07/28/2011 3:39PM

Saratoga: CCA Oaks broadcast gets solid TV rating

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A one-hour broadcast on NBC-TV featuring live coverage of the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday had total viewership of 1.18 million people, the network said on Thursday, a figure that exceeded the viewership figure for three of the last five Breeders’ Cup telecasts.

The program, running from 5 to 6 p.m. Eastern was the first broadcast in a series of eight telecasts scheduled during the Saratoga meet for NBC and its sister network, Versus. The New York Racing Association, which operates Saratoga, is co-producing the series, called “Summer at Saratoga,” with NBC and Versus.

The 1.18 million viewership figure exceeded the figure for the Saturday telecasts of the 2006, 2008, and 2009 Breeders’ Cup on ESPN, NBC said. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup, in which the popular racemare Zenyatta attempted to run her unbeaten streak to 20, was the highest-rated in the history of the event, drawing 2.99 million viewers.

“This is a terrific start for the series, and while we are happy with the number we are not surprised by the success,” said Adam Freifeld, a spokesman for NBC.