NBC Pulls in Largest Kentucky Derby Audience Since 1989
NBC Sports’ coverage of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby was the most viewed Kentucky Derby in 21 years according Nielsen data. The race averaged 16.5 million viewers, topping last year’s 16.3 million and garnering two million more than the 14.2 million in 2008. Saturday’s race was the most watched Kentucky Derby since 1989 when Sunday Silence won the Derby (18.5 million).
Viewership for the 2010 Derby was up 51% (7.4 million viewers) compared to 2000, the last time the race was televised on a network other than NBC (9.1 million viewers on ABC).
“In this time of a fragmented television landscape amassing this large audience is a real accomplishment, a testament to the vision of Bob Evans and his team at Churchill Downs to reach the broadest possible audience and to help make this great American tradition even bigger,” says Ken Schanzer, president, NBC Sports.
Saturday’s race coverage notched a 9.8 national rating and a 23 share, tying last year’s Kentucky Derby as the highest rating in 18 years (1992 won by Lil E Tee, 10.3/30), and marking an 11 percent increase over 2008 (8.8/21), which was fueled by the hype of “Super Horse” Big Brown.
NBC will air the Preakness Stakes on May 15, as Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and jockey Calvin Borel will attempt to snatch the second leg of the triple crown.
KENTUCKY DERBY VIEWERSHIP
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