10/30/2008 11:00PM

Cup TV ratings up marginally


Final national ratings for the Breeders' Cup broadcasts on three different networks on Oct 24 and 25 showed marginal or no improvements from last year, with the numbers still well below the ratings the event generated on NBC two years ago.

A three-hour broadcast Friday on ESPN2 featuring five live races generated a 0.3 national rating, identical to a two-hour broadcast last year on the same network. A 2 1/2-hour Saturday broadcast on ABC beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern generated a 1.0 national rating, and a subsequent 3 3/4-hour broadcast on ESPN generated a 0.9 rating. Last year, the entire Saturday broadcast was on ESPN and generated a 0.8 rating.

Breeders' Cup moved to the Disney-owned family of networks last year after a 23-year run with NBC. In the final year of NBC's broadcast, the national rating was a 1.7.

Overall, ESPN said the nine hours of Breeders' Cup coverage this year generated a 0.7 rating, 11 percent higher than the overall 0.6 rating last year.