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