Daily Double: Lead NHL Analyst Olczyk Will Work First-Ever Kentucky Derby Amidst NBC Sports Group’s Stanley Cup Playoff Duties
Olczyk Will Serve as a Handicapper on NBC’s Triple Crown Horse Racing Coverage
NBC Sports Group’s Live Coverage from Churchill Downs Begins April 29
NBC Provides Wall-To-Wall Sports Coverage on Derby Day
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 21, 2015 –NBC Sports Group lead hockey analyst and veteran horse racing enthusiast Eddie Olczyk will join NBC and NBCSN coverage of the 2015 Kentucky Derby as a handicapper, his first-ever assignment as a commentator at the event, it was announced today. Olczyk previously worked NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2014 Breeders’ Cup and the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In” on NBC and NBCSN. He will serve as a handicapper for NBC Sports Group’s full Triple Crown horse racing coverage this year.
In his horse racing debut last June on NBCSN’s coverage of the $500,000 Gold Cup in the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In” from Santa Anita, Olczyk correctly picked the longshot winner in both races on the telecast, Majestic Harbor, at odds of 14-1, in the Gold Cup, and Sheza Smoke Show, at 10-1, in the Senorita Stakes.
“There’s nothing like hockey and horses at this time of year,” said Olczyk. “After working on NBC Sports Group’s horse racing coverage last summer through Breeders’ Cup, I’m thrilled to join the team for the Triple Crown season.”
“Eddie’s knowledge of and enthusiasm for the sport of horse racing is infectious,” said Rob Hyland, Coordinating Producer for NBC Sports Group. “We are happy that what started out as a labor of love for him has turned into a regular role on our horse racing telecasts, which are the premier events in the sport.”
As lead NHL analyst for NBC Sports Group, Olczyk’s Kentucky Derby assignment comes in the midst of his NHL Stanley Cup Playoff duties. In the 18 days between the start of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 15 through the May 2 Kentucky Derby, Olczyk will have served as an analyst on at least six hockey games (in cities ranging from Nashville to New York), and as a handicapper on many of the 19 races NBC Sports Group is covering live from Churchill Downs in Louisville.
Olczyk will have worked the following NHL and horse racing telecasts through May 2:
|Wed., April 15||Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators|
|Fri., April 17||Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators|
|Sat., April 18||Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers|
|Sun., April 19||Washington Capitals at New York Islanders|
|Tues., April 21||Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks|
|Thurs., April 23||Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators|
|Sat., April 25-Tues., April 28||TBD|
|Thurs., April 30||Kentucky Derby Access|
|Fri., May 1||Kentucky Oaks|
|Sat., May 2||Kentucky Derby|
Click here for more information on Olczyk.
NBC PROVIDES WALL-TO-WALL SPORTS COVERAGE ON DERBY DAY
On Derby Day, NBC’s wall-to-wall sports coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. ET with a second-round NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game. NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET, and leads right into primetime coverage of the PGA TOUR’s World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play from TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif. at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Players Championship from TPC Sawgrass airs on Golf Channel and NBC from May 7-10, including Golf Channel’s Golf Central Live From The Players starting on Monday, May 4.
NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 2 begins at Noon ET on NBCSN, with coverage of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. NBC Sports Group’s live Kentucky Derby coverage begins Wednesday, April 29 with the Kentucky Derby Draw at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Also on Derby Day, NBCSN presents a second-round NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game in primetime, with coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.
NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when the NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.
The 2014 Kentucky Derby marked the fourth time in six years (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014) that NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage averaged more than 15 million viewers. Women comprised 51% of that viewership, ranking the Kentucky Derby alongside the Sochi Winter Olympics as the major 2014 sporting events with females accounting more than half of the audience.
The 2014 Belmont Stakes on NBC, featuring California Chrome’s Triple Crown attempt, averaged 20.4 million viewers – the second-highest Belmont Stakes viewership on record, trailing only the 21.9 million viewers for NBC’s telecast of Smarty Jones’ Triple Crown attempt in 2004 (People Meter viewership dates to 1988). In addition, the 2014 Preakness Stakes registered a 6.0 household rating, ranking as the highest-rated Preakness Stakes since 2009.
AWARDS FOR NBC’S HORSE RACING COVERAGE: Since its involvement in the Triple Crown, NBC Sports has been honored with 15 Eclipse Awards for its thoroughbred racing coverage including the award for Television – Live Program for the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic and the 2013 Kentucky Derby. NBC’s previous wins in that category include: Preakness (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008), Kentucky Derby (2007, 2012), Belmont (2004) and Breeder’s Cup (2001). Additionally, NBC Sports has won four Eclipse Awards in the features category: “California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion,” which aired on NBCSN in June, a 2002 feature on War Emblem (Preakness broadcast), a 2005 feature on Afleet Alex (Kentucky Derby broadcast) and a 2009 feature on Mine That Bird (Preakness broadcast). In addition, the 2014 Belmont Stakes broadcast was nominated for the Sports Emmy Award Outstanding Live Sports Special this year.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–