When the NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown in 2011, it promised that horse racing would become a major programming pillar. Two years later, the Pea is making good on its word: the six-race Road to the Kentucky Derby series enters the gate on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) this weekend. Although the three-weekend series may not draw the interest — or production scale — of a Triple Crown race, NBC plans to make it feel like one.
Each Saturday, NBC / NBC Sports Network will carry live coverage of two races: one that is self-produced and another that primarily takes the clean feed produced at the other racetrack. The primary race (Florida Derby on March 31, Santa Anita Derby on April 6, Blue Grass Stakes on April 13) will be produced on-site out of NEP SS14 and deploy about a dozen cameras, including four hard cameras, five handhelds (two of which are wireless RF units), and a jib.
As for the secondary sites, NBC will take the clean track feed from the Louisiana Derby on March 30 (NBC will also deploy its own handheld camera and reporter in the winner’s circle) and the Wood Memorial on April 6. On April 13, however, NBC will produce the Arkansas Derby in-house, using a four-camera complement.
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