After I did my press release post earlier today, more came into the Fang’s Bites inbox so it’s time for another post now.
Starting with NBC Sports, the network previews it’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
NBC SPORTS PRESENTS UNPRECEDENTED COVERAGE OF THE 135th RUNNING OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY THIS SATURDAY AT 4 PM ET
“One of the great sporting events in America...a slice of Americana” – NBC’s Hammond
“It’s a great Kentucky Derby this year, one of the best I’ve seen in 20 years.” - NBC's Stevens
NEW YORK – April 30, 2009 – NBC Sports broadcasts exclusive coverage of the 135th Kentucky Derby this Saturday starting at 4 p.m. ET. NBC Sports' broadcast will bring the spectacle of the Kentucky Derby, which has been contested annually since 1875, home to viewers with behind-the-scenes access, celebrities and fashion surrounding the legendary Run for the Roses. The Red Carpet will feature celebrity interviews as the stars arrive to Churchill Downs to enjoy the greatest day in horse racing.
Bob Costas and Tom Hammond co-host the Derby alongside three-time Derby winner Gary Stevens. NBC Sports' broadcast team also includes race-caller Tom Durkin; contributing analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; reporter Kenny Rice and on-track reporter Donna Brothers, who retired in 1998 after an impressive 11-year career as a jockey. The Kentucky Derby on NBC is produced by Sam Flood and directed by David Michaels. Additionally, the TODAY Show's Al Roker will contribute reports, and Nancy O'Dell, co-host of "Access Hollywood" and author of "Full of Life: Mom-To-Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant," and Tiki Barber of "Football Night in America" will handle Red Carpet arrivals.
Due to technical difficulties with our conferencing center we apologize that the conference call had to be cancelled. Below are quotes from NBC's talent and production staff about the Kentucky Derby and NBC's coverage:
TOM HAMMOND ON WHAT MAKES THE DERBY SPECIAL: "I always look forward to the first Saturday of May because the Kentucky Derby is one of the great sporting events in America. It's really a slice of Americana where you have the raucous infield, millionaires' row and more than 150,000 people on hand, and that makes it one of the highlights of our broadcasting year.
"The thing that makes the Derby special to me too is that, aside from the Olympics, there are more stories involved in horse racing and specifically the Derby than any other sport of all the sports I cover. Not only stories about horses, but also stories about the people involved with them - the owners, the trainers, the jockeys. It's just a wealth of stories, and storytelling is part of our duties as sportscasters."
TOM HAMMOND ON ONE OF HIS FAVORITE STORIES THIS YEAR: "There's a story in the Derby this year that typifies what I think the Derby is all about. On one hand, you have Sheikh Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, coming over with two horses. He's spent billions worldwide, and the one thing he has not been able to accomplish in horse racing is to win the Kentucky Derby. There's also a horse in here named General Quarters that is owned by Tom McCarthy, who is a 75-year old retired school principal from Louisville who has been chasing his dream of having a Derby horse for 50 years. He's the owner, the trainer and the groom for a horse he claimed he bought for $20,000. So you have the man who is a one-horse stable who does all the work himself, running against one of the richest men in the world. It's what the Derby's all about. It doesn't matter how much money you have. The horses don't know who owns them, and you can't buy the Derby. The best horse on that day is going to win it, regardless of the wealth of its owners. And that's what the Kentucky Derby is all about. It's a great equalizer and the story of Tom McCarthy is one we'll tell on Saturday, and hopefully that will make the Derby special."
GARY STEVENS ON A WIDE OPEN DERBY: "It's a great Kentucky Derby this year, one of the best I've seen in 20 years as far as prospects who could win it. I've got about eight horses who, if I was still riding, I wouldn't mind sitting on their back. It's a very contentious race this year."
EIGHT HORSES GARY STEVENS LIKES:
· I Want Revenge
· Pioneerof the Nile
· Desert Party
· General Quarters
· Regal Ransom
· Papa Clem
· Mr. Hot Stuf
BOB NEUMEIER'S TOP THREE: "I only see three possible horses that can win the race. In order of preference: Dunkirk, Pioneerof the Nile and I Want Revenge. I'll be very surprised if someone else wins the race, because I think those three are head and shoulders above the rest of the field."
BOB NEUMEIER'S PICK TO WIN THE KENTUCKY DERBY: "I like Dunkirk because he ran an incredible second in the Florida Derby to the horse that I thought was the best horse in the country, and that is Quality Road, who has been scratched for the Derby. For that reason and the fact that Pioneerof the Nile has never run on conventional dirt, makes me give the nod to Dunkirk. I don't care about historical precedents about him not running as a two-year old. I think he's the best horse in the race."
BOB NEUMEIER ON I WANT REVENGE: "Tactically, I think the race will advantage I Want Revenge, because he is kind of a frontrunner pace presser in a race that's dominated by late running horses, or closing horses. So I think he will take advantage of that. But I don't think he's any better than Dunkirk or Pioneerof the Nile, and as a favorite I'll put him third on my hit parade. So Dunkirk –1, Pioneerof the Nile- 2, I Want Revenge- 3."
MIKE BATTAGLIA ON THE DERBY FIELD: "It's a strong field of three-year-olds, much stronger top-to-bottom than the field we had last year. Big Brown was a standout last year, but I don't think the field as a whole was nearly as good as the one we have this year.
MIKE BATTAGLIA'S PICK TO WIN THE KENTUCKY DERBY: "I personally like Pioneerof the Nile's chances. I think he will handle the dirt. This is a horse that has only raced on turf and synthetics, but he's really trained well since he got here and trainer Bob Baffert knows how to win this race. Baffert has already won the Kentucky Derby three times and I think the fact that jockey Garrett Gomez chose this horse over Dunkirk speaks volumes for Pioneerof the Nile also, so I think he's going to be very dangerous. Wide open race, excellent race. Best trip wins. My pick- Pioneerof the Nile."
OTHER HORSES MIKE BATTAGLIA LIKES: "You can't knock I Want Revenge, the favorite and you can't knock Dunkirk. Either one of those can win and Friesan Fire could be dangerous."
MIKE BATTAGLIA'S LONG SHOT: "For a long shot I kind of think Hold Me Back will run big. He makes his third start for Bill Mott, who is very good with horses."
SAM FLOOD ON DERBY STORYLINES: "It's a wonderful Derby because there are more stories than we've ever had before. There's a great trainer in Bob Baffert coming back to the track to Tom McCarthy, the school principal who's getting his first chance at age 75 on a $20,000 horse. Then you've got Larry Jones coming off the tragedy last year with Eight Belles, coming to his last Derby. There are human stories throughout the Derby that make it a compelling day of racing. We have all the people in place and all the equipment in place to really make this one of the great Kentucky Derby scenes of all-time."
SAM FLOOD ON BRAVO'S FRIDAY SHOW: "Doing the Oaks for the first time is very exciting for our group. In the past we have not covered that race, and now we have an hour-long special on Bravo that will include the Ladies' Day at the Derby. This will create a whole new feel and a whole new tone to Friday's telecast, so we're very excited about that and the folks at Churchill are really excited about moving the Oaks onto Bravo and showcasing the ladies."
NBCSPORTS.COM AT THE DERBY: NBCSports.com will live stream the tote board during the pre-race broadcast Saturday so fans can get up-to-the-minute information on the latest odds directly from Churchill Downs.
Additionally, NBCSports.com, in conjunction with Icue, will present a video-quiz application that tests knowledge of past Kentucky Derby winners and events, and is available on NBCSports.com and Facebook.
KENTUCKY DERBY ON ITUNES: This year, for the first time, race fans can also purchase a Kentucky Derby race replay on the iTunes Store (www.iTunes.com). Fans can buy a highlight package of the NBC Sports broadcast and "Run for the Roses: The Kentucky Derby and the Business of Horse Racing", a CNBC Original primetime program, for $1.99 each or a bundle of the two for $2.99.
SEE THE DERBY ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE: Users on the go can watch the Kentucky Derby live on their mobile phones exclusively through NBC 2Go and NBC Sports Mobile. Plus, fans can watch exclusive video and race replays on-demand on NBC Sports Mobile Video (check your carrier for availability).
LUCKY U GAME: NBC Sports and Churchill Downs are joining together to present The Kentucky Derby Lucky U Game for the third consecutive year. Last year, the Lucky U Game generated more than 500,000 entries. Lucky U is a contest where a lucky fan can win a cash prize and a trip to the 2010 Kentucky Derby. Once the field for the Derby is set on Wednesday, horse racing fans will be able to vote for the horse that they think will win. The winner will receive $10,000 in cash and a 2010 Kentucky Derby VIP Experience provided by Churchill Downs, including tickets to the Derby, round-trip transportation, and accommodations. Viewers of NBC's Kentucky Derby broadcast and other horse racing fans will be invited to enter by sending a text message for their choice from their cell phone. Standard text messaging charges apply. Fans can also enter by going online to NBCSports.com/luckyu.
LADIES FIRST: BRAVO AT THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Bravo will feature the very best in food, fashion and the celebrity experience associated with the great spectacle of Kentucky Derby weekend including Kentucky Oaks 135 on "Ladies First: Bravo at the Kentucky Derby," a one-hour special produced by NBC Sports, LIVE this Friday at 5 p.m. ET/PT. The special, hosted by NBC's Costas, "Access Hollywood's" O'Dell, and "The Real Housewives of New York City's" Bethenny Frankel, daughter of horse trainer Bobby Frankel, celebrates a day for women and gives viewers a history on the fashion and festivities before and after the Oaks race. NBC's Barber will check-in live from the Infield Club with "Top Chef" series five finalist Stefan Richter, and season four and five "Top Chef" winners Stephanie Izard and Hosea Rosenberg. "Top Chef: The Tour," a state-of-the-art customized traveling kitchen with expansive space to accommodate cooks and fans alike, will make a special stop at the Kentucky Oaks – in the Infield Club.
Frankel, a racing aficionado and best-selling author, will provide a female perspective to handicapping and betting at the Kentucky Oaks, and along with O'Dell will take viewers through the spectacular fashion and hats on display over the weekend.
KENTUCKY DERBY A RATINGS SUCCESS: NBC's coverage of the 2008 Kentucky Derby grabbed 11.5 million viewers, equaling its best delivery in six years. Since 2001 when the Kentucky Derby moved from ABC to NBC, average viewership has increased more than two million viewers (24 percent) over the previous eight years on ABC.
KENTUCKY DERBY ON NBC: NBC Sports began its exclusive coverage of the Kentucky Derby, the longest continuously held sporting event in North America, in 2001. In May 2005, NBC Sports and Churchill Downs Incorporated reached an agreement giving the network the exclusive broadcast rights to the Kentucky Derby beginning in 2006 and continuing through 2010.
NBC also looks at its NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage.
CROSBY VS. OVECHKIN, & DEFENDING CHAMPION RED WINGS HIGHLIGHT NBC SPORTS COVERAGE OF STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS THIS WEEKEND
Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals Saturday, 1 p.m. ET; Anaheim Ducks at Detroit Red Wings Sunday, 2 p.m. ET
“This series is star-power personified, just great for the game of hockey. – NBC’s McGuire
NEW YORK – April 30, 2009 – A marquee matchup between Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, plus the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings headline NBC Sports' coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs this weekend. Saturday, Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals will host Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1 p.m. ET in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. On Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, the Red Wings will host the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 of their series.
Mike "Doc" Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass analyst) call the action (Darren Pang will fill in for McGuire Sunday in Detroit). McGuire and Pang will pull double duty, hosting NBC's studio show alongside analyst Mike Milbury on site in Washington and Detroit.
MCGUIRE ON PITTSBURGH-WASHINGTON: "This series is star-power personified, just great for the game of hockey. The big question is, will the Capitals have enough balance to deal with the Penguins? The X-factor is Jordan Staal for Pittsburgh and how well [Simeon] Varlamov plays. He played well but really wasn't tested in the Rangers series but you can be sure he will here. The Penguins are vicious on the forecheck and I wonder how Washington will cope with that."
MCGUIRE ON ANAHEIM-DETROIT: "I see a lot of problems for Anaheim in this series dealing with the waves that Detroit throws at you. They're going to have to get scoring beyond their first line and from the defense in order to compete."
CBC and TSN will switch NHL Playoff games in the second round.
2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS PROGRAMMING ADVISORY: CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA AND TSN EXCHANGE GAMES
CBC to broadcast Anaheim at Detroit, Game One on May 1;
TSN to broadcast Washington at Pittsburgh, Game Six on May 11
CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA and TSN today announced updates to their respective broadcast schedules for Round Two of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. CBC will air Game One of the Detroit / Anaheim series, live from Joe Louis Arena on Friday, May 1 at 7 p.m. ET, while TSN will broadcast Game Six of the Washington / Pittsburgh series on Monday, May 11 (time TBD). This exchange of games ensures Canadians will see all games from Round Two of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs nationally and in their entirety.
Mark Lee will handle play-by-play duties for the Anaheim at Detroit series opener on Friday, alongside analyst Garry Galley and rinkside reporter Elliotte Friedman. Ron MacLean hosts the entire evening, and will be joined by Kelly Hrudey and P.J. Stock, while Jeff Marek and Scott Morrison will be front and centre at the Stanley Cup I-Desk. Hockey fans can visit CBCSports.ca 24 hours a day, seven days a week for wall-to-wall coverage of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including live and on-demand video streaming of all games broadcast on CBC.
CBS Sports will air a NCAA Winter Championships special.
CBS SPORTS TO AIR NCAA WINTER SEASONAL SHOW SATURDAY, MAY 2 AT 2 PM ET
— For the seventh consecutive year, all 88 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships will receive television exposure, including 17 winter sports to be featured in a one-hour special. “CBS Sports Presents Championships of the NCAA” will air at 2 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Pacific Saturday, May 2, on CBS Sports. The popular series continues on CBS as it features dozens of NCAA student-athletes following their dreams in fencing, ice hockey, indoor track & field, rifle, skiing, swimming & diving and wrestling. For the 2008-09 academic year, CBS Sports will feature half (44) of the NCAA’s 88 championships in its three seasonal shows. INDIANAPOLIS
The show focuses on the aspirations of several student-athletes pursuing their individual and team paths to various NCAA championships including:
· Senior wrestler Karl Voeck of the
Universityof Wisconsin-Whitewaterdetails how his life experiences as a member of the United States Air Force in has had an impact on and off the wrestling mat, along with plenty of support from his wife Michaela. Voeck vies for the NCAA Division III title in the 197-pound weight class. Iraq
· Abilene Christian University (TX) senior Camille Vandendriessche, a native of Paris, France, is the defending NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field decathlon champion and a 2012 Olympic aspirant, and competes in the first-ever heptathlon at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.
· Newberry College (NC) senior Cy Wainwright looks to complete an undefeated season as a heavyweight at the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships.
· The three swimming Alexander sisters of Carleton College (MN), Becky, Kate and Maggie, all compete at the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships.
· University of Wisconsin-La Crosse distance runner Dallas Vincent, who lost his mother to brain cancer last fall, is seeking to help his team earn its eighth national title in the last nine years.
Through the NCAA-CBS 11-year bundled rights agreement, CBS Sports has aired 19 seasonal shows from the three NCAA championship seasons (fall, winter, spring) over the last six years. The Saturday, May 2nd show is the 20th edition. Each seasonal show features highlights and unique NCAA student-athlete stories from a variety of NCAA Division II and III championships.
CBS Sports’ Tracy Wolfson will host this edition of CBS Sports Presents Championships of the NCAA. Wolfson is CBS Sports’ lead
college football reporter, working with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson. She has also served as a reporter for CBS Sports’ coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship for the past six years. For the fourth consecutive year, the winter program was produced by Emmy-award winning producer Joseph E. Zappulla. This year’s winter show will again be broadcast entirely in High Definition. The feature producers for the show are Bill Thayer and Alanna Campbell.
For more information about NCAA championships, log on to www.NCAA.com.
Here’s what Golf Channel has in store for us from May 4 through 10.
COMING UP ON GOLF CHANNEL…May 4 – 10, 2009
More than 35 Hours of Live Tournament and News Coverage of THE PLAYERS
GOLF CHANNEL will combine exclusive live tournament coverage with Live From THE PLAYERS news reporting for more than 35 hours of THE PLAYERS programming.
Thursday and Friday beginning at 1 p.m. ET, GOLF CHANNEL will air 12 hours of live coverage of THE PLAYERS. Brian Hammons will serve as play-by-play host, joined by Nick Faldo as lead analyst. Gary Koch and Bob Murphy will report from on-course towers; Roger Maltbie, Jimmy Roberts and Dottie Pepper will report from the course and show host Rich Lerner will set the scene for viewers at the beginning of the telecasts and also will conduct player interviews. At 9 p.m. ET, PGA TOUR Primetime will air a condensed three hour prime-time replay that will include bonus coverage not seen during the initial telecasts.
Originating from the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, Live From THE PLAYERS, GOLF CHANNEL’s signature news show produced in HD, will go inside the ropes throughout the week with live news reports, authoritative analysis and compelling features from a variety of angles to provide viewers a comprehensive examination of THE PLAYERS.
Tuesday: Live From the Players will air Tiger Woods’ and Phil Mickelson’s news conferences live at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET, respectively. Coverage will continue from 2-4 p.m. ET with pre-event news conferences, hosted by Rich Lerner and Charlie Rymer. Live From THE PLAYERS will return with a two-hour show from 6-8 p.m. ET.
Wednesday: Live coverage of pre-tournament news conferences will air from 2 – 4:30 p.m. ET, including defending champion Sergio Garcia at 4 p.m. ET. Live From will return for a two-hour show from 6-8 p.m. ET to recap the day’s activities and preview Thursday’s opening round.
Thursday – Friday: Two-hour preview shows beginning at 11 a.m. ET, leading into GOLF CHANNEL’s live tournament coverage at 1 p.m. ET. Live From THE PLAYERS will recap the first two rounds beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
Saturday – Sunday: 90-minute preview shows beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET, leading into NBC Sports live coverage, followed by two-hour recap shows at 7 p.m. ET.
Live From THE PLAYERS broadcast team will include Vince Cellini, Rich Lerner, Steve Sands, Kelly Tilghman, Brandel Chamblee, Frank Nobilo, Charlie Rymer, Inga Hammond, Scott Walker, Adam Barr, Alex Miceli and John Hawkins. GolfChannel.com’s team of writers – Jay Coffin, Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell – will contribute to the network’s Live From coverage as well as daily stories, blogs and features online at www.GolfChannel.com.
Talk Show and Original Programming Highlights
Prince Edward Island
Monday at 9 p.m. ET, the competition begins to heat up and the pressure might be too much to handle for the contestants on a new episode of Big Break Prince Edward Island. The episode will feature the remaining 10 contestants competing head-to-head for immunity and $1,000 cash from Dick’s Sporting Goods, all the while trying to fend off elimination. Produced in high definition, the contestants are competing for a grand prize of $100,000 in cash. Hosted by Stina Sternberg and Charlie Rymer.
The Golf Fix (Special Guest, Charles Howell III)
Monday at 8 p.m. ET, PGA TOUR professional Charles Howell III will join host Michael Breed on The Golf Fix, GOLF CHANNEL’s half-hour, fast-paced interactive instructional show featuring call-ins and emails from viewers. Howell will discuss his preparation for THE PLAYERS. The Finau Brothers, Gipper and Tony, also will provide driving tips to hit the ball farther.
Best of THE PLAYERS (Premiere)
Monday at 8:30 p.m. ET at 9 p.m. ET, GOLF CHANNEL will preview THE PLAYERS, feature 2008 champion Sergio Garcia and re-air some of the top moments at TPC Sawgrass.
The Approach with Callaway Golf (100th Episode)
Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, Andrew Magee and Alex Miceli will tackle the top storylines in golf from different perspectives, preview THE PLAYERS in an entertaining and informative manner and celebrate the show’s 100th episode on The Approach with Callaway Golf. Taking place at TPC Sawgrass. Kraig Kann will serve as host and moderator.
Grey Goose 19th Hole
Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, PGA TOUR Executive Vice President of Communications and International Affairs, Ty Votaw will join the Grey Goose 19th Hole to discuss THE PLAYERS with host Vince Cellini and analysts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude on-site at TPC Sawgrass.
Live Tournaments Programming Highlights
BMW Italian Open
2010 European Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie and major champions John Daly and Paul Lawrie will headline the field at the 2009 BMW Italian Open on the European Tour. Thursday – Friday, live coverage will air from 9:30 – 11 a.m. ET, followed by three-hour coverage Saturday and Sunday starting at 9:30 a.m. ET.
And NFL Network has one reminder for us in regards to one program Friday night.
On The Road With NFL Total Access Airs Tomorrow at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT
On the Road with NFL Total Access (HD) takes cameras behind the scenes for NFL Network’s coverage of Thursday Night Football, chronicling the lives, antics and off-camera preparation of NFL experts and television personalities Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci and Warren Sapp. From games in Jacksonville and Dallas to every stop in between, On the Road with NFL Total Access gives viewers an inside look at what happens when the TV cameras are turned off and NFL Network personalities go off-stage.
Below is a link to a clip on NFL.com from the show of the crew sitting down for a Dec. 18 production meeting prior to the Colts-Jaguars game. In the clip, the conversation centers around Sapp and Sanders debating the unraveling of the Cowboys locker room and the truth and rumors from the situation.
Catch On The Road With NFL Total Access Friday at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT which encores airing at 11:00 PM and 2:00 AM ET.
Plenty of press releases today. Enjoy.