NBC Sports announced it garnered a 7.3 national rating and 18 share for the 5-7 p.m. ET portion of its May 2 telecast of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) from Churchill Downs. Those numbers equaled those from a year ago.
However, for the race portion of the broadcast from 6-7 p.m., the rating soared to a 9.8 with a 23 share, an 11% improvement over year-ago figures. NBC estimated that 16.3 million viewers watched that part of the telecast, the highest audience in nearly 20 years of Derby telecasts. Each ratings point equals approximately 1.14 million households, while the share number represents the percentage of televisions in use that were tuned to the telecast.
“In this time of a fragmented television landscape, amassing this large audience is a real accomplishment,” said Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports and Olympics, in a statement.
Interestingly, female viewership topped male viewership by 2%.
The highest-rated markets, with their ratings, were Louisville (30.8), Ft. Meyers, Fla. (14.3), Pittsburgh (13.2), Knoxville (12.6), Baltimore (12.5), Richmond (12.5), Orlando (12.2), Cincinnati (12.1), Nashville (11.9), and Indianapolis (11.6).