05/05/2013 1:47PM

Kentucky Derby: NBC records double-digit gain in overnight ratings

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The overnight rating for the last hour of the Kentucky Derby broadcast on NBC on Saturday was up 16 percent compared with the overnight rating for the same portion of the telecast last year, NBC Sports said on Sunday.

The overnight rating was a 10.4, NBC said, equaling the best rating for the broadcast in 21 years. Share, a measure of the number of televisions in use at the time that were tuned to the broadcast, was a 23, up 15 percent compared with the same figure for 2012.

Last year, ratings and share were up slightly compared with the 2011 broadcast.

NBC broadcast live from Churchill Downs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern, while its sister network, NBC Sports, broadcast live from Churchill from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The race went off at 6:33 p.m.

From 5-6 p.m., the rating was a 6.2 with a 15 share, NBC said, up 15 percent compared with last year. From 4:30 to 5 p.m., the rating was a 4.1 with a 10 share, and from 4 to 4:30 p.m., the rating was a 3.1 with an eight share.

tim yu More than 1 year ago
michelle beadle was great, she is so funny
Cover2 More than 1 year ago
Sure, most tuned in just before race time, didn't want to hear all the hoopla ! When Orb wins triple crown, will he be the longest price derby winner of the (12) twelve ? Don't think so, one in 30's paid $40.........omaha ?
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
Laffite Pincay III is a great addition for NBC. He handled the Pre Derby anchoring like a true professional and was excellent handling pre and post race interviews on the main show. With an aging group of anchors, NBC should groom Lafitte for all sporting events they cover..
John Flynn More than 1 year ago
I am AMAZED!!! Bailey & Moss ae Ugly & Just Plain Awful. I cannot believe NBC would put these two men on the desk. Jim McKay & Charlsie Cantey were WONDERFUL!!! Donna Brothers, Kenney Rice or Jeannine Edwards are Available. Networks are targeting younger viewers.
ognom98 . More than 1 year ago
Hooray for Hollywood
Mike B More than 1 year ago
This year people who do not even follow racing were asking me about it... I have like 1/16th of a claimer, and they asked if I had a horse running... Really, the buzz was there this year :with Pitino as owner, potential for first African American jockey since 1902 to win, comeback of Stevens (Lukas) and the highest place by female ever--really boosted rating., many of the stars from "jockeys" were there, the southern favorite--Bo-rail, even the mud was unique..... Not to forget most jockeys also represent the fastest growing demographic in the US--latino, and you have the potential to grow the viewership to a wide audience and many households... Demographics is destiny for the sport...and the year took a step in the right direction..
W.G. More than 1 year ago
As noted in my other post, a LOT of the ratings jump also has to be attributed to the fact that unlike the last two years, there was NO NBA playoff game opposite the Derby. The NBA's popularity has EXPLODED ever since LeBron James's "decision" on July 7, 2010 (not 2011 as erroneously written originally), and the fact there was no game opposite the Derby for the first time in a few years did help as well.
Brad More than 1 year ago
DIRECTV is doing the sport no favor by stubbornly refusing to add HRTV to it's lineup
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
But HRTV was 'contractually prohibited' from showing Churchill's card live. NBCSports is not available to me so I had to live with replays til 4pm. Next year I'll know how to work it.
B More than 1 year ago
Comcast in the Pacific Northwest won't either.
aaronrayk More than 1 year ago
Will Orb win the Triple Crown this year?
Steve More than 1 year ago
I think he will
W.G. More than 1 year ago
One thing to remember is unlike the past couple of years (when the Derby was a week later than usual on the sports calendar two years ago and last year because of the NBA lockout), the Derby did NOT air opposite an NBA Playoff game. That is quite significant given how the popularity of the NBA has exploded ever since LeBron James's "decision" aired on July 7, 2011 and brought a lot of people back to the NBA that had gone away for some time. That had to play into why the ratings went up as much as they did. One thing I would be seriously looking at if I'm at NBC for the 2014 Kentucky Derby telecast: Asking Churchill Downs to go to an 8:25-8:30 PM ET post for the Derby so NBC can air the Derby telecast from 6:00-9:00 PM ET and follow it immediately afterwards with a special Saturday edition of "The Voice" (which has been regularly beating "Dancing With The Stars" on Mondays and Tuesdays and has even been strong against "American Idol") from 9:00-11:00 PM ET using the lead-in from the Derby to create a huge night that normally has ratings way downstairs. That's the kind of "extra" night that can vault NBC out of its ratings doldrums and move it up during the "May Sweeps."
W.G. More than 1 year ago
That was July 7, 2010 when LeBron made his "decision," not 2011.
John E. Kielbasa More than 1 year ago
w.g., when trying to make a point try getting the facts straight.the derby is always run on the 1st saturday in may so your week later comment is wrong.earlyround nba game are no competition for the derby mid afternoon on a sat.sat night primetime shows draw the worst audiences as people are doing what they do not staying home and watching tv
Keith Valentine More than 1 year ago
Yea let's change the 5:30 post into a night card so all us horseplayers can watch the voice...fughetaboutit.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
See my other post in this thread (On DRF for those reading this elsewhere) concerning why I would move post time of the Derby back from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. You clearly don't realize how popular "The Voice" has become on NBC and how pairing a special Saturday edition of that show with the Kentucky Derby could be a HUGE "win-win" for NBC. You have to look outside the bubble that is Horse Racing sometimes to see how going in seemingly oddball and unfriendly-to-horseplayer time slots can help grow the sport.
John Jp More than 1 year ago
The Derby is always run first Saturday in May....duh.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
I was referring to the SPORTS calendar, NOT the actual calendar. Sometimes, they are two different things, as evidenced by what the Derby was opposite in 2011 (second round NBA playoff games as opposed to the first round) because of the Derby being on day preceding the second SUNDAY in May (which the first Saturday in May happened to be in '11) and the past two years, where the Derby was in its "normal" spot (even if it didn't actually move off the first Saturday in May).
B More than 1 year ago
What you are saying is simply not true. The Derby is always run on the first Saturday in May and has been every year during my lifetime and that is unfortunately a lot longer than I care to admit.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
The Derby of course IS on the first Saturday in May. On the sports calendar, however, the actual DATE of the First Saturday in May often can alter which OTHER events are taking place, which is where I got the one week later on the sports calendar from. Two years ago, the Derby was on its latest possible date (May 7), meaning it was the one time every few years it was on Mother's Day weekend, which also meant it was opposite the SECOND round of the NBA playoffs (Conference semifinals) as opposed to any possible Game 7s in the first round . That also had the '11 Derby on the same weekend as the NASCAR race at Darlington (which has been on Mother's Day weekend for several years now) as opposed to the weekend of the spring race at Talledega like it was this year, and likewise, the only possibility of being opposite an NBA Game 7 in the first round this year (as opposed to 2011) would have been if more than one game (of four possible) on Saturday got as far as Game 7, which was NOT the case. Last year, the Derby (on May 5) was back on its normal weekend cycle with the full first weekend in May (as opposed to the hybrid of the first/second weekends in May it was in '11), however, the NBA Lockout (which moved back the start of the 2011-'12 NBA season to Christmas Day and truncated the regular season to 66 games) caused the playoffs to start one week later than usual, meaning when the Derby came up, first round playoff series were in Games 3-4 as opposed to either being finished or at Game 7 like is normally the case. Some of you also don't seem to realize how much the NBA's popularity has simply exploded since Le Bron's "decision" almost three years ago. That "decision" was the #1 program for the entire week it aired in July 2010 (the first time ever an event other than an NFL game that aired on cable TV was the #1 overall rated program of the week, broadcast OR cable) and as we would see signaled the start of HUGE jumps in the NBA's TV ratings back to where they were during the 1990's at the height of the NBA"s popularity in the Jordan years. While the Derby had aired opposite NBA playoff games on ESPN/TNT before 2011, the NBA's popularity after LeBron's "decision" likely played a factor in the dropoff in ratings (that still warranted a move to prime time) the last two years and the fact it didn't have to go opposite a playoff game this time likely were big factors in the jump in the ratings this year. As for the idea of pairing the Derby with "The Voice," think from the perspective of a network. You have in the Derby one of the few events that can draw a big TV rating on a Saturday night and you ALSO have a show in "The Voice" that has been regularly beating a once-unbeatable "Dancing With The Stars" on ABC and holdings it's own with the equally once-unbeatable "American Idol" on FOX AND more importantly is HUGE with those 18-49, a demographic ad buyers LOVE and one that has been difficult for NBC to attract other than for Sunday Night Football. Given this, I would have the Derby from 6:00-9:00 PM ET and a special Saturday edition of "The Voice" immediately after that from 9:00-11:00 PM ET to take advantage of having the Derby audience on the first Saturday in May, as I suspect both events together would draw a HUGE TV rating on what normally is easily the worst night of the week, the kind of "extra" night that can get NBC out of the cellar.
tyc More than 1 year ago
This year has alot of good 3 years old. At least 10 of them had chances to win.
B More than 1 year ago
To the contrary, this has proven to be a very weak three year old crop. At least 10 of them had a chance because they were all about equal in ability on paper and based upon their previous and very similar performances. Orb may prove to be the best as he seems to be constantly improving, though it's possible he might a better horse in the mud. Time will tell.