Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Breeders Cup Gambles on Football

There has been mixed reaction to the decision to air Breeders Cup Qualifier races between a College Football doubleheader on ESPN on October 10th, 2009.

Depending on the schedule, viewers tuned into ESPN on that day will get the chance to see either Zenyatta in the Lady's Secret or Mine That Bird in the Goodwood Stakes.

Some may be offended at being sandwiched between the 2 games, but lets face it, Horse racing (besides the Triple Crown races) just can't draw the #'s that college football brings in for ESPN. Just this past Saturday for instance, USC's victory over Ohio State drew a 6.3 rating and 10.6 million viewers on ESPN. If the college football telecast on the 10th is only half that , say a 3.1, and say only half of that # stay to watch the racing between the games, that still is a rating of 1.5. By comparison last years "Filly Friday" drew a 0.3 rating and the Saturday portion of the Breeders Cup telecast on ESPN on Saturday drew a 1.0 rating.

Much as many people won't like the truncated short coverage, the potential viewing audience can't be ignored.

source: Neilsen Media Research

1 comment:

Glenn Craven said...

Considering I had no means of watching the Woodward -- certainly one of the races of the year -- on the cable system in my community, I think it should be considered a blessing to get a race or two wedged-in between college football games.

Would I like more and better? Sure.

But racing has a long way to go in its comeback before it gets too picky and choosy about its time slots from the king of cable sports networks.