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Derby TV Ratings Remain Strong

Preliminary Derby TV ratings show a slight decline from 2010 record numbers.

NBC Sports reported overnight television ratings of 7.4/17 for its three-hour telecast of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 7 from Churchill Downs in Louisville. Final national ratings will not be available until May 10.

The numbers measure the Derby telecast  from 5-7 p.m. EDT on the Peacock Network. An additional hour of coverage began at 4 p.m. but was not part of the ratings numbers. The 7.4 rating represents a 7% decline from 2010 numbers, which were the highest for the last 20 years of Derby telecasts.

The race segment of the show, from 6-7 p.m., received a 9.7/22 rating, also down 7% from a year ago. The number after the slash represents the percentage of TVs in use that were tuned into the program.

National ratings were expected to show the Derby was seen in about 15 million United States households, which would rank the Derby alongside other major sporting events this year such as the final round of the Masters golf tournament, the Daytona 500, and the semifinals of college basketball’s Final Four.