Behind the Mic: NBC Sports’ Rebecca Lowe To Make Her Horse Racing Debut at the Kentucky Derby

Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, Rebecca Lowe will make her horse racing debut at this year’s Kentucky Derby, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo signs a four-year deal with SiriusXM, ESPN re-signs The Undefeated’s Marc Spears, and former University of Miami head coach Mark Richt joins the ACC Network.

NBC Sports’ Premier League host Rebecca Lowe will work two of the sports world’s most famous Derbies in an 11-day stretch. First, she hosted Wednesday’s Manchester Derby as second-place Manchester City visited sixth-place Manchester United. Then it’s on to Churchill Downs in Louisville, for her first-ever Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, live at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Lowe, who will serve as co-host for the Kentucky Derby as well as NBCSN’s coverage of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 3, will handle a variety of subjects on the telecasts from Churchill Downs. Among her assignments are an interview with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who won two Triple Crowns in the past four years with Justify (2018) and American Pharoah (2015), as well as a cooking segment with celebrity chef and longtime horse racing fan Bobby Flay, who will be on-site to create the perfect southern-themed dish for a Kentucky Derby party.

“The Kentucky Derby is a rarity…two minutes of intense and unpredictable drama that unites us all; it’s sport at its absolute best,” said Lowe. “So, to be a part of such an event with such a talented NBC Sports team is incredibly exciting. Add to that the sheer size and spectacle of the day, it will be a privilege to witness one of America’s greatest annual moments.”

“As a versatile member of the NBC Sports team, we welcome Rebecca to our Derby and Oaks Day shows, where she will offer the unique perspective of a long-time sports presenter, but a first-time attendee,” said Rob Hyland, Coordinating Producer for NBC Sports Group’s Triple Crown horse racing coverage.

Lowe, who served as a host for NBC Olympics’ coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Rio Olympics, and the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, will also anchor a Premier League halftime from Churchill Downs for the Friday, May 3 match between Everton and Burnley (3 p.m. ET kickoff on NBCSN). Live Kentucky Oaks coverage on NBCSN will wrap around the Premier League match that day, with shows from Noon-3 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.

Lowe will return to NBC Sports’ Premier League studio for live coverage of all 10 Championship Sunday matches on Sunday, May 12. Premier League Mornings Live kicks off on NBCSN at 9 a.m. ET on May 12, followed by live simultaneous coverage of all 10 matches at 10 a.m. ET on the networks of NBCUniversal, NBC, and the NBC Sports app…

Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, one of sports media’s biggest personalities, has signed a new four-year contract to keep his unique brand of sports talk radio exclusively on SiriusXM.

Russo will continue to host his daily all-sports show, Mad Dog Unleashed, every weekday (3:00 – 6:00 pm ET) on the channel that Russo launched on SiriusXM in 2008 – Mad Dog Sports Radio.

Mad Dog Sports Radio is available to listeners nationwide on SiriusXM radios (channel 82), on the SiriusXM app, and at home on a wide variety of connected devices, including devices with Amazon Alexa, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation, Roku, Sonos speakers, and more.

In addition to his work on SiriusXM, Russo hosts his daily TV show, High Heat with Christopher Russo, weekday afternoons on MLB Network…

…The Undefeated, ESPN’s content initiative focusing on the intersections of sports, race and culture, has reached a multi-year contract extension with senior NBA writer Marc Spears to continue as the platform’s lead journalist covering the National Basketball Association.

Spears, who joined The Undefeated in March 2016, regularly breaks NBA news and some of his most notable long-form work at The Undefeated includes, an examination of how black Utah Jazz players have embraced Salt Lake City, NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki on his interracial marriage, and a multimedia profile on how former NBA player Stephon Marbury found stardom in China. Spears also reported Marbury’s story for a SC Featured segment. During the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, Spears wrote a piece on Sonya Curry and how she turned her experiences with racism into lessons for her children, NBA stars Stephen and Seth.

During the 2016 NBA Playoffs, Spears authored an exclusive player diary series by the Warriors’ Draymond Green that captured his thoughts on and off the court as the Golden State forward and his teammates were chasing a second straight NBA title. Green’s 2016 NBA Playoffs diaries, including his NBA Finals Game 5 suspension, preceded the launch of The Undefeated and debuted on – a precursor to the unique content offerings on the platform. The series continued on The Undefeated after the platform launched on May 17.

In addition to his work with The Undefeated, Spears regularly contributes to other ESPN platforms, including the award-winning Outside the Lines and E:60, SportsCenter, SC Featured, The Jump, ESPN Radio programs and more…

…After retiring from the college coaching ranks, from his stints as head coach of the University of Georgia and more recently at the University of Miami, Mark Richt will be joining the ACC Network as a football analyst before it’s launch in August.

“I was able to coach for 12 seasons in the ACC, and so, I’m very excited about the opportunity to join ACC Network as a football analyst,” said Richt. “I’m not only looking forward to helping tell the story of one of the greatest football conferences in America, but also staying close to the game that I love so much.”

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