The Kentucky Derby still draws a crowd (TV Viewership 1989-2015)


After decades on ABC, the Kentucky Derby moved to NBC in 2001 where it has been since and NBC reversed a decades long downward viewership trend on ABC.

NBC did that in part by measuring the telecast window a bit differently than ABC had, but it’s important to note the NBC numbers below are *not* merely the actual race which runs a bit over two minutes.

Last year’s average viewership of 16 million, for example, was calculated over a 46 minute window from 6:16-7:02p. If they counted just the numbers for the ~two-minute race, viewership would  have been much higher. The 15 minute portion that included the race averaged 17.9 million viewers in 2015.

Kentucky Derby TV viewership 1989-2015:

2015NBC16.0 millionAmerican Pharoah
2014NBC15.3 millionCalifornia Chrome
2013NBC16.2 millionOrb
2012NBC14.8 millionI’ll Have Another
2011NBC14.5 millionAnimal Kingom
2010NBC16.5 millionSuper Saver
2009NBC16.1 millionMine That Bird
2008NBC14.2 millionBig Brown
2007NBC13.7 millionStreet Sense
2006NBC12.9 millionBarbaro
2005NBC13.6 millionGiacomo
2004NBC14.6 millionSmarty Jones
2003NBC11.8 millionFunny Cide
2002NBC12.8 millionWar Emblem
2001NBC13.5 millionMonarchos
2000ABC9.1 millionFusaichi Pegasus
1999ABC9.9 millionCharismatic
1998ABC9.5 millionReal Quiet
1997ABC11.3 millionSilver Charm
1996ABC11.0 millionGrindestone
1995ABC 9.3 millionThunder Gulch
1994ABC12.1 millionGo For Gin
1993ABC11.5 millionSea Hero
1992ABC13.7 millionLil E Tee
1991ABC13.4 millionStrike The Gold
1990ABC15.6 millionUnbridled
1989ABC18.5 millionSunday Silence

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