via press release:


Third Straight Year NBC’s Coverage of the Derby surpasses 14.5 Million; 4th Most-Watched in 21 Years

NEW YORK – May 10, 2011 – NBC Sports’ coverage of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby drew 14.54 million viewers, the fourth most-watched Kentucky Derby in 21 years according to data provided by The Nielsen Company. Since implementing NBC’s Big Event Strategy, the last three Kentucky Derby races have recorded at least 14.5 million viewers including last year’s Derby, which was the most-watched for the event in 22 years.

NBC Sports coverage of the Kentucky Derby over the last 11 years averages more than 2½ million more viewers than the previous 11 Kentucky Derby broadcasts on ABC (14.1 million vs.11.5 million, up 23 percent).

Saturday’s race (6:06-6:54 p.m. ET) was off 12 percent from last year’s 16.5 million, and 10 percent off from 2009’s 16.3 million, the two most-watched Derby’s since 1989 when Sunday Silence won the Derby (18.5 million). The only other Derby viewership to surpass Saturday’s since 1990 was in 2004 when superhorse Smarty Jones won the Derby (14.6 million).

KENTUCKY DERBY IS A HIT WITH THE WOMEN: The Kentucky Derby once again proved to be very popular with female viewers. In fact, 51 percent of Derby viewers 18+ were women, making it the only annual sporting event that draws more female than male viewers.


2011 14.5 million NBC Animal Kingdom
2010 16.5 million NBC Super Saver
2009 16.3 million NBC Mine That Bird
2008 14.2 million NBC Big Brown
2007 13.8 million NBC Street Sense
2006 12.9 million NBC Barbaro
2005 13.6 million NBC Giacomo
2004 14.6 million NBC Smarty Jones
2003 11.8 million NBC Funny Cide
2002 12.8 million NBC War Emblem
2001 13.8 million NBC Monarchos
2000 9.1 million ABC Fusaichi Pegasus
1999 9.9 million ABC Charismatic
1998 9.5 million ABC Real Quiet
1997 11.3 million ABC Silver Charm
1996 11.0 million ABC Grindestone
1995 9.3 million ABC Thunder Gulch
1994 12.1 million ABC Go For Gin
1993 11.5 million ABC Sea Hero
1992 13.7 million ABC Lil E Tee
1991 13.4 million ABC Strike The Gold
1990 15.6 million ABC Unbridled
1989 18.5 million ABC Sunday Silence

Saturday’s race coverage notched an 8.5 national rating and a 19 share, down from a 9.8/23 each of the past two years.

VERSUS LIVE COVERAGE OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY SEES INCREASED VIEWERSHIP: Friday’s 90-minute live coverage of the Kentucky Oaks on VERSUS drew 235,000 viewers, an increase of four percent from last year’s Oaks that aired on Bravo and an increase of 180 percent over VERSUS’ prior four-week time period average.

Overall, live Kentucky Derby coverage from Churchill Downs on VERSUS drew an average of 280,000 viewers, an increase of 143 percent over the network’s prior four-week time period average.
PREAKNESS STAKES ON NBC SPORTS, MAY 21: In two weeks, Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom will take one more step to try to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 33 years, since Affirmed in 1978. NBC Sports Group coverage of The Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Md., begins Friday, May 20 at 3 p.m. ET.

Fri. May 20, Preakness Classics, 3-4 p.m., VERSUS
Fri. May 20, Black Eyed Susan Stakes, 4-5 p.m., VERSUS
Sat. May 21, Live from Pimlico, 2:30-4:30 p.m., VERSUS
Sat. May 21, Preakness Stakes, 4:30-6:30 p.m., NBC
Sat. May 21, Preakness Wrap-up, 6:30-7 p.m., VERSUS


1. Louisville, 34.4/62
2. Cincinnati, 21.2/37
3. West Palm Beach, 18.4/32
4. Dayton, 16.2/28
5. Ft. Myers, 16.1/31
6. Indianapolis, 15.5/32
T7. Nashville, 14.9/28
T7. Columbus, 14.9/31
9. Hartford, 14.1/28
10. Knoxville, 13.1/22
11. Buffalo, 13.0/28
12. Cleveland, 12.9/30
T13. Tampa, 12.6/28
T13. Pittsburgh, 12.6/25
15. Boston, 12.5/27
T16. Orlando, 11.8/25
T16. New Orleans, 11.8/22
18. Philadelphia, 11.7/24
T19. Baltimore, 11.5/25
T19. Greensboro, 11.5/23

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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