Trade-offs in the horse racing TV schedule

Spring time in the US means the Kentucky Derby is coming. The Derby prep races basically started late last year.

I spent some time searching the web for the US TV broadcast schedule for coverage of the Derby prep races.

It’s entirely possible that some of us are the only people who care. In other words, my Spideysense tells me ratings for the Derby prep races may have been dismal. I finally found a TV racing schedule on the Blood Horse website.

The only Kentucky Derby prep races broadcast for 2017 will be the Wood Memorial and the Toyota Bluegrass Stakes on April 8 on NBC Sports Network, aka cable.

Although your regular NBC station will carry the races of the American Triple Crown, NBC’s horse racing schedule reflects the global scope of the sport, especially on cable. NBC Sports network will cover the Dubai World Cup on March 25 and some of the Royal Ascot races. Again, the schedule is up on the Blood Horse website.

Despite my grousing about only seeing two Derby prep races, we still have many hours of racing ahead up through the Belmont Stakes. My guess is that NBC is seeing if the big money, glitzy races at Meydan and Ascot will draw more of an audience than the Derby prep races.

Once the Saratoga racing calendar starts up in July, we start looking toward Breeder’s Cup.

  • Fred Tuttle
    March 25, 2017

    You must be joking nbc. 2derby prep races. So how in the he’ll can all of horse and horse-race followers know what and who they’re looking at nd who they’re rooting for when they finally get to the Wood Memorial on nbc. They want an audience for the triple crown and Breeders cup, but the average racing fan isn’t even considered until we get lumped into the whole pot thy’re throwing us into in May. We’d like to see these in real time not 3hrs later on YouTube. Maybe this elitist network should have some competition.

    • rhond7
      March 25, 2017

      Thanks for responding, Fred. I would also like to seem more live racing on TV. My area cable system doesn’t offer the all-racing-all-the-time channels like HRTV and TVG. (Nor does it offer equestrian-friendly RFD-TV, for that matter.) I need to look into what Fox Sports might be running. I just spotted this article about Fox covering NYRA races. That we have to hunt for this info is frustrating. Take care, and here’s hoping your picks come in.

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