05/05/2004 11:00PM

Derby ratings up 16 percent

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The final television rating for NBC's broadcast of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday was up 16 percent from last year's telecast, NBC announced Thursday.

The rating for the broadcast was a 7.4 with an 18 share. Each rating point represents approximately 1.1 million households. Share measures the percentage of televisions in use that were tuned to the broadcast.

NBC said that the rating was the highest since an 8.1 rating in 2001, NBC's first year broadcasting the Derby.

Based on research by its staff, NBC estimated that 17 million people watched the race portion of the broadcast. Last year, total audience was 14.5 million, according to the research.