AMERICAN PHAROAH LEADS NBC SPORTS GROUP TO 136% VIEWERSHIP INCREASE FOR BREEDERS' CUP CHALLENGE SERIES
"Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In - Presented by Lane's End Farm" Averaged More Than 900,000 Viewers on NBC & NBCSN
Live Streaming on NBC Sports Live Extra Quadruples '14 Series
American Pharoah Pursues Horse Racing's First-Ever "Grand Slam" Against Star-Studded Field in Breeders' Cup Classic, Saturday, Oct. 31 at 4 PM ET on NBC
STAMFORD, Conn. - Oct. 8, 2015 - NBC Sports Group's viewership for the "Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In - Presented by Lane's End Farm" jumped 136% year-over-year for the nine telecasts following American Pharoah's historic Triple Crown victory in the Belmont Stakes on June 6, according to official national data released by The Nielsen Company.
Collectively, NBC and NBCSN averaged 936,000 viewers for nine shows between June 13 and this past Sunday, Oct. 4 - up 136% from last year's Breeders' Cup Challenge Series (397,000 average).
In addition, viewers streamed 383,000 live horse racing minutes via NBC Sports Live Extra - up 315% from last year's series (92,000 minutes).
Among the highlights:
"A rousing return for a living legend." - NBC race caller Larry Collmus on American Pharoah's victory in the Haskell Invitational
· American Pharoah's first race after becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years was the August 2 Haskell Invitational. Viewership for the NBC telecast peaked at 3.1 million viewers between 5:45-6:06 p.m. ET, as Pharoah ran to an easy 2�-length victory. NBC's full telecast (5:00-6:06 p.m. ET) averaged 2.01 million viewers to rank as the most-watched horse racing telecast to take place between the Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup in 13 years (9/29/02 on NBC; 2.9 million viewers for "The NTRA Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships," which featured Breeders' Cup prep races from four tracks).
"If we didn't televise his next race, I would make a point to watch American Pharoah run. That's how special he is to America." - NBC analyst and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey following the Haskell Invitational and prior to NBC's telecast of the Travers Stakes
· For American Pharoah's second-place finish in the 146thTravers Stakes on August 29, viewership for the NBC telecast peaked at 3.4 million viewers between 5:45-6:05 p.m. ET, as Pharoah was edged out in the stretch run by Keen Ice. NBC's full telecast (4:00-6:05 p.m. ET), averaged 2.00 million viewers to rank as the most-watched Travers Stakes telecast in 20 years (3.4 million viewers on 8/19/95, ABC).
BREEDERS' CUP CHAMPIONSHIP COVERAGE BEGINS WEDNESDAY, OCT. 28 ON NBCSN: American Pharoah pursues horse racing's first-ever "Grand Slam" - which would include the Triple Crown and a victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic - against a star-studded field in the running of the 32nd Breeders' Cup Classic, broadcast live on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 4 p.m. ET on NBC. NBCSN's live coverage of the Breeders' Cup World Championships begins Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 4:30 p.m. ET with a handicapping special, continues Friday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m. ET, and culminates with a three-hour show Saturday, Oct. 31 at 1 p.m. ET which leads into the NBC telecast.