Thursday, July 30, 2009

Weekend TV Coverage for Rachel Alexandra

....only if you have TVG or you like watching simulcast feeds.

As pointed out by Steve Crist in his Daily Racing Form column of 07/30/09, no major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC or ESPN) will be covering the major races this weekend, which includes Rachel Alexandra and Summer Bird in the Haskell, Mine That Bird in the West Virgina Derby as well as big Stakes races at Saratoga and Delmar.

Crist mentions viewers will be relegated to TVG or an OTB simulcast but other TV options are out there, albeit on a limited scale and not on a national TV basis.

The West Virgina Derby will be broadcast on Saturday at 5 pm on Fox Sports Net (FSN) which is available on many cable systems throughout the country.

The Grade I Diana and Grade II Jim Dandy at Saratoga will be broadcast Saturday at 5 pm on MSG Plus network (MSG +) which is available on most cable systems in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Of course, probably the biggest race of the weekend, The Haskell at Monmouth is only on TVG which is available on satellite systems but not available on many major cable systems. I figured one of the ESPN family of channels would pick it up and checked the latest ESPN TV listings (last year ESPN Classic broadcast the West Virginia Derby). The Haskell goes off around 6:15 pm. From 6pm-7pm ESPN Classic is showing a repeat of "Hot August Nights" .....a nostalgia car auction show.

07/31/09 UPDATE: NYRA announced today that they have partnered with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) to air the MSG Plus series “Saturdays at Saratoga” on MASN, expanding the distribution of the program from the 4 states mentioned above to now a seven-state region that extends down to Charlotte, North Carolina. MASN will carry all dates live from 5-6 p.m. beginning Saturday, August 1. Also HRTV, found mostly on Satellite Systems will also have the Haskell feed.


Amateurcapper said...

This is precisely why horse racing is in dire need of a commissioner.

It is a monumental mistake that this terrific weekend of racing won't be disseminated to the masses as the Breeders' Cup approaches.

Aside from missing the chance to televise the three Triple Crown race winners (two in the same race!), there are terrific races in all the divisions to recap, show, and preview at primarily Saratoga but also from Del Mar.

Way to go horse racing...once again you're preaching to the choir.

Anonymous said...

How would having a commissioner change the fact that none of the broadcast networks wants to televise this weekend's major races? The networks would jump at the chance to broadcast them if they believed the ratings would justify it.