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Bob Costas and ‘Today’ Lead NBC’s Kentucky Derby Coverage

NBC has announced its programming for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. As usual, Bob Costas will be leading the charge for the network, while a number of other NBCU properties get in the game as well.

NBC News will participate through its morning news program “Today.” “Today” correspondent Jenna Wolfe will be representing the program at Churchill Downs on Friday’s program, and over the weekend. Wolfe will interview NBC’s on-horse reporter Donna Brothers (“they will both be on horses for the interview,” NBC assures us) on Saturday, will participate in Derby coverage, and will interview the winning jockey and trainer on Sunday.

Other synergistic opportunities: CNBC’s Darren Rovell will also be reporting from Churchill Downs for that network, and Costas will interview Giants quarterback Eli Manning during the pre-race show. Manning is hosting “Saturday Night Live” that evening.

More, after the jump.

NBC/Universal Surrounds ‘The Kentucky Derby’

TODAY Show Segments Live from Churchill Downs Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Features and Segments from NBCUniversal Properties Including CNBC, Bravo, E!, Style, iVillage and Daily Candy

NEW YORK – May 2, 2012 – The NBC Sports Group will present 14½ hours of Kentucky Derby coverage beginning today at 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, and culminating with the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on NBC, Saturday, May 5 beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Once again this year, a host of NBCUniversal properties will participate in promoting the food, fashion, celebrity and entertaining spectacle that is the Kentucky Derby.

Below is a summary of the NBCU properties that are supporting the Kentucky Derby:

TODAY SHOW: TODAY’s Jenna Wolfe will report live from Churchill Downs on Friday for TODAY, and continue Kentucky Derby coverage on Saturday’s Weekend TODAY when she interviews NBC’s on-horse reporter Donna Brothers (they will both be on horses for the interview). TODAY coverage from Churchill Downs continues on Sunday with an interview with the Derby-winning jockey and trainer. Wolfe will also be featured on NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage, where she will contribute features.

TODAY WITH HODA AND KATHIE LEE: For the third year in a row, TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb hosted a Kentucky Derby trip giveaway contest for the fan who created the most interesting Derby hat.

Saturday Night Live: Bob Costas, NBC’s Kentucky Derby host, will conduct a live interview with Super Bowl MVP and this week’s Saturday Night Live host Eli Manning during Saturday’s coverage of the Derby. Manning will be live from Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center during his afternoon SNL rehearsal.

CNBC: CNBC’s sports-business reporter, Darren Rovell, will file reports live from Churchill Downs all day Friday. Rovell will also be a part of NBC Sports Network’s Kentucky Derby coverage.

Bravo: Cat Cora, co-host of Bravo’s new show, Around the World in 80 Plates, will be a participating chef in “Taste of the Derby,” and will appear on NBC Sports Network’s Kentucky Oaks coverage on Friday.

E!: E! News host Catt Sadler will interview celebrity guests at the Kentucky Derby for NBC’s coverage Friday and Saturday. Additionally, E! News is featuring Derby segments all week, including a hat-shopping segment with Catt and interviews with National Anthem performer Mary J. Blige and other celebrities in attendance.

Style: Jeannie Mai, host of How Do I Look, will be on-site at Churchill Downs breaking down the day’s fashion and Kentucky Derby style trends. This is the first time that NBC has included a fashion correspondent in on-air coverage of the Derby.

iVillage: iVillage, the essential digital brand for women which reaches over 30 million unique visitors per month, will celebrate this year’s Kentucky Derby by featuring a contest to win a new wardrobe and accessories from Vineyard Vines’ new Kentucky Derby collection.

DailyCandy: DailyCandy.com will feature Kentucky Derby editorial content on its homepage through a special editorial package titled “Derby Day 101.” The package will include over 40 articles about Derby parties, recipes, fashion, and everything a DailyCandy reader needs to know to get ready for the Kentucky Derby. In addition, DailyCandy’s Lilliana Vazquez will be a guest on TODAY with KLG and Hoda for a Kentucky Derby “Who Knew” segment.

Local Media & Comcast regional sports nets: NBC Kentucky Derby feature teasers were distributed to all 235 NBC affiliates and 11 Comcast Regional Sports Networks. Additionally, DailyCandy’s Lilliana Vazquez participated in a Satellite Media Tour about Kentucky Derby fashions and traditions, and a reporter from NBC NewsChannel will file live reports from Churchill Downs on Friday.

WEATHER CHANNEL: Throughout Kentucky Derby Week on NBCU, Weather Channel’s Wake Up with Al has been featuring the Louisville, Ky., forecast, and what weather viewers and attendees can expect at Churchill Downs throughout Derby weekend.

NBC SPORTS’ ‘BIG EVENT STRATEGY’ HELPS TO INCREASE VIEWERSHIP

The shared vision of Churchill Downs and NBC Sports’ successful ‘Big Event Strategy’ to assemble the broadest possible audience led to the 2011 Kentucky Derby drawing 14.54 million viewers, the fourth most-watched Kentucky Derby in 21 years. Since implementing this strategy, the last three Kentucky Derby races have recorded at least 14.5 million viewers including the 2010 Derby, which was the most-watched for the event in 22 years.

NBC Sports coverage of the Kentucky Derby over the last 11 years averages more than 2½ million more viewers than the previous 11 Kentucky Derby broadcasts on ABC (14.1 million vs.11.5 million, up 23 percent).

NBC SPORTS GROUP KENTUCKY DERBY COVERAGE (All Times ET):

KENTUCKY DERBY

Wed. May 2

4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Derby Classics – Barbaro

NBC Sports Network

5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Kentucky Derby Draw

NBC Sports Network

Thur. May 3

4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Derby Classics – Mine that Bird

NBC Sports Network

5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Live from Churchill Downs

NBC Sports Network

Fri. May 4

4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Derby Classics – Animal Kingdom

NBC Sports Network

5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Kentucky Oaks

NBC Sports Network

Sat. May 5

11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Kentucky Derby Saturday

NBC Sports Network

4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Kentucky Derby 138

NBC

7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Kentucky Derby Post-Race Show

NBC Sports Network

TODAY Show Segments Live from Churchill Downs Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Features and Segments from NBCUniversal Properties Including CNBC, Bravo, E!, Style, iVillage and Daily Candy

NEW YORK – May 2, 2012 – The NBC Sports Group will present 14½ hours of Kentucky Derby coverage beginning today at 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, and culminating with the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on NBC, Saturday, May 5 beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Once again this year, a host of NBCUniversal properties will participate in promoting the food, fashion, celebrity and entertaining spectacle that is the Kentucky Derby.

Below is a summary of the NBCU properties that are supporting the Kentucky Derby:

TODAY SHOW: TODAY’s Jenna Wolfe will report live from Churchill Downs on Friday for TODAY, and continue Kentucky Derby coverage on Saturday’s Weekend TODAY when she interviews NBC’s on-horse reporter Donna Brothers (they will both be on horses for the interview). TODAY coverage from Churchill Downs continues on Sunday with an interview with the Derby-winning jockey and trainer. Wolfe will also be featured on NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage, where she will contribute features.

TODAY WITH HODA AND KATHIE LEE: For the third year in a row, TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb hosted a Kentucky Derby trip giveaway contest for the fan who created the most interesting Derby hat.

Saturday Night Live: Bob Costas, NBC’s Kentucky Derby host, will conduct a live interview with Super Bowl MVP and this week’s Saturday Night Live host Eli Manning during Saturday’s coverage of the Derby. Manning will be live from Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center during his afternoon SNL rehearsal.

CNBC: CNBC’s sports-business reporter, Darren Rovell, will file reports live from Churchill Downs all day Friday. Rovell will also be a part of NBC Sports Network’s Kentucky Derby coverage.

Bravo: Cat Cora, co-host of Bravo’s new show, Around the World in 80 Plates, will be a participating chef in “Taste of the Derby,” and will appear on NBC Sports Network’s Kentucky Oaks coverage on Friday.

E!: E! News host Catt Sadler will interview celebrity guests at the Kentucky Derby for NBC’s coverage Friday and Saturday. Additionally, E! News is featuring Derby segments all week, including a hat-shopping segment with Catt and interviews with National Anthem performer Mary J. Blige and other celebrities in attendance.

Style: Jeannie Mai, host of How Do I Look, will be on-site at Churchill Downs breaking down the day’s fashion and Kentucky Derby style trends. This is the first time that NBC has included a fashion correspondent in on-air coverage of the Derby.

iVillage: iVillage, the essential digital brand for women which reaches over 30 million unique visitors per month, will celebrate this year’s Kentucky Derby by featuring a contest to win a new wardrobe and accessories from Vineyard Vines’ new Kentucky Derby collection.

DailyCandy: DailyCandy.com will feature Kentucky Derby editorial content on its homepage through a special editorial package titled “Derby Day 101.” The package will include over 40 articles about Derby parties, recipes, fashion, and everything a DailyCandy reader needs to know to get ready for the Kentucky Derby. In addition, DailyCandy’s Lilliana Vazquez will be a guest on TODAY with KLG and Hoda for a Kentucky Derby “Who Knew” segment.

Local Media & Comcast regional sports nets: NBC Kentucky Derby feature teasers were distributed to all 235 NBC affiliates and 11 Comcast Regional Sports Networks. Additionally, DailyCandy’s Lilliana Vazquez participated in a Satellite Media Tour about Kentucky Derby fashions and traditions, and a reporter from NBC NewsChannel will file live reports from Churchill Downs on Friday.

WEATHER CHANNEL: Throughout Kentucky Derby Week on NBCU, Weather Channel’s Wake Up with Al has been featuring the Louisville, Ky., forecast, and what weather viewers and attendees can expect at Churchill Downs throughout Derby weekend.

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