NBC Sports Enters Final Stretch of Triple Crown With 149th Belmont Stakes
A 240-person crew and 33 cameras will be deployed to cover the race and festivities
It has been two years since American Pharoah ended the 37-year Triple Crown drought, a feat not likely to be forgotten any time soon. Even though this year’s Belmont Stakes doesn’t carry the same Triple Crown implications as the 2015 race, NBC Sports still plans to treat the 2017 version like the world-class event it is.
“There may not be a Triple Crown in the balance, but the Belmont Stakes is called the ‘Test of the Champion’ for a reason,” says NBC Sports Coordinating Producer Rob Hyland. “We will devote our full resources to the race and everything going on around it at Belmont Park. … The Belmont Stakes dates back more than a century, and we look forward to chronicling the event’s each year.”
Twelve horses will compete in the Belmont Stakes — the longest of the Triple Crown races — including current morning-line favorite Irish War Cry. (The previous favorite, Classic Empire, dropped out on Wednesday with an abscess). The victors of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes — Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing, respectively — will not be participating.
NBC Sports will surround the 1.5-mile track with 33 cameras, including a Sony HDC-4800 4K unit with a Canon 4K lens in the Camera 1 position, and a crew of 240 production, engineering, and operations personnel. The network will have NEP’s ND1 A, B, C, and D units onsite at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY, along with a Broadcast Sports International RF mobile unit and two uplink trucks.
Hyland, who has been a part of the network’s horseracing coverage since 2001, will be joined in the truck by Sunday Night Football director Drew Esocoff. NBCSN coverage will be produced by Billy Matthews and directed by Kaare Numme. Executive producer of NBC Sports and NBCSN is Sam Flood, who has produced 14 Triple Crown races for the network.
Coverage of the 149th Belmont Stakes begins today at 5 p.m. ET with Belmont Access on NBCSN and continues tomorrow at 3 p.m. with Belmont Prep on NBCSN. Live race coverage on NBC begins at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Both NBC and NBCSN coverage will be streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. In addition, the app will offer a mosaic of four camera angles: the NBC broadcast, an overhead camera, and two isolation cameras.
NBC Sports’ coverage of the Belmont Stakes features hosts Bob Costas and Mike Tirico; analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey; analysts/handicappers Bob Neumeier and Eddie Olczyk; reporters Donna Brothers, Carolyn Manno, Laffit Pincay III, and Kenny Rice; and race caller Larry Collmus. Krista Voda will host coverage on NBCSN.