No Surprise on this street that NBC and Churchill Downs are continuing and expanding their "Big Event" Strategy with the broadcast of the Kentucky Derby.
They completely destroyed their Prime Time and Late night ratings with the Leno/O'Brien Fiasco, but NBC knows what they are doing when it comes to broadcasting Big Event type sporting events. Last year before the 2009 Derby, we noted NBC's Big Event Strategy and it produced fantastic ratings thus far.
The Kentucky Derby is an "event" much like the Olympics and the Super Bowl, and NBC gets it. I just wish NBC had the entire Triple Crown series (ABC/ESPN has the Belmont). ESPN can put out press release after press release about how committed they are to Horse racing but the simple truth is they have higher sports-rated events to fry and they just don't build up the "event" aspect of racing coverage properly.