ESPN Derby Programs Enjoy Ratings Rise
Date Posted: 5/9/2003 1:23:40 PM

Average household viewership of the lineup of Visa Triple Crown programming presented by the ESPN networks during the 2003 Kentucky Derby week rose sharply over the previous year's totals according to data supplied by Nielsen Media Research. On average, household viewership for these programs was up 36%.

The increase continued the trend established by this year's nine-program "CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby" series that presented key Visa Triple Crown prep races on ESPN and ESPN2 and aired between mid-February and late April. On average, the series increased its household audience by 41% in 2003.

Also, the one-hour "Wire to Wire" special that aired live from Churchill Downs on May 1 on ESPN2 drew 265,000 viewers, the largest number of viewers for a weekday "Wire to Wire" in 2003. For 2003, "Wire to Wire" average viewership is up 44%.

KENTUCKY DERBY WEEK: AVERAGE HH VIEWERSHIP

PROGRAM 2002 2003 %Change

Run for the Roses* (4/28-5/1***) 82,000 90,000 +10%

Breakfast at Churchill Downs* (5/2***) 50,000 73,000 +46%

Kentucky Oaks (5/2***) 248,000 249,000 +0%

Handicapping the Derby (5/2***) 49,000 173,000 253%

2Day at Churchill Downs (5/2*) 185,000 256,000 +38%

Breakfast at Churchill Downs* (5/3***) 136,000 332,000 +144%

2Day at the Kentucky Derby (5/3***) 562,000 493,000 +12%

Kentucky Derby Special (5/3**) 822,000 1,031,000 +25%

Kentucky Derby 2003 (5/3***) 233,000 300,000 +29%

AVERAGE 234,000 319,000 +36%

*Average viewers per show

**ESPN

***ESPN2

CITGO RACING TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: AVERAGE HH VIEWERSHIP

RACE 2002 2003 %Change

Fountain of Youth (2/15**) 214000 395,000 +85%

Louisiana Derby (3/9**) 217,000 362,000 +67%

Florida Derby (3/15***) 230,000 381,000 +66%

San Felipe Stakes (3/16***) 184,000 237,000 +29%

Lane's End Stakes (3/22***) 204,000 173,000 -15%

Santa Anita Derby/Illinois Derby (4/5**) 341,000 539,000 +58%

Wood Memorial (4/12**) 271,000 304,000 +12%

Coolmore Lexington Stakes (4/19***) 210,000 263,000 +25%

Triple Crown Special (4/27***) 82,000 162,000 +98%

AVERAGE 218,000 307,000 + 41%

**ESPN

***ESPN2

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