Monday, November 4, 2013

Cub Reporter: Major Changes Coming to Next Year's Breeders Cup Telecast

It's all over the interwebs: The ratings on NBC for the prime time showing of the Breeders Cup Classic were down by a fair amount.

During the 8PM to 9PM timeslot, it came third to a football game, another football game, and some show I have never seen called Mike and Molly. It beat some of the cable sports on at that time, like the National Whiffleball Championships.

Ok, I made that last part up.

This is not great news and there probably are some excuses that make total sense. For example, Thorotrends posted  "[the] Big drop in 2013 primetime Breeders' Cup viewership likely/mostly due to 2012 being artificially high with Notre Dame/Pitt OT lead-in."

That is likely true, so I will end my post because there is no need to continue it. The ratings are fine and this is just a blip.

But that would make it a more boring post than I usually post.

And of course, I just received an email from Cub Reporter.

He wrote "don't use this because I am still working on it, but that Thorotrends guy is crazy. There are issues with the telecast. Plus the guy is from Maine. All they have are fish there. I don't even know if they have televisions in that boon-dock. Here's the scoop, hot off the presses."

Since I always miss the "don't use this" line when he sends me something secret, I print it for you here.


On the heels of Saturday evening's television ratings for the Breeders Cup Classic, Cub Reporter has learned that next year's showing on Fox will be quite different than the one we saw this year.

"We're going to shake it up" said an unnamed Fox Sports 1 insider.

Picture this, with horses and whips
Right now there are some leaders in the clubhouse on the idea front.

"We loved changing the hockey puck to make it glow, so we're going with glow whips" said my source. "The only people who complained were from Canada and they complain about lotsa things. Plus I don't even think they count in our ratings. A glow whip will help us show where the horses are and which jockeys are trying, and which are mailing it in."

When I asked if he worried about highlighting whipping and angering PETA, he said "This is Fox, we don't give a crap."

The on-air team will be getting spiced up as well.

"We've hired Beadle from that crazy show where she talks to those Amish people," he said. "For the Derby we went on twitter and horse folks were going ballistic about Beadle talking horse racing. It was like Ted Cruz walking into a New York Times editorial board Christmas party. This controversy brings ratings and ratings are what we're about. Plus, you watch Fox news, right? We like blondes."
Beadle talks to Amish people

When asked about keeping some on-air talent like Randy Moss, the executive said "I doubt it. Why they have a football player as a horse racing analyst is crazy anyway."

Fashion and fedoras will still be a part of the show, angering some viewers perhaps, and the on-air talent surely might surprise everyone in the sport.

"We got in contact with this Peter Rotondo guy, who I think runs marketing for the Breeders Cup" said my source.

Peter, in his casual Sunday morning attire
"So I go look at this guy online and he is some sort of fashionista. Like really, hats, sharp coats, ties that cost more than a new set of tires. He looks like a shorter version of that Clinton guy on What Not to Wear. So I say to myself, why not save some money and hire this dude?"

When Cub Reporter called to get a quote from the Breeders Cup someone answered the phone and said "Shhhhh" so I am pretty sure this is going to happen.

There are some cost cutting measures in force for next year too, but fans might not be too upset.

For example, Bobby Flay will not be back.

"He costs a lot of money" said my source. "Right now we're looking at replacing him with Frank Stronach making an Apple Strudel, the Official Pastry of the Breeders Cup ®"

Analysts will be Joe Drape because "he talks smack and comes cheap", Ray Paulick because "he is good friends with the guy who played Tootsie", pedigree guru Sid Fernando because "I think he has 47 million twitter followers which can boost ratings" said my source.

For lead racing analyst an alternate source told me Richard Dutrow "has the job if he has nothing better to do".

Larry Collmus fans will be very upset to hear he has been replaced. "We're getting that guy from Tampa Bay Downs to call the races. He cracks me up" said my contact.

As for the NTRA and Jockey Club, they are planned to being used in a new way.

Bad kids drinking
"We need to zap some energy into the Americas Best Racing Bus or whatever the hell that is." he said. "We're going to replace a couple of those ambassadors with some of those bad kids from MTV's Campus PD and do some cross promotion. We hope to have it turn into a party bus with the cool kids mooning people on the interstate, getting pulled over, and assorted hijinks. There are too many people named Chip on that bus to drive ratings. We need earned media, too, and bad ass kids can help." my source noted.

The timing between races are always a concern so Fox plans to throw up a trial balloon by extending the Breeders Cup Marathon to 26.2 miles. Apparently scantily clad women will be sponging and pouring water on the horses and jockey's each time around the track. "It will sell good to the Kegasus male demo," said my source.

Other changes are relatively minor. 

"Turf Paradise has a great $13.99 Rib Eye deal, so we hope to land them as next year's venue. Plus there are tons of old people in Arizona who like the races," he said.

"We're ditching the Best is Yet to Come song and instead inviting Milli from Milli and Vanilli. He can lip sync something. We should be able to land him for a Hotwire hotel room and a free Rib Eye." added my source.

Cub Reporter is not sure purists will like the changes, but it appears this year's ratings have really shaken things up for one of horse racing's signature events. It will be more than interesting to see what if any of these changes do take place for next year's Cup.

1 comment:

kyle said...

Doesn't sound great, but does sound like an improvement. The extended Marathon is a brilliant idea, but US trainers may find it necessary to get two 7f sprints into their horses in preparation. As for changing announcers, I like that as we'll. Imagine what the guy from TBD could do with a name like Al Thakhira?

Most Trafficked, Last 12 Months


Carryovers Provide Big Reach and an Immediate Return

Sinking marketing money directly into the horseplayer by seeding pools is effective, in both theory and practice In Ontario and elsewher...