Kentucky Derby ratings a massive hit for NBC

John Velazquez, aboard Medina Spirit, wins the Kentucky Derby. Derbyclevenger02

Medina Spirit’s winning performance at the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby gave NBC a huge jump over last year’s viewership numbers.

The 2020 Kentucky Derby was run on Sept. 5 instead of its usual first Saturday in May and had 9.4 million viewers.

The 2021 event brought in 14.5 million viewers, a jump of 54 percent.

The broadcast, NBC’s highest-rated production since the NFL Divisional playoffs in January, had a peak viewership of 15.7 million for the 6:45 to 7 p.m. ET slot.

The numbers were down a bit from the 2019 Kentucky Derby, which boasted a total viewership of 16.2 million.

The Triple Crown coverage continues with the Preakness Stakes on NBC on May 15.

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–Field Level Media