Viewership Peaked at 17.9 Million As American Pharoah Crossed Finish Line
Primetime Golf Following Derby: Golf Channel on NBC Posts Highest Rating for WGC Match Play in 7 Years
Kentucky Derby is Most-Watched Saturday Afternoon Sporting Event since AFC Divisional Playoff on NBC
NBC Sports Live Extra Sets Kentucky Derby Record
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 5, 2015 – NBC Sports’ coverage of American Pharoah’s down-to-the-wire victory in Saturday’s 141st Kentucky Derby averaged 16.0 million viewers – up 4% from last year (15.3 million for California Chrome’s victory), according to final data provided by The Nielsen Company.
Viewership peaked at 17.9 million viewers from 6:30-6:45 p.m. ET when American Pharoah crossed the finish line.
Saturday’s Kentucky Derby is the most-watched Saturday afternoon sporting event since NBC’s telecast of the AFC Divisional Playoff on Jan. 10, 2015 (Baltimore-New England, 34.0 million viewers).
- The Kentucky Derby (6:16-7:02 p.m. ET) posted a 9.6/23 national rating – up 2% from a 9.4/22 last year.
- This is the fifth time in seven years (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015) that NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage averaged more than 15 million viewers. From 1991-2008, Kentucky Derby average viewership did not reach 15 million.
- Saturday’s pre-race coverage, which included the 5 p.m. ET show open narrated by Kentucky’s own Ashley Judd (click here to watch), averaged 8.8 million viewers – third-highest for a pre-race show since 1992.
- NBC Sports Live Extra’s live stream of the Kentucky Derby – which required authentication for the first time – delivered 221,000 unique visitors, up 12% from last year (198,000), and the largest-ever Kentucky Derby audience on NBC Sports Live Extra. Coverage included four exclusive camera angles (grandstand, paddock, overhead, and jockey), bonus analysis from NBC Sports commentators, and replays and footage from the key “Road to the Kentucky Derby” prep races.
- NBCSN’s live weekday coverage from Churchill Downs, beginning with Wednesday’s Kentucky Derby Draw Show, posted viewership increases each day with an average viewership increase of 32% from Wednesday through Friday.
- Louisville, the home of the Kentucky Derby, topped the metered markets with a 35.0 rating/65 share (top 20 markets listed below).
PRIMETIME GOLF AFTER DERBY — NBC POSTS BEST MATCH PLAY RATING SINCE 2008
The World Golf Championships–Cadillac Match Play at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco posted the best rating for Saturday’s quarterfinal matches since 2008 (1.66 US Rtg/2.525 million viewers). Viewership was up 44% over 2014 (1.28 US Rtg / 1.756 million viewers on CBS) and was the highest in seven years. Sunday’s rating for the semifinals on Golf Channel (.47 US Rtg / .70 Cvg Rtg/ 613,000 viewers) was up 27% year over year.
The best field in golf, including all Top-50 players in the world, competes this week at THE PLAYERS Championship from the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fla. Reigning U.S. Open Champion Martin Kaymer, who also is defending his PLAYERS Championship title, will highlight the field that also includes McIlroy, Masters Champion Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Golf Channel’s coverage includes Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS, which will air nearly 70 hours of news coverage surrounding the PGA TOUR’s marquee event all week. Live tournament coverage of THE PLAYERS Championship airs Thursday and Friday from 1-7 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, and on Saturday and Sunday from 2-7 p.m. ET on Golf Channel on NBC.
|KENTUCKY DERBY VIEWERSHIP|
|2015||16.0 million||NBC||American Pharoah|
|2014||15.3 million||NBC||California Chrome|
|2012||14.8 million||NBC||I’ll Have Another|
|2011||14.5 million||NBC||Animal Kingom|
|2010||16.5 million||NBC||Super Saver|
|2009||16.1 million||NBC||Mine That Bird|
|2008||14.2 million||NBC||Big Brown|
|2007||13.7 million||NBC||Street Sense|
|2004||14.6 million||NBC||Smarty Jones|
|2003||11.8 million||NBC||Funny Cide|
|2002||12.8 million||NBC||War Emblem|
|2000||9.1 million||ABC||Fusaichi Pegasus|
|1998||9.5 million||ABC||Real Quiet|
|1997||11.3 million||ABC||Silver Charm|
|1995||9.3 million||ABC||Thunder Gulch|
|1994||12.2 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|
|1989||18.5 million||ABC||Sunday Silence|
TOP METERED MARKETS FOR 2015 KENTUCKY DERBY (Race Portion)
|4.||West Palm Beach||16.8/32|
PREAKNESS STAKES ON NBC SPORTS, MAY 16: In two weeks, Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah will take the next step in his quest to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 37 years, since Affirmed in 1978. NBC Sports Group coverage of The Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Md., begins Friday, May 15 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. NBC presents The Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 16 at 4:30 p.m. ET with coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
|PREAKNESS STAKES COVERAGE|
|Fri., May 15||3 p.m.||Preakness Classics||NBCSN|
|Fri., May 15||4 p.m.||Black Eyed Susan||NBCSN|
|Sat., May 16||2:30 p.m.||Preakness Saturday||NBCSN|
|Sat., May 16||4:30 p.m.||Preakness Stakes||NBC|
|Sat., May 16||6:30 p.m.||Preakness Post-Race Show||NBCSN|
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