Derby telecast: Final ratings show increase in viewing audience

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Not so fast, my friend. Final television ratings for the race portion of the NBC Sports broadcast of the Kentucky Derby were up from 2011, not down as the previously reported overnights from the Nielsen Company suggested. In fact, based on the 9.0 household ratings and 20 share, the telecast from 6:06 p.m.-6:54 p.m. EDT had a 6.0% ratings increase over 2011 and drew 14.8 million viewers, making it the third most-watched Kentucky Derby in 23  years.

Overnight ratings measure selected cities accross the United States while the final rating is a national number. Overnight ratings often are higher than national ratings, as was the case in 2011 (which is why the overnight from 2011 was higher than this year’s). This year, however the overnight and national ratings remained the same. The ratings/audience share for the entire NBC Sports telecast will not be available until later in the week. The 9.0/20 reflects only the portion after 6 p.m. and included the Kentucky Derby itself, which went off at about 6:35 p.m.

Since the Super Bowl on Feb. 6, only three sports telecasts had a bigger television audience than the Kentucky Derby. The Super Bowl, also broadcast on NBC, had a record 111.3 million viewers, the highest for any television show in history. Next came the NCAA men’s basketball championship finals between the University of Kentucky and Kansas University, which drew 20.9 million viewers, followed by the Kansas-Ohio State semi-final game, 16.6 million.

The Derby outdrew the much-ballyhooed semi-final NCAA game between the UK and Louisville (13.9 million), the Daytona 500 (13.7 million), and the Masters golf tournament (13.5 million).

Women accounted for approximately 51% of the Derby’s viewership, which NBC Sports said makes it the only major sporting event that has a larger female audience than male.

Following is the NBC Sports press release on the Kentucky Derby television broadcast and ratings.
NBC Sports’ coverage of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby drew 14.8 million viewers, the third most-watched Kentucky Derby in 23 years, and up two percent from last year’s Derby according to official national data provided today by The Nielsen Company. The household rating of 9.0/20 is up six percent from last year’s race. Since implementing NBC Sports’ ‘Big Event Strategy,’ the last four Kentucky Derby races have all recorded at least 14.5 million viewers.



NBC Sports’ coverage of the Kentucky Derby over the last 12 years averages more than 2 million more viewers than the previous 12 Kentucky Derby broadcasts on ABC (14.1 million vs.12.0 million, up 17 percent).



Saturday’s race (6:06-6:54 p.m. ET), won by I’ll Have Another, is up two percent from last year’s 14.5 million, making it the third most-watched Kentucky Derby since 1989 when Sunday Silence won the Derby (18.5 million). The household rating of 9.0/20 is up six percent from last year’s race (8.5/19).



KENTUCKY DERBY CONTINUES TO BE A HIT WITH FEMALE VIEWERS
: 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.



KENTUCKY DERBY VIEWERSHIP


2012 14.8 million NBC I’ll Have Another
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



TOP METERED MARKETS FOR 2012 KENTUCKY DERBY

1. Louisville, 31.7/59
2. Cincinnati, 18.3/37
3. Ft. Myers, 17.0/31
T4. Hartford, 13.4/26
T4. West Palm Beach, 13.4/24
T4. Buffalo, 13.4/27
7. Columbus, 13.3/27
8. Knoxville, 13.0/24
9. St. Louis, 13.1/28
10. Boston, 12.8/31
11. Indianapolis, 12.2/25
12. Tampa, 12.1/26
13. Orlando, 11.7/26
14. Baltimore, 11.1/24
15. Richmond, 11.0/21
T16. Pittsburgh, 10.9/25
T16. Greensboro, 10.9/21
18. Milwaukee, 10.7/22
T19. New York, 10.4/23
T19. Nashville, 10.4/20
T19. Providence, 10.4/21
T19. Dayton, 10.4/21



PREAKNESS STAKES ON NBC SPORTS, MAY 19: In two weeks, Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another, who arrived at Pimlico yesterday, 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 18 at 3 p.m. ET.

PREAKNESS STAKES

Fri. May 18

3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Preakness Classics

NBC Sports Network

4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Black Eyed Susan Stakes

NBC Sports Network

Sat. May 19

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Preakness Stakes Saturday

NBC Sports Network

4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Preakness Stakes

NBC

6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Preakness Post-Race Show

NBC Sports Network

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  • Jimbo

    The derby coverage was quite boring. From the ratings, it’s clear I’m in the minority.  A lot of people must really enjoy watching all the same old stories repeated year after year.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Arden/1054071262 Nick Arden

      It’s all connection sob stories and fashion.

    • wallyhorse

      Many of the people who watch are big on the other stuff.  We have to remember us hard core fans are in the minority.

      The Breeders’ Cup in November (the first-ever prime time telecast of Horse Racing on an over-the-air network unless there is another one before that) on NBC should be a much better indication on what this sport needs to do.

  • Jimbo

    The derby coverage was quite boring. From the ratings, it’s clear I’m in the minority.  A lot of people must really enjoy watching all the same old stories repeated year after year.

  • Laurie

    Oddly enough, I have yet to see the NY Times tweet this, as opposed to the first announcement the ratings were down.  ::: sarcastic mode off :::

  • Laurie

    Oddly enough, I have yet to see the NY Times tweet this, as opposed to the first announcement the ratings were down.  ::: sarcastic mode off :::

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Arden/1054071262 Nick Arden

    It’s all connection sob stories and fashion.

  • wallyhorse

    That’s why I said in earlier comments if I were at NBC, I was quite happy with the 9.0 rating, especially in the current television environment.  

    As also said in other comments, the only reason to me NBC did not insist on going prime time with this year’s Derby were likely genuine concerns at the time a decision had to be made on that the long-hoped for fight between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Paquiao would not only take place, but would have been scheduled for that night, creating potentially MAJOR headaches between horse racing fans at various Derby gatherings in bars and elsewhere and fight fans looking to head to the same places to see the pay-per-view telecast of the fight, which is widely expected to shatter ALL records for ANY pay-per-view telecast (with buys for that fight expected to be in the 3-5 million range at least as opposed to maybe 1-2 million for just about any other pay-per-view telecast at most) if that fight ever takes place.

  • wallyhorse

    That’s why I said in earlier comments if I were at NBC, I was quite happy with the 9.0 rating, especially in the current television environment.  

    As also said in other comments, the only reason to me NBC did not insist on going prime time with this year’s Derby were likely genuine concerns at the time a decision had to be made on that the long-hoped for fight between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Paquiao would not only take place, but would have been scheduled for that night, creating potentially MAJOR headaches between horse racing fans at various Derby gatherings in bars and elsewhere and fight fans looking to head to the same places to see the pay-per-view telecast of the fight, which is widely expected to shatter ALL records for ANY pay-per-view telecast (with buys for that fight expected to be in the 3-5 million range at least as opposed to maybe 1-2 million for just about any other pay-per-view telecast at most) if that fight ever takes place.

  • wallyhorse

    Many of the people who watch are big on the other stuff.  We have to remember us hard core fans are in the minority.

    The Breeders’ Cup in November (the first-ever prime time telecast of Horse Racing on an over-the-air network unless there is another one before that) on NBC should be a much better indication on what this sport needs to do.

  • JB56

    Unlike other Sporting events…..how many real racing fans watch the derby from home anyway.  There were over 2,000 people in the little Simulcast Center in PA I go to……they were only there for one reason.  Most Saturdays there’s 1/10th the crowd.  Add all the people that watch from these type venues, simulacasting at other tracks, casinos, etc and its off the charts compared to most other events.

  • JB56

    Unlike other Sporting events…..how many real racing fans watch the derby from home anyway.  There were over 2,000 people in the little Simulcast Center in PA I go to……they were only there for one reason.  Most Saturdays there’s 1/10th the crowd.  Add all the people that watch from these type venues, simulacasting at other tracks, casinos, etc and its off the charts compared to most other events.

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