Kentucky Derby draws 14.5 million

Racing telecast down 2 million from last year

NBC’s telecast of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, won by 20-1 longshot Animal Kingdom, drew 14.5 million viewers.

Peacock owns all three legs of the Triple Crown — the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes — after finalizing a deal that brought the Belmont over from ABC.

The 14.5 million is 2 million less than last year’s Derby, but is the fourth best in the last 21 years. Since 1990, the only other Derby viewership to surpass Saturday’s race was in 2004 when Smarty Jones won (14.6 million).

Following the Comcast merger, NBC has been utilizing sports cabler Versus, which telecast pre-Derby coverage. The net also aired the Kentucky Oaks, which was run the day before.

NBC is clearly hoping that Animal Kingdom wins the May 21 Preakness, which would mean the 3-year-old would have a chance to be the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. The threat of a Triple Crown would bring millions of extra viewers to the June 11 Belmont Stakes telecast.

More TV

  • 'The Bachelor' Recap: Women Wrestle For

    'The Bachelor' Recap: Women Wrestle For Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s Affection

    NBC’s telecast of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, won by 20-1 longshot Animal Kingdom, drew 14.5 million viewers. Peacock owns all three legs of the Triple Crown — the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes — after finalizing a deal that brought the Belmont over from ABC. The 14.5 million is 2 million less than last year’s Derby, […]

  • The cast and crew of "black-ish"

    NAACP Image Awards: The Complete Winners List

    NBC’s telecast of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, won by 20-1 longshot Animal Kingdom, drew 14.5 million viewers. Peacock owns all three legs of the Triple Crown — the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes — after finalizing a deal that brought the Belmont over from ABC. The 14.5 million is 2 million less than last year’s Derby, […]

  • Snapchat Content Chiefs Talk Redesign, Scripted

    Snapchat Content Chiefs Talk Redesign, Scripted Programming

    NBC’s telecast of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, won by 20-1 longshot Animal Kingdom, drew 14.5 million viewers. Peacock owns all three legs of the Triple Crown — the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes — after finalizing a deal that brought the Belmont over from ABC. The 14.5 million is 2 million less than last year’s Derby, […]

  • Leah Remini Scientology A&E

    Leah Remini Defends Paul Haggis, Suggests Scientology May Be Behind Misconduct Claims

    NBC’s telecast of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, won by 20-1 longshot Animal Kingdom, drew 14.5 million viewers. Peacock owns all three legs of the Triple Crown — the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes — after finalizing a deal that brought the Belmont over from ABC. The 14.5 million is 2 million less than last year’s Derby, […]

  • Keith Cox and Kevin KayParamount Network

    Paramount Network Chiefs 'Want to Make Linear TV Urgent Again'

    NBC’s telecast of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, won by 20-1 longshot Animal Kingdom, drew 14.5 million viewers. Peacock owns all three legs of the Triple Crown — the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes — after finalizing a deal that brought the Belmont over from ABC. The 14.5 million is 2 million less than last year’s Derby, […]

  • Comedy Central Renews 'Jim Jefferies Show,'

    Comedy Central Renews 'Jim Jefferies Show,' Sets Nikki Glaser Sirius XM Morning Show

    NBC’s telecast of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, won by 20-1 longshot Animal Kingdom, drew 14.5 million viewers. Peacock owns all three legs of the Triple Crown — the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes — after finalizing a deal that brought the Belmont over from ABC. The 14.5 million is 2 million less than last year’s Derby, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content