"It was by far the highest-rated sports program of the weekend," said NBC Sports' vice president of communications Kevin Sullivan. "Big events like the Final Four and Masters have been down across the board, so we're not disappointed. It's still a big number."
Final TV ratings for last Saturday's telecast of the Kentucky Derby were down 10% from 2002 figures, following a trend of lower ratings for major sporting events in the second quarter of 2003. The 90-minute telecast from 5:00 p.m. through 6:30 p.m. EDT earned a final rating of 6.4 and a 17 share, down from 7.1 and 18 a year ago. The overnight ratings from 55 city markets came in at 7.7. Each ratings point represents approximately 715,000 viewers.The final hour of the show, which included the running of the Derby, registered a 7.6, down 8% from 8.3 in 2002.