra.

NBC Sports Live Extra’s Derby Day coverage includes:

  • Four exclusive camera angles that showcase the activity happening across Churchill Downs
  • Bonus analysis by NBC Sports commentators
  • Replays and footage from the key “Road to the Kentucky Derby” prep races



For the first time, NBC Sports Radio will present two hours of live Kentucky Derby coverage beginning Saturday, May 2 at 5 p.m. ET. Produced in partnership with Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), and distributed by Westwood One, NBC Sports Radio will present live radio coverage of all three Triple Crown races this year.

For more information on programming, please contact Westwood One at NBCSportsRadio@westwoodone.com.  For a complete schedule of shows, bios, exclusive audio content, and a list of radio stations airing NBC Sports Radio, log on to NBCSportsRadio.com.



Below is a look at highlights of NBC Sports Group’s social media initiatives surrounding the 141st Kentucky Derby. More information on NBC Sports Group’s full social media plan will be announced early next week.

PEACOCK PADDOCK:  As the first stop of 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. For the first time, the Peacock Paddock will house a Vine 360 Booth, where celebrities can show off 360-degree views of their hats and outfits in a continuous loop. Video from the Vine 360 Booth will be featured in the celebrity segments on NBC and NBCSN.

New features in the Peacock Paddock also include a 55-inch touch screen monitor to showcase various social media trends, Kentucky Derby parties across the country, and fashion on-site and online. As each celebrity begins the journey down the Pink and Red Carpets, they will be asked to enter the Peacock Paddock photo booth, featuring a wall of fresh red roses, and make their Derby picks. Celebrity picks will be shared on NBCSN and NBC’s telecasts, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

JOHNNY & TARA, 5 DAYS OF SOCIAL MEDIA TAKEOVERS: Every day of Derby week, beginning Monday, April 27, the social media mavens Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski will take over one of NBC Sports’ social media accounts. From Facebook chats and Twitter Q&A’s to an Instagram “Day in the Life” from Churchill Downs, fans will be able to get closer to Johnny and Tara’s Derby week. Full social media schedule to follow.

KENTUCKY DERBY ALL-ACCESS: Horseracing aficionados and fans of the elegance and glitz of the Derby can access content from Derby week at a “social center” housed on NBCSports.com. Fans can access and sort social media content from Instagram, Twitter and Vine through various streams including Horse racing experts, Horses (including social accounts from the Horses themselves, jockeys and trainers), glamour (celebrities and fashion experts), a photos-only section, and Vine videos.

New to Kentucky Derby All-Access this year is the “Horse Namer,” where fans can type in their names and are instantly provided with their Kentucky Derby Horse name along with a Horse avatar that is shareable on Facebook and Twitter. NBCSports.com/Derby will also house downloadable Derby party printables and a Pinterest widget to drive pinners to boards that will help them plan the perfect Derby party.

PINTEREST DERBY PARTY PLANNING: NBC Sports has teamed up with lifestyle influencers and Churchill Downs to deliver to fans on Pinterest everything they need to help plan their Kentucky Derby parties. Each influencer has created their own boards where they will curate pins on Derby trends, red carpet style and race-day attire, food, beverages, entertaining tips, decorations, and more. More information to follow.


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 NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.

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. Women comprised 51% of that viewership, ranking the Kentucky Derby alongside the Belmont Stakes (featuring a Triple Crown contender) and Sochi Winter Olympics as the major 2014 sporting events with females accounting more than half of the audience.

The 2014 Belmont Stakes on NBC, featuring California Chrome’s Triple Crown attempt, averaged 20.4 million viewers – the second-highest Belmont Stakes viewership on record, trailing only the 21.9 million viewers for NBC’s telecast of Smarty Jones’ Triple Crown attempt in 2004 (People Meter viewership dates to 1988). In addition, the 2014 Preakness Stakes registered a 6.0 household rating, ranking as the highest-rated Preakness Stakes since 2009.