Horse racing may not be a major sport in the United States anymore, but when there is a Triple Crown on the line, it is still event television. Justify became just the second horse in history to go undefeated en route to winning the Triple Crown, and it looks like America was ready to watch him do it.
According to @NBCSportsPR on Twitter, the Belmont Stakes, the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, drew an 8.1 rating and a 19 share overnight. The network expects that to rank as the most watched thing on TV this weekend when full ratings info is released later today. The broadcast peaked at a 9.9 rating and 23 share.
Not surprisingly, the market that delivered the highest ratings for the event was Louisville, Kentucky.
Top markets for NBC’s Belmont Stakes telecast:
1 – Louisville 19.0/36
2 – Ft. Myers 15.2/30
3 – Baltimore 12.7/30
3 – West Palm Beach 12.7/23
5 – Tampa 12.1/26
6 – Columbus 11.5/23
7 – Orlando 11.2/25
7 – Norfolk 11.2/21
7 – Knoxville 11.2/21
10 – Pittsburgh 11.1/24
— NBC Sports PR (@NBCSportsPR) June 10, 2018
Notre Dame AD: NBC Deal With Big Ten is “Perfect” For Irish
“But it’s also perfect for Notre Dame,” Swarbrick said.
While not official, there has been strong reporting that the Big Ten conference has decided which broadcast entities would be awarded media rights for their football and basketball games. One of those partners appears to be NBC who also has a partnership with Notre Dame thru 2025.
On Wedneday, Notre Dame’s Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick held a live chat for the school’s alumni association. On that chat, the subject of the recent Big Ten media rights deal came up. He praised Commissioner Kevin Warren and called the Big Ten’s strategy brilliant and added that it’s great for college football because it gives networks inventory and now an incentive to produce around it. He also said when the value of the deals was announced, it’d be “pretty amazing” for the conference.
He then discussed how it fit with Notre Dame’s outlook on television media rights.
“But it’s also perfect for Notre Dame,” Swarbrick said. “We need NBC to have more college football to more effectively promote our games and to talk about our games and to have NBC be seen in that light. So that was great for us that they got a big piece of this.”
Louis Riddick Signs Contract Extension With ESPN
He will be on the network’s Thursday night college football package.
Football analyst Louis Riddick has signed a new extension to continue his career with ESPN.
The network made the announcement on Wednesday when announcing their broadcast teams for the 2022 college football season. In that release, it was revealed that Riddick would be returning to the college football booth for the first time since 2019.
He will be on the network’s Thursday night college football package and be partnered with play-by-play commentator Matt Barrie and Harry Lyles Jr.
It was announced earlier this summer that Riddick would also be in the booth for ESPN’s preseason NFL action. He’ll also be in the booth for three weeks that ESPN has multiple games in that week.
Riddick’s first college football game assignment will be the Backyard Brawl game between West Virginia and Pittsburgh and the latter has already noted their excitement.
ESPN Adds Aaron Murray, Re-Signs Beth Mowins For College Football Coverage
Mowins provides play-by-play on college basketball and softball, and has been the Voice of the Women’s College World Series for more than two decades.
ESPN announced the hiring of Aaron Murray to its analyst roster.
Murray, a former quarterback at Georgia and most recently an analyst with CBS Sports Network, will call a handful of games on the SEC Network. He’ll also appear on some of the network’s studio programming.
ESPN also announced the re-signing of play-by-play commentator Beth Mowins to a multi-year deal. In addition to football, Mowins provides play-by-play on college basketball and softball, and has been the Voice of the Women’s College World Series for more than two decades.
ESPN announced the broadcast crews for its college football coverage as well.
|ABC Saturday Night Football||Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Holly Rowe|
|ESPN Saturday Night Primetime||Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Molly McGrath|
|ESPN and ABC Saturday||Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy, Katie George|
|ESPN and ABC Saturday||Mark Jones, Robert Griffin III, Quint Kessenich|
|ESPN and ABC Saturday||Dave Pasch, Dusty Dvoracek, Tom Luginbill|
|ESPN and ABC Saturday||Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky, Kris Budden|
|ESPN and ABC Saturday||Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore, Tiffany Blackmon|
|ESPN and ESPN2 Saturday||Anish Shroff, Brock Osweiler, Taylor McGregor|
|ESPN and ESPN2 Saturday||Beth Mowins, Kirk Morrison, Stormy Buonantony|
|ESPN Thursday||Matt Barrie, Louis Riddick, Harry Lyles Jr.|
|ESPN and ESPN2 Friday||Roy Philpott, Andre Ware, Paul Carcaterra|
|ESPN and ESPN2 Saturday||Brian Custer, Dustin Fox, Lauren Sisler|
|SEC Saturday Night||Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic|
|ACC Network Primetime||Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck, Kelsey Riggs|
|SEC Network||Dave Neal, Deuce McAllister, Andraya Carter|
|SEC Network||Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb, Alyssa Lang|
|ACC Network||Wes Durham, Roddy Jones, Taylor Davis|
|ACC Network||Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich, Lericia Harris|
|ESPN2 and ESPNU Saturday||Clay Matvick, Rocky Boiman, Dawn Davenport|
|ESPN2 and ESPNU Saturday||Kevin Brown, Hutson Mason|
|ESPN2 and ESPNU Saturday||John Schriffen, Rene Ingoglia|
|ESPN2 and ESPNU Saturday||Drew Carter, TBD|
|ESPN2 and ESPNU Saturday||Connor Onion, Craig Haubert|
|Longhorn Network||Lowell Galindo, Sam Acho, Alex Chappell|
|ESPNU Thursday – HBCU||Tiffany Greene, Jay Walker|
|ESPN Radio||Marc Kestecher, Kelly Stouffer, Ian FitzsimmonsMike Couzens, Max Starks|