Belmont Stakes Broadcast Focuses On Return Of Sports In New York
NBC "struck the central theme of its Belmont Stakes coverage early on in a 3 1/4-hour program on Saturday," as it focused on N.Y. instead of the usual pageantry associated with the Triple Crown event, according to Neil Best of NEWSDAY. The narrative strategy "would pay off in a big way when Tiz the Law won the race comfortably, minutes after a miserable spring turned mercifully into summer." NBC "promoted the Belmont as the biggest sports event in the country since the Daytona 500 and NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 16." But it also "marked a return to major sports in New York." NBC "never let us forget that, with a series of aerial shots of the skyline." Meanwhile, the net "did not shy away from the weirdness of it all," as the fan-less Belmont led off the Triple Crown instead of holding its traditional final spot (NEWSDAY, 6/21).
INSIDE A UNIQUE DAY: THE ATHLETIC’s Richard Deitsch notes NBC race announcer Larry Collmus before getting to the track on Saturday “was asked by track officials to fill out an app that asked questions to make sure he didn’t have any symptoms” of coronavirus. As he “drove into the track facility itself, there was a station where he checked in and Belmont officials took his temperature.” Collmus: “I then drove over to where there’s a tunnel that goes under the grandstand to get to the other side of the building where NBC’s crew was set up. In the building, we wore masks and socially distanced. I had a cameraman to my right. I’d guess he was 15-20 feet away. He wore a mask the entire time” (THEATHLETIC.com, 6/22).