The first of three televised “Road to the Kentucky Derby” programs garnered modest ratings March 27 when USA Network reported that 420,000 viewers tuned in to coverage of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) from Fair Grounds and Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) from Turfway Park from 5-6 p.m. ET.
The .33 rating was roughly equal to the number garnered by the Breeders’ Cup Friday cards over the last two years. ESPN2 reported a .3 rating for its coverage of the first Breeders’ Cup card last November from Santa Anita Park, unchanged from 2008.
USA Network, which is in the NBC family of networks, will give way to the parent company this weekend as NBC presents coverage of the Wood Memorial (gr. I) from Aqueduct and the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) Sat., April 3. The following Saturday, NBC will air the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) from Oaklawn Park and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) from Keeneland. NBC will also be the home for the May 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the May 15 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).