NBC Sports' coverage of Saturday's Kentucky Derby drew 16.2 million viewers, making it the second most-watched Kentucky Derby since 1989. The viewership for the race is up nine percent from last year's Derby (14.8 million), and up 12 percent from the Derby in 2011 (14.5 million), according to official national data provided today by The Nielsen Company.
Utilizing NBC Sports' ‘Big Event Strategy,' three of the last five Kentucky Derby races have recorded at least 16 million viewers.
Saturday's race (6:05-6:53 p.m. ET), won by Orb, is the second most-watched Kentucky Derby dating back to 1989 (18.5 million on ABC), only surpassed by the 2010 Derby won by Super Saver (16.5 million).
The household rating of 9.7/21 is the best since 2010 (9.8/23), and tied 2009 as the second highest-rated Derby since 1992 (10.3/30 on ABC).
The 9.7/21 rating is up eight percent from last year's race (9.0/20) and up 14 percent from 2011 (8.5/19).
The pre-race on NBC (5-6:05 p.m. ET) drew 9.1 million viewers, an increase of 12 percent from last year (8.1 million) and is the second-best pre-race viewership dating back to 1992.
NBC Sports Network's five-hour pre-race show (11 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET) drew 500k viewers, up 19 percent from last year (421k).
MORE PEOPLE WATCH THE DERBY ON NBC: NBC Sports' coverage of the Kentucky Derby over the last 13 races averages more than 2 million more viewers than the previous 12 Kentucky Derby broadcasts on ABC (14.3 million vs.12.0 million, up 19 percent). NBC's average viewership of 14.3 million over the last 13 Kentucky Derby broadcasts is more than six million more than the last six years that ABC aired the Derby (1995-2000).
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, 52 percent of Derby viewers were women, making it the only annual sporting event that draws more female viewers than male viewers.
KENTUCKY DERBY VIEWERSHIP
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 12.1 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
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