NBC Sports Group Rolls Out Multiple Big-Time Productions for ‘Big Event Weekend’
NBC weekend lineup includes Breeders’ Cup, Clemson–Notre Dame, Man City–Liverpool, NASCAR Cup Series Championship, and SNF
NBC Sports Group heads into this weekend with one of the biggest two-day slates of high-profile sports events of any broadcaster since the pandemic began nearly eight months ago. It kicks off with the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Clemson–Notre Dame Top 5 college-football showdown on Saturday, followed by the Premier League’s Manchester City–Liverpool fixture, the NASCAR Cup Series Championship, and Sunday Night Football’s Buccaneers–Saints matchup featuring future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
“It’s a really exciting weekend if you’re a sports fan,” says NBC Sports Coordinating Producer Pierre Moossa. “What’s also interesting from a production value is, almost each of the sports are being done very differently. Typically, you have only one or two major shows going on at once, vs. four or five this weekend. To make this weekend happen, it’s really a tribute to all the learnings and workflows over the course of the last six months to get to this point. And that’s what has been so cool about it.”
Breeders’ Cup Classic Takes Center Stage on Saturday
NBC is going all out for its coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday with access to 80+ cameras (nearly double last year’ complement) and nearly all of its on-air talent onsite. Although the Breeders’ Cup is supplying many of those cameras, NBC still has a sizable presence of its own at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, KY, including the production crew onsite (the majority of the production team was located remotely for NBC’s Triple Crown coverage this year) and a large studio set on Turn 2. Talent on hand at Keeneland will include host Ahmed Fareed; analysts Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss; host/reporter Laffit Pincay III and reporter Nick Luck; analyst/handicapper Eddie Olczyk, handicapper Matt Bernier, and reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers, and Britney Eurton; and NBC’s Triple Crown race caller Larry Collmus.
In all, NBC Sports will present 10.5 hours of live coverage of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, with $31 million in prize money at stake in 14 races during “the richest two days in horse racing.” Live coverage began yesterday on NBCSN with handicapping special Betting the Breeders’ Cup and culminates in the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC.
Production highlights include unique perspectives from the track through multiple live jockey cams and jockey and trainer mics, integration of several athletes/celebrities making their picks, and Fan Cam featuring fan parties from around the world.
A Packed Weekend: College and Pro Football, Soccer, NASCAR
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC, No. 4 Notre Dame hosts No. 1 Clemson at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, IN. Play-by-play man Mike Tirico, analyst Tony Dungy, sideline reporter Kathryn Tappen, and rules analyst Terry McAulay call the action. CLICK HERE for SVG’s deeper look at NBC’s production in South Bend.
On Peacock Premium Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m., defending champion Liverpool visits Manchester City, the Premier League champions for the prior two seasons. Arlo White will call the match, joined by former Premier League player Lee Dixon, live from Etihad Stadium.
That will be followed by the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway, beginning on NBC shortly after 3 p.m. Lead NASCAR race announcer Rick Allen will call the race from the track alongside analysts Steve Letarte, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jeff Burton. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Dave Burns, and Parker Kligerman will serve as pit reporters onsite.
The Saints and Buccaneers will close things out as NBC rolls out its always colossal Sunday Night Football production in Tampa Bay with Executive Producer Fred Gaudelli and Director Drew Esocoff at the front bench. Al Michaels (play-by-play) and Cris Collinsworth will call the action along with sideline reporter Michele Tafoya and rules analyst Terry McAulay.