NBC Sports Surrounds Nyquist’s Chase for History in Potentially Soggy Preakness

A year after American Pharoah ended horseracing’s 37-year Triple Crown drought, the undefeated Nyquist will attempt to replicate the feat. But before he can chase history at Belmont, he must win this weekend’s Preakness Stakes in less than ideal weather conditions.

PreaknessThe 141st running of the Preakness Stakes will air live on NBC tomorrow from a rainy Pimlico. Coverage of the middle jewel of the Triple Crown begins today at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on NBCSN before shifting to NBC at 5:00 p.m.

As in years past, NBC plans to scale down its production complement from what was on the ground at Churchill Downs two weeks ago. However, the Peacock will retain several of the production tools used at the Kentucky Derby, including the wireless RF helmet camera worn by NBC reporter Donna Brothers.

“Every year, we approach the Triple Crown with a fresh perspective and implement new production elements,” says Coordinating Producer Rob Hyland. “Two weeks ago at the Kentucky Derby, we added an RF camera attached to the outrider’s helmet that greets the winning horse and jockey at the conclusion of the race. We captured a great moment as Mario Gutierrez [aboard Nyquist] met the Churchill Downs outrider. It was intimate, raw, and unscripted. We will be utilizing this camera once again this week in the Preakness.”

NBC will deploy 37 cameras with Canon lenses, including 11 Sony HDC-2500 hard cameras, 10 Sony HDC handheld cameras, two Sony HDC-4300 cameras in 6X mode, one HDC-4300 in 3X mode, one HD camera in a fixed-wing aircraft, one HD POV, one HD handheld shooting the tote board, and an in-booth webcam. A wide variety of RF cameras will be on hand: a Steadicam, five handhelds, and three HD POV cameras.

NBC plans to home-run cables to all positions, using a combination of fiber and copper cable, and is adding tents and covering camera positions in anticipation of rain in Baltimore this weekend.

Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist is sure to be the center of attention at the Preakness.

Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist will be the center of attention at the Preakness.

The crew will operate out of NEP’s ND1 A, B, C, and D units, which made its Preakness debut last year. ND1 is outfitted with 11 EVS servers and four Avid edit stations. Hyland will be joined on the front bench by director Drew Esocoff for NBC’s main Preakness telecast; producer Billy Matthews and director Pierre Moossa will helm the NBCSN coverage out of NEP SS24. John Roché will serve as lead technical manager, Keith Kice as technical manager, Tim Dekime as director of sports operations, and Martin Cabelly and Jennifer Knepper as production managers. In total, NBC Sports will have 72 talent, production, and support personnel onsite, as well as 147 technical-crew members for the NBC and NBCSN broadcasts.

On the digital side, NBC Sports Live Extra will live-stream a mosaic of four camera angles, a Preakness first: the main NBC broadcast, an iso camera on Nyquist, an overhead camera, and an in-booth camera that will capture Larry Collmus’s race call in real time. In addition, NBC Sports Live Extra coverage will include analysis from NBC Sports commentators as well as replays and highlights from the Kentucky Derby and earlier prep races.

Although the Preakness will feature nine other horses — including Derby runner-up Exaggerator, capable of an upset — all eyes will be on Nyquist. NBC Sports plans to capitalize on the interest with features on jockey Gutierrez and trainer Doug O’Neill.

“The Preakness looks like a two-horse race between Nyquist and Exaggerator,” says NBC Sports analyst Randy Moss. “Nyquist has beaten Exaggerator all four times they’ve been in the same race. But Exaggerator is good enough to capitalize if Nyquist is compromised by a slow start or traffic trouble or simply just isn’t at his best for a variety of reasons.”

Last year, NBC Sports inked a long-term deal with the Maryland Jockey Club that will keep the Preakness Stakes on NBC through 2022. As a result of the deal, the network secured exclusive, long-term media agreements with all three jewels of the Triple Crown through at least 2020.

Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters