05/07/2017 9:41AM

Derby race TV broadcast's overnight rating improves 12 percent


The race portion of the Kentucky Derby broadcast on NBC late Saturday afternoon posted a 10.5 overnight rating and a 23 share, the second-best overnight rating in the past 25 years, the network said Sunday morning.

The 10.5 rating was a 12-percent gain over the overnight figure from last year, which was a 9.1. Share, which measures the percentage of televisions in use tuned to a broadcast, for the Derby portion of the broadcast last year was a 21.

The strong television figures were coupled with record wagering on both the Derby and the entire 14-race card at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Total wagering on the card was $207.5 million, the first time in North American history that a single race card has gone beyond the $200 million mark.

The television figures and betting numbers were likely helped by spotty weather throughout the Midwest and on the East Coast, where temperatures were unseasonably cold and rain fell intermittently, keeping many people indoors. Last year, temperatures throughout the region were mild.

The overnight rating for the Derby broadcast has topped 10.0 four times out of the past five years, NBC said. The last similar skein was from 1988-1992, NBC said.

The top market for the broadcast was the Derby’s hometown, Louisville, with a 39.0 overnight rating and a 65 share.