NBC National Derby Ratings Rise 5% for Race Segment

The race portion of NBC Sports' coverage of the 133rd Kentucky Derby  May 5 brought in 13.8 million viewers, according to national ratings results released by the network Tuesday. The one-hour segment (5:41-6:42 p.m. ET) of NBC's two hours of coverage that comprises the race portion of the telecast was up 7% from last year's viewership of 12.9 million viewers.

The prime segment of the show attracted an 8.8 national rating and a 21 share, a 5% boost from 2006's 8.4/20. Each national ratings point represents approximately 1.14 million viewers. The share represents the percentage of TVs that were in use at that time which were tuned to the Derby.

Viewership for the complete broadcast and the pre-race segment were expected to be announced Thursday.

According to NBC numbers, its telecasts of the Kentucky Derby since it took over in 2001 from ABC have averaged 13.3 million viewers, more than four million more viewers and a 46% increase from the seven years prior, which averaged 9.1 million viewers on ABC.

"The Kentucky Derby is Thoroughbred racing's signature event, and it's a very positive sign for the industry that we've seen such terrific growth over the past seven years, especially in the increasingly fragmented media landscape," said Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics.    

About the Author

Lenny Shulman

Lenny Shulman is features editor of The Blood-Horse magazine and author of Ride of Their Lives.

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