NBC Kentucky Derby National Numbers Dip Slightly

NBC reported ratings for its May 6 Kentucky Derby telecast that were down slightly from 2005 figures, but were in line with the numbers it has received for its Run for the Roses coverage since 2000.

The national rating for the one hour, 45-minute program came in at 7.0, down 4% from a year ago. With each rating point equaling approximately 1.1 million households, the Derby was seen in about 7.7 million homes. The share, or percentage of televisions tuned in to the Derby, was 18. The 2005 rating was 7.3, also with an 18 share.

While the numbers were flat, the Kentucky Derby was the highest-rated sporting event on television last weekend, roughly doubling the ratings of the NBA playoff games on ABC.

The pre-race portion of the telecast (5:00 p.m.-5:44 p.m. EDT) earned a 5.2 rating and a 14 share, up 4% over last year's 5.0/13. The race segment (5:45-6:45) notched an 8.4/20, down 7% from 2005's 9.0/22.

NBC will also handle the May 20 Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course., while ABC steps in to provide coverage of the Belmont Stakes June 10.