VERSUS Goes Big With Derby Coverage

Next week, VERSUS will be flush with events. They’ll have nightly Stanley Cup Playoff action, as well as Team USA coverage from the IIHF World Championships in the Czech Republic. In addition to all that, they’ll be airing much of the ancillary programming for NBC’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby. A lot of this stuff have been shown typically on the networks of ESPN over the past many years, so it is good to see that VERSUS is adding properties from one of it’s main competitors.

It all starts next Wednesday, May 4th, when VERSUS begins airing classic Kentucky Derby over the next three days at 4 p.m. ET. It’ll be followed up by a one-hour telecast of the Kentucky Derby Draw at 5 p.m. ET, which determines which posts each horse will start out of. That was definitely an ESPN product in the past. Thursday at 5 p.m. ET, VERSUS will air a one-hour special “Access at the Kentucky Derby.” Friday at 5 p.m. ET, VERSUS will air the Kentucky Oaks.

That’ll all be prelude to Saturday, when VERSUS airs five hours of live coverage from Churchill Downs, starting at 11 a.m. ET. It should be noted that, for the first time in years, ESPN will air no live coverage, as traditionally they had aired a few hours from the Kentucky Derby themselves. The event will be exclusive to NBC and VERSUS. VERSUS and NBC will also both air NHL games that day, so it’ll be a fun day for the hockey and horses folks on Saturday, May 7th.

One Response to VERSUS Goes Big With Derby Coverage

  1. Sean says:

    With NBC locking up all three Triple Crown races, I bet they do this for each race starting in 2012. Maybe less coverage for the Preakness since Maryland racing is embarassing.

    Still, another huge step for Versus becoming a real sports network.

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