Television coverage of the May 4 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on NBC drew about 16.2 million viewers, up 9% from 2012 and the second-highest number since 1989, according to The Nielsen Company.
NBC Sports, in a May 7 release, said the household rating of 9.7 with a 21 share for the race portion from 6:05-6:53 p.m. EDT was the best since 2010 and tied 2009 as the second-highest rated Derby since 1992, when ABC covered the race. The 9.7/21 rating was up 8% from 9.0/20 last year, and up 14% from 8.5/19 in 2011. The share measures the percentage of TVs in use that were tuned to the network.
Pre-race coverage from 5-6:05 p.m. drew 9.1 million viewers, up 12% from 8.1 million last year and the second-highest pre-race viewership since 1992, NBC said. The pre-race show from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on NBC Sports Network had about 500,000 viewers, up 19% from 421,000 in 2012.
The top 10 markets for viewership of the Derby, won by Orb , were Louisville, Ky. (43.7/69); Ft. Myers, Fla. (19.7/37); Cincinnati, Ohio (18.8/37); Knoxville, Tenn., and West Palm Beach, Fla, in a tie at 18.4/31 and 18.4/35, respectively; Buffalo, N.Y. (15.9/33); Oklahoma City (15.1/25); Columbus, Ohio (14.8/31); Indianapolis, Ind. (13.9/28); and Nashville, Tenn. (13.2/22).