Caps Won't Be Preempted by Kentucky Derby
In what has become something of an annual tradition, there's a chance that Saturday's featured NHL playoff matinee on NBC could bleed over into the network's pre-race coverage of the Kentucky Derby. This year, though, that afternoon game features the Caps, so maybe you care a little bit more.
So here's the deal, according to an NBC Sports spokesman: The Caps game starts at 1. The Derby pre-race coverage is scheduled to begin at 4. The Washington (and Pittsburgh) markets will stay with the hockey game indefinitely, until the end, even if it requires 87 overtime periods.
Nationally, NBC sticks with hockey through one overtime, which would end around 4:30, at which point the hockey would head to Versus and NBC would switch to its pre-race show. NBC calls it a "contingency plan," but again, if you live in the D.C. market, this shouldn't bother you. Unless the Caps go into double OT and you're a huge horse-racing fan, I guess.
Like I mentioned, there's some history here. Last year, Game 5 of the second-round Detroit-Colorado series was scheduled for Derby Saturday, though a Detroit sweep meant the game never happened. In 2007, it was Game 5 of Sharks-Red Wings on the hook, but Detroit won going away and nobody was harmed. But later that spring, the network cut away from overtime of Buffalo-Ottawa in favor of the Preakness pre-race show, due to contractual obligations, and NHL fans weren't amused.
(The recently concluded Rangers series was Washington's first since 1998 that didn't involve an overtime game; the Caps' previous 14 playoff games against Pittsburgh have yielded seven overtime periods.)
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