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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.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 29, 2009; 4:25 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media  
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Dan, does the one overtime contingency apply only to Washington and Pittsburgh markets? I'm out of town and watching in a market where nobody gives a crap. I'm thinking I might not have until 4:30 in an out of town market. I have to DVR the game because I can't watch live so don't want to screw the pooch by sticking with NBC too long

Posted by: JS26121820 | April 29, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Nevermind, I misread that section of the post. I'm with you now

Posted by: JS26121820 | April 29, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

If the game goes into OT and/or I hear them mention this during the broadcast, I plan on complaining anyways. :)

Posted by: sitruc | April 29, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

It won't matter after the Caps win 4-1 with ease...

Posted by: bms46and2 | April 29, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

That horse racing thing is a joke. There is a total of 3 (three (one, two, three)) races a year that are televised and somehow people are "big fans" of horse racing.

Posted by: StanislavNS | April 29, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

EW. Who likes watching horse-racing? That's so boring.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 29, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

It won't matter to me, I'll be at the game rockin the red!!! GO CAPS! Down with the pens!

Posted by: BlondeCapsFan | April 29, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

A 90-minute pre-race show for a 2-minute race...whatever.

I can see NBC cutting away at 6pm (to show the actual race), but 4:30 to spend 90 minutes talking about how Buttercup became a thanks.

Posted by: jcurrin | April 30, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I like horse racing and the Caps. Everybody wins!

Posted by: Kev29 | April 30, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

or if you live in the new york market you might care also thanks dan

Posted by: nford2 | April 30, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

If you live in Kentucky (like I do) the entire game has been preempted by LOCAL pre-race coverage. I guess I'll catch the replay on NHL Network but it won't be the same.

Posted by: zedmanna | May 2, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

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