Derby Coverage Averages 16 Million Viewers

RSS feed Print email to a friend
5/5/2015
11:48 am EDT

NBC Sports’ coverage of American Pharoah’s down-to-the-wire victory in the Kentucky Derby averaged 16.0 million viewers – up 4 percent from last year when 15.3 million viewed 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 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. The top 20 markets listed below.
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