Here’s what it takes to launch NASCAR on NBC.

STAMFORD, Conn. – June 26, 2015 – NBC Sports Group’s multiplatform coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series racing is gearing up in a big way over 4th of July weekend. Coverage begins Saturday, July 4th, at 7 p.m. ET with the Subway Firecracker 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on NBCSN. On Sunday evening, NBC presents the 57th running of the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at 7 p.m. ET. The events wave the green flag over NBC Sports Group’s 10-year chapter as the home of NASCAR’s championship run, and NBC Sports’ production team in Daytona will employ a crew of more than 195 personnel, 70 cameras, and a wide collection of other tools to deliver the action.

via NBC SPORTS’ 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND NASCAR LAUNCH BY THE NUMBERS | NBC Sports Pressbox.

Gold Cup at Santa Anita This Saturday

NEW YORK (June 25, 2015) – The second automatic berth into the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic is on the line Saturday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., in the $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1), which will be televised live on NBCSN, beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

The  1 1/4 mile Gold Cup is the third of 10 programs in the  “Breeders’ Cup Challenge: Win and You’re In Series,” featured on NBC and NBCSN from some of America’s most iconic racetracks, all leading to the 32nd Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 30-31 on NBC and NBCSN.

NBCSN’s coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series on Saturday features host Laffit Pincay, III, analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey and five-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, and reporter Nick Luck. Daily Racing Form’s Matt Bernier serves as handicapper.

The Gold Cup is the second of five televised Breeders’ Cup Classic qualifying races in the series for potential challengers to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who will be paraded in front of the Santa Anita crowd Saturday afternoon. The first “Win and You’re In” qualifier of 2015 was Noble Bird, who won the Stephen Foster on NBCSN at Churchill Downs on June 15.

The Gold Cup field is led by Catch a Flight and Moreno, the first and second-place finishers in the 1 1/8 mile Californian Stakes on May 30 at Santa Anita. Trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Gary Stevens, Catch a Flight is shooting for his third consecutive win, having also won the Precisionist at 1 1/16 miles on May 2. The Argentine bred son of Giant’s Causeway is 5 of 6 lifetime at the 1 ¼ mile distance.

The 5-year-old front-running Moreno finished just half a length behind Catch a Flight in the Californian. Trained by Eric Guillot and ridden by Cornelia Velasquez, Moreno is a career earner of nearly $3 million in 27 starts. This year, he won the Charles Town Classic (G2) by two lengths on April I8; was third by a half-length in the New Orleans Handicap at the Fair Grounds on March 28 and was second to Shared Belief in the Santa Anita Handicap earlier that month. Moreno also won the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga last summer.

Hoppertunity, trained by Bob Baffert,  had been idle four months prior to running third, beaten 5 ¾ lengths, in the Grade I, 1 1/8 miles Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs June 13 and could likely show major improvement on Saturday with a recent race under his belt.  Owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, the 4-year-old colt by Any Given Saturday won the Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs four starts back and is a three-time graded stakes winner who will try a mile and quarter for the first time in the Gold Cup.

The complete field for the Gold Cup, to be run as the ninth on a 10-race card Saturday, with jockeys in post-position order:  Batti Man, Fernando Perez; Hard Aces, Victor Espinoza, Poshsky, Flavien Prat; Motown Men, Tyler Baze; Majestic City; Hoppertunity, Martin Garcia; Big Cazanova, Corey Nakatani; Moreno, Cornelio Velasquez; Catch a Flight, Gary Stevens; Lideris, Joe Talamo and Finnegans Wake, Mike Smith.

GOLD CUP AT SANTA ANITA HEADLINES SECOND BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC QUALIFIER OF THE YEAR THIS SATURDAY LIVE AT 8 PM ET ON NBCSN | NBC Sports Pressbox.

NBC Announces NASCAR Broadcast Team

Accomplished race announcer Rick Allen joins 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup winning driver Jeff Burton and Daytona 500 champion crew chief Steve Letarte in the NBC Sports broadcast booth to call two primetime races over the holiday weekend. NBC Sports Group hits the ignition switch on its 10-year chapter as the home of NASCAR’s championship run on Saturday July 4th at 7:00 p.m. ET with the Subway Firecracker 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series Race on NBCSN. Allen, Burton and Letarte return the next evening to call one of the most anticipated events of the season, the 57th running of the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at 7 p.m. ET on NBC.

NBC Sports’ Krista Voda will sit alongside engaging NASCAR personality Kyle Petty, as well as three-time Daytona 500 champion and Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett, from a state-of-the-art open-air studio located atop pit road to set the stage for both races. Rutledge Wood, NBC Sports’ NASCAR features reporter and “man about the track,” will present pieces that delve into the experience of attending a race at the famed Daytona International Speedway and NBCSports.com lead motorsports writer Nate Ryan will be on hand to cover news and timely information affecting the sport. Once each checkered flag is captured, the set location will shift to Victory Lane in order to take in the post-race festivities and break down the pivotal moves and strategic decisions that dictated the outcome.

Experienced motorsports reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Mike Massaro, and Dave Burns will cover pit road during both 4th of July Weekend telecasts,

via NBC SPORTS FINALIZES NASCAR BROADCAST TEAM FOR 4TH of JULY WEEKEND DEBUT IN DAYTONA | NBC Sports Pressbox.

Belmont Stakes This Saturday

Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner American Pharoah runs for history, aiming to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, as NBC Sports Group presents the 147th Belmont Stakes this Saturday, June 6, at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage from Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., begins Friday, June 5, at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Highlights of NBC Sports Group’s Belmont coverage include:

  • Bob Costas’ essay on the elusive Triple Crown, discussing past winners and what makes this achievement unique, and difficult.
  • Josh Elliott hosts a feature on American Pharoah’s road to the Triple Crown, takes a look at his challengers, and visits with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who is making his fourth attempt at the Triple Crown with American Pharoah.
  • A feature on “Drought Busters” – professional athletes who have helped break major slumps in their respective sports.
  • A look at Victor Espinoza’s 2014 Triple Crown attempt at Belmont aboard California Chrome. Espinoza, once a bus driver in Mexico, is now the first jockey in history to have three chances at the Triple Crown. In addition, Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss continue their debate on the reasons California Chrome finished fourth in last year’s Belmont and failed to win the Triple Crown.
  • For the first time at the Belmont Stakes, NBC Sports will utilize a 4K super-slow-motion, reverse finish-line camera.

COMMENTATORS: NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Belmont Stakes features hosts Bob Costas, a 26-time Emmy Award-winner, and Tom Hammond, a veteran NBC Sports commentator; analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey and two-time Belmont winner; analysts/handicappers Bob Neumeier and Eddie Olczyk; NBCSN host/NBC reporter Laffit Pincay, III; reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers and Jay Privman; and race caller Larry Collmus. Josh Elliott and Carolyn Manno provide a mix of features and interviews at Belmont Park.

The coordinating producer of NBC’s horse racing coverage is Rob Hyland, who has been a part of the network’s horse racing coverage since 2001. The Belmont Stakes is directed by Sunday Night Football and NBC Sports’ horse racing director, Drew Esocoff. The coverage on NBCSN is produced by Billy Matthews and directed by Doug Grabert. The executive producer of NBC Sports and NBCSN is Sam Flood, who has produced 12 Triple Crown races for the network.

via AMERICAN PHAROAH RUNS FOR TRIPLE CROWN HISTORY IN BELMONT STAKES THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 6, AT 4:30 PM ET ON NBC | NBC Sports Pressbox.

Breeders’ Cup and NBC sign ten-year extension (from SportsPro)

The Breeders’ Cup will continue to be aired on NBC until 2025 after an extension to the current media rights agreement between Breeders’ Cup Limited and NBC Sports Group was announced today.

The ten-year deal will see NBC And NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) present at least eight hours of live coverage of the Breeders’ Cup thoroughbred horse race meeting each year, including live coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the self-styled world championship of thoroughbred racing, in 2016 and 2017.

via Breeders’ Cup and NBC sign ten-year extension – Sports Broadcast news – Horse Racing North America – SportsPro Media.

WSOF 11 on NBC July 5; Part of New NBC/WSOF Deal

NBC Sports Group and World Series of Fighting (WSOF) have reached a multi-year agreement extending and broadening NBCSG’s exclusive rights to televise the Las Vegas-based mixed martial arts promotion’s events through 2017, it was announced Tuesday.

The multi-year renewal extends the partnership, which began with World Series of Fighting’s debut in November 2012, and includes multiplatform rights to the organization’s events, which will be televised on NBCSN and NBC, and featured on NBC’s digital platforms.

NBC Sports Group will televise 14 World Series of Fighting events live this year, including NBC’s first-ever broadcast of mixed martial arts when “World Series of Fighting 11: Gaethje vs. Newell” takes place July 5, followed by a year-end card on NBC on December 27. Additional events will be added to NBC and NBCSN schedules in ensuing years.

via WSOF 11 to be First MMA Event in History to Air on NBC | MMAWeekly.com.

Grantland on Community’s Cancellation

Community died today as it lived: frenetically and suddenly. The culty show that had improbably survived for five seasons, borne aloft by the impassioned frenzy of its tweeting fans, will now be buried with a 21-hashtag salute. Barring a miracle, there will be no sixth season. Barring an enormous lapse in judgment, there will be no movie.

Though I am not surprised, I am sympathetic. I completely understand the need to mourn the show’s passing. If you are among the many (but, clearly, not enough) 18-to-49-year-olds gutted by this decision, it makes sense to take some time to process your loss, to gnash your teeth and pray to the dread god Sarandos for a second — no, third — no, fourth chance. For you, today truly is the Britta of days. But when you’re ready to come out of the Dreamatorium, it’s useful to remember one thing: You already won.

via Five Seasons and an Unlikely Resurrection: ‘Community’ Canceled «.

2014 NFL Schedule: Flex games can now start in Week 5 – NFL.com

The potential flex games between Week 5 and Week 10 come with a stipulation. The NFL can’t change the tentative “Sunday Night Football” game every week. The league can flex up to two games total into Sunday night between Weeks 5-10. The rest of the flexible schedule procedures from previous years remains intact. After Week 11, the NFL can flex any Sunday night game.

As before, only Sunday afternoon games are subject to being moved into the Sunday night window. Thursday, Saturday, and Monday games are not affected. Flex scheduling allows the league to handpick a game to be moved into the Sunday Night NBC window, avoiding lackluster matchups.

The “cross flex” mechanism will serve a similar purpose. Select games can be flexed between CBS and FOX. In the past, a game with two NFC teams had to be on FOX and a game with two AFC teams had to be on CBS. Now, the league can theoretically move an all-NFC game to CBS or an all-AFC game to FOX in select cases. This will help balance out the television schedule, especially in a week where one network has all the most intriguing games.

via 2014 NFL Schedule: Flex games can now start in Week 5 – NFL.com.

NBC Universal and Microsoft Team Up On Unprecedented Web Offering for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

NBC Universal and Microsoft Team Up On Unprecedented Web Offering for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games:

“NBC’s Olympic on-line coverage will be delivered by the MSN Network — ‘NBCOlympics.com on MSN’– and use Microsoft’s Silverlight Technology to Stream Thousands of Hours of Exclusive Interactive Video from Beijing Games”

From PokerNews: NBC’s "Poker After Dark" Set for New Year’s Debut. Shana Hiatt to Host.

Post from NewsGator.com:

NBC’s “Poker After Dark” Set for New Year’s Debut. Shana Hiatt to Host.

“Late-night poker programming featuring some of the biggest names in the game? That’s what’s on tap when NBC rolls out its newest poker entry, ‘Poker After Dark.’ Currently slated for a kickoff on Jan. 2nd, 2007…