Breeding more horse viewers


The numbers are in from the ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 coverage of last weekend’s Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita and the crunchers have proclaimed: 19.7 million viewers, up 62 percent from last year (12.3 million), which is a household rating of 0.7 for nine hours on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 24-25. Last year’s rating: 0.6.

For Los Angeles, it was a 0.8 mark on the ESPN coverage (of five races Saturday after 12:30 p.m., including the Classic). It didn’t make it into the top 5, led by Louisville at 3.0.
L.A. did a 1.9 for the ABC coverage (four races, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and was the third-best market, behind Las Vegas (2.1) and Oklahoma City (2.0).

And the customary press-release quotes of praise from all involved:

==”With the expanded two-day format and the addition of ABC, we achieved one of this year’s main objectives — to showcase the World Championships to a significantly larger audience,” said Greg Avioli, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “We thank our partners at ESPN for a tremendous production and outstanding promotion leading up to the event.”

==”These ‘poll’ numbers mean The Breeders’ Cup on ESPN and ABC is the big winner in 2008, “said Len DeLuca, Senior Vice president of programming and acquisitions, ESPN. “We’ll continue to work with Greg Avioli’s team to grow horse racing’s biggest two days.”

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