NEW YORK and ST. CHARLES, Mo., Nov. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Just in time to ring in the new year, one of the world's largest and most prestigious dog shows, the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin, returns to Animal Planet as a four-hour special on Monday, Jan. 1, 2019 at 6 p.m. ET/PT. An encore of the special will air two hours following the conclusion of the premiere beginning at midnight, and it will also be available in its entirety on Animal Planet GO.
The AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin will feature thousands of dogs from around the world competing for various titles across multiple events and more than $150,000 in prize money, the largest in the world of dog shows. Audiences will see highlights from each competition category, including agility and dock diving, and the show will culminate with the highly anticipated Best in Show.
"Animal Planet is thrilled to once again premiere the AKC National Championship Dog Show Presented by Royal Canin on New Year's Day, which will allow our audiences across numerous screens and platforms the opportunity to start 2019 with the nation's most beloved dog breeds and top competitors," said Erin Wanner, Senior Vice President of Production, Animal Planet.
New this year, a roster of dog-loving celebrities has been assembled to captain their respective #TeamDog groups and rally dog owners to share which team they're on and who they think will take top honors at this year's AKC National Championship. The celebrity #TeamDog line-up includes:
- EXTRA Host Mario Lopez and his French Bulldog "Julio Cesar Chavez Lopez" representing the Non-Sporting Group and #TeamFrenchie
- Actress and Host McKenzie Westmore and her greyhound "Asha" representing the Hound Group and #TeamGreyhound
- Multi-platinum Selling Artist Brett Young and his Chihuahua "Oscar" representing the Toy Group and #TeamChihuahua
- Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson and her Golden Retriever "Nash" representing the Sporting Group and #TeamGolden
- Hallmark Channel Host Cameron Mathison and his Doberman "Red" representing the Working Group and #TeamDoberman
- Actor Kellan Lutz and his Australian Shepherd "Koda" representing the Herding Group and #TeamAussie
- Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen and his Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier "Zoey" representing the Terrier Group and #TeamWheaten
Dog lovers are invited to show their #TeamDog spirit by posting a photo of their dog to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, tag Royal Canin and share which #TeamDog they're cheering for – all for a chance to have their dog's photo featured in this year's TV special.
"I'm excited to be a part of Team Dog and to share everything I love about my French Bulldog Julio during this year's Animal Planet broadcast of the AKC National Championship Dog Show Presented by Royal Canin," said Lopez. "I can't wait to see the photos of all the champions at home, as we tune in to see all the champions in the ring. No matter if they win the crown or just win our hearts, we're all #TeamDog."
This year's AKC National Championship is the largest dog show in North America with more than 5,000 dogs competing, from 49 states and 21 countries.
"Year after year, we attract thousands of the top canine competitors from around the world as they compete from each of the seven groups to become the National Champion," said Dennis Sprung, Show Chairman, and President and CEO of the AKC. "The American Kennel Club is thrilled Animal Planet will once again televise our signature event, where breed enthusiasts across the country can witness the crowning of our new National Champion.
Royal Canin USA President and Golden Retriever owner, Kamie Eckert added: "At Royal Canin, we're obsessed with finding ways to make dogs healthier through tailored nutrition because we believe dogs make our lives better. That belief makes us so proud to be a part of the AKC National Championship as we celebrate the uniqueness of breeds and the amazing way they impact our lives."
Royal Canin engaged noted music producer and composer John Sands to create a musical score specifically for the AKC National Championship. Additionally, he and his co-writer Wayne Sharpe composed separate arrangements of that score to reflect the personalities of the breeds in each group. This a first in dog competition history and these arrangements will debut as each group enters the ring.
Sportscasters Russ Thaler and Sam Ryan will spearhead the broadcast team, along with expert analysis from AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo. B Live will once again produce the TV broadcast and livestream.
This year's show will again include the Eukanuba brand, which helped the AKC create the event in 2001. Eukanuba will serve as the sponsor of the companion events – obedience, agility, rally and dock diving, which will include a world record attempt for longest jump.
For the first time, the AKC National Championship welcomes TropiClean Pet Products, a leading manufacturer of pet, grooming and oral care products, and WeatherTech, a leader in vehicle accessories, as sponsors of the broadcast.
For more information please visit www.akc.org/nationalchampionship.
Animal Planet, one of Discovery, Inc.'s great global brands, is dedicated to creating high quality content with global appeal delivering on its mission to keep the childhood joy and wonder of animals alive by bringing people up close in every way. Available to 360 million homes in more than 205 countries and territories, Animal Planet combines content that explores the undeniable bonds forged between animals and humans, optimized across all screens around the world. In the U.S., Animal Planet audiences can enjoy their favorite programming anytime, anywhere through the Animal Planet Go app which features live and on-demand access. For more information, please visit www.animalplanet.com.
Discovery, Inc. is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and nearly 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps and Discovery Kids Play; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as Eurosport Player and Motor Trend OnDemand; digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media and a strategic alliance with the PGA Tour to create the Global Home of Golf. Discovery's portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, Turbo/Velocity, Animal Planet, and Science Channel, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit https://corporate.discovery.com and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.
AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB
Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 22,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org. Become a fan of the American Kennel Club on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AKCDogLovers.
AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.
ROYAL CANIN USA
Royal Canin USA is a leader in science-based cat and dog health nutrition. Founded by a veterinarian in 1968, Royal Canin has 50 years of experience in delivering individualized nutritional solutions. In collaboration with an expert team of nutritionists, breeders and veterinarians from around the world, Royal Canin places cats and dogs at the central point of the innovation process. The Royal Canin product line offers a range of diets based on size, age, breed, lifestyle and therapeutic requirements. Royal Canin diets are available at veterinary hospitals and pet specialty stores nationwide. Royal Canin is a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. To learn more about Royal Canin, visit www.royalcanin.com and "LIKE" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/royalcanin.us.
SOURCE Royal Canin USA