NBC, whose sports division was recognized this year with nine Emmy Awards, the most of any network, will provide high-definition live coverage of this year’s Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Saturday afternoon, Aug. 6.
The Hambletonian is the only harness racing event broadcast on network television and will air on NBC for a fifth consecutive year, following a 13-year run on CBS. The hour-long show will run from 3-4 p.m., and include live coverage of the Hambletonian Oaks.
The award-winning NBC team of hosts Tom Hammond and Gary Seibel will anchor the broadcast. Joining them for the fourth consecutive year will be Kenny Rice, who is familiar to harness racing fans as a former host of the Breeders Crown Championship series. Seibel was recently inducted to the Communicators Corner of the harness racing Hall of Fame.
Also on the broadcast to serve as analyst and provide a closer look at the competitors from horseback is jockey and horsewoman Donna Brothers. Meadowlands announcer Ken Warkentin will provide his racing expertise and race call.
A long time staff producer at NBC, Billy Matthews, will take the helm of his first Hambletonian broadcast, while director Jeff Simon, returns from the 2010 broadcast. Both have extensive horse racing TV experience, as does associate producer Billy Rapaport, who has assisted with all of the Hambletonians on NBC, as well Triple Crown races and both Breeders Crown and Breeders Cup telecasts.
This is the final year of the NBC contract, according to broadcast partners the Meadowlands Racetrack and the Hambletonian Society, who share the expense of the telecast. Next year NBC hosts the Summer Olympics from the U.K. and did not have the Saturday afternoon television time available. Other television avenues are being explored by the Hambletonian Society and its host partner, New Meadowlands Racetrack. (Meadowlands)