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via press release:

16 MILLION WATCH 141st RUNNING OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY ON NBC

Viewership Peaked at 17.9 Million As American Pharoah Crossed Finish Line

Primetime Golf Following Derby: Golf Channel on NBC Posts Highest Rating for WGC Match Play in 7 Years

Kentucky Derby is Most-Watched Saturday Afternoon Sporting Event since AFC Divisional Playoff on NBC

NBC Sports Live Extra Sets Kentucky Derby Record

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 5, 2015 – NBC Sports’ coverage of American Pharoah’s down-to-the-wire victory in Saturday’s 141st Kentucky Derby averaged 16.0 million viewers – up 4% from last year (15.3 million for California Chrome’s victory), according to final data provided by The Nielsen Company. 

Viewership peaked at 17.9 million viewers from 6:30-6:45 p.m. ET when American Pharoah crossed the finish line.

Saturday’s Kentucky Derby is the most-watched Saturday afternoon sporting event since NBC’s telecast of the AFC Divisional Playoff on Jan. 10, 2015 (Baltimore-New England, 34.0 million viewers). 

  • The Kentucky Derby (6:16-7:02 p.m. ET) posted a 9.6/23 national rating – up 2% from a 9.4/22 last year.

  • This is the fifth time in seven years (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015) that NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage averaged more than 15 million viewers. From 1991-2008, Kentucky Derby average viewership did not reach 15 million.

  • Saturday’s pre-race coverage, which included the 5 p.m. ET show open narrated by Kentucky’s own Ashley Judd (click here to watch), averaged 8.8 million viewers – third-highest for a pre-race show since 1992.

  • NBC Sports Live Extra’s live stream of the Kentucky Derby – which required authentication for the first time – delivered 221,000 unique visitors, up 12% from last year (198,000), and the largest-ever Kentucky Derby audience on NBC Sports Live Extra. Coverage included four exclusive camera angles (grandstand, paddock, overhead, and jockey), bonus analysis from NBC Sports commentators, and replays and footage from the key “Road to the Kentucky Derby” prep races.

  • NBCSN’s live weekday coverage from Churchill Downs, beginning with Wednesday’s Kentucky Derby Draw Show, posted viewership increases each day with an average viewership increase of 32% from Wednesday through Friday.

  • Louisville, the home of the Kentucky Derby, topped the metered markets with a 35.0 rating/65 share (top 20 markets listed below).

PRIMETIME GOLF AFTER DERBY — NBC POSTS BEST MATCH PLAY RATING SINCE 2008

The World Golf Championships–Cadillac Match Play at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco posted the best rating for Saturday’s quarterfinal matches since 2008 (1.66 US Rtg/2.525 million viewers). Viewership was up 44% over 2014 (1.28 US Rtg / 1.756 million viewers on CBS) and was the highest in seven years. Sunday’s rating for the semifinals on Golf Channel (.47 US Rtg / .70 Cvg Rtg/ 613,000 viewers) was up 27% year over year.

The best field in golf, including all Top-50 players in the world, competes this week at THE PLAYERS Championship from the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fla.  Reigning U.S. Open Champion Martin Kaymer, who also is defending his PLAYERS Championship title, will highlight the field that also includes McIlroy, Masters Champion Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.  Golf Channel’s coverage includes Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS, which will air nearly 70 hours of news coverage surrounding the PGA TOUR’s marquee event all week.  Live tournament coverage of THE PLAYERS Championship airs Thursday and Friday from 1-7 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, and on Saturday and Sunday from 2-7 p.m. ET on Golf Channel on NBC.

KENTUCKY DERBY VIEWERSHIP

2015

16.0 million

NBC

American Pharoah

2014

15.3 million

NBC

California Chrome

2013

16.2 million

NBC

Orb

2012

14.8 million        

NBC

I’ll Have Another

2011

14.5 million        

NBC

Animal Kingom

2010

16.5 million        

NBC

Super Saver

2009

16.1 million        

NBC

Mine That Bird

2008

14.2 million        

NBC

Big Brown

2007

13.7 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

13.5 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

12.2 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

TOP METERED MARKETS FOR 2015 KENTUCKY DERBY (Race Portion)

1.

Louisville

35.0/65

2.

Ft. Myers

19.7/39

3.

Cincinnati

17.7/38

4.

West Palm Beach

16.8/32

5.

Dayton

15.8/31

T6.

Tampa-St. Pete

15.6/30

T6.

Indianapolis

15.6/31

T6.

Richmond

15.6/28

9.

Orlando

14.7/30

10.

Knoxville

14.6/27

11.

Buffalo

14.5/31

12.

Hartford

14.2/28

13.

Nashville

13.6/26

14.

Columbus

13.5/28

15.

Boston

13.4/32

16.

Denver

13.1/30

17.

Albuquerque

12.9/28

18.

Philadelphia

12.7/28

19.

Oklahoma City

12.4/25

20.

Milwaukee

11.9/28

PREAKNESS STAKES ON NBC SPORTS, MAY 16: In two weeks, Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah will take the next step in his quest to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 37 years, since Affirmed in 1978. NBC Sports Group coverage of The Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Md., begins Friday, May 15 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.  NBC presents The Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 16 at 4:30 p.m. ET with coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

 

PREAKNESS STAKES COVERAGE

Date

Time

Event

Network

Fri., May 15

3 p.m.

Preakness Classics

NBCSN

Fri., May 15

4 p.m.

Black Eyed Susan

NBCSN

Sat., May 16

2:30 p.m.

Preakness Saturday

NBCSN

Sat., May 16

4:30 p.m.

Preakness Stakes

NBC

Sat., May 16

6:30 p.m.

Preakness Post-Race Show

NBCSN

Posted by:TV BTN

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