Skip to main content
Original Issue

Under Review Peacock Passion Play--Horse Sense

--NBC shocked some observers last week when it coughed up $2.2
billion--and guaranteed a $160 million to $200 million
sponsorship from its parent company, GE--to secure the rights to
the 2010 and 2012 Olympics. However the deal works out
financially for the network, it was more about passion than
profits. NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol has had a careerlong
love affair with the Games (he dropped out of Yale at age 19 to
cover the 1968 Mexico City Olympics as a researcher for ABC), and
after airing three of the last four Olympics, he wasn't about to
let them go. The Olympics, Ebersol says, are "in the blood" at

--Everybody loved the idea that Funny Cide is a New York-bred, but
NBC did a good job during its Belmont Stakes broadcast explaining
what that really means, at least for this golden gelding. In a
prerace interview Doug Cauthen, brother of former jockey Steve
and proprietor of WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., said Funny
Cide was actually conceived in the Bluegrass State. Then his dam,
Belle's Good Cide, was shipped to Saratoga so she could drop her
foal on New York soil and qualify him for "state-bred" races in
New York.... Meanwhile, you could have forgiven viewers for
confusing the Belmont for a NASCAR event. Several jockeys had
their jodhpurs adorned with ads, the first time that's happened
in a Triple Crown race. Jerry Bailey rode Empire Maker in
breeches sporting a Wrangler emblem, while Funny Cide jockey Jose
Santos had a Budweiser patch on his pants. Thankfully, no one put
a decal on his horse.... Memo to ABC's NHL finals producers: It's
not a good sign when skaters on the ice (10) barely outnumber the
broadcasters (nine). All the talking heads battling for airtime
made for some truncated and choppy exchanges. --Pete McEntegart