Kentucky Derby Draws 14.8 Million to NBC

By Alex Weprin 

Saturday’s coverage of The Kentucky Derby on NBC proved to be a ratings windfall. 14.8 million people watched I’ll Have Another win the Derby in a last-length upset. The ratings were up slightly from 2011, though down from 2009 and 2010, when more than 16 million people tuned in to watch the race.

NBC’s coverage–hosted by Bob Costas–included entertainment and fashion segments, as well as news segments providing background on some of the jockeys, horses and trainers.That mix of coverage may have helped contribute to the surprpsing number of women that tuned in. 51% of viewers were women, NBC says.

The second race of the Triple Crown, The Preakness Stakes, will be held in two weeks in Baltimore, and will also be televised on NBC.

See how this year’s derby stacks up to previous ones ratings-wise, after the jump.


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