Kentucky Derby viewership up post-pandemic

Kentucky Derby drew 16.0 million viewers, which is up over the last two years, but down from the 16.34 million in '19Getty Images

NBC said its presentation of the Kentucky Derby “drew a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 16.0 million viewers,” which is “up over the last two years, but down from the 2019 race (16.34 million)," according to Richard Deitsch of THE ATHLETIC. The TV-only average audience of 15.8 million viewers is NBC’s “most-watched program.” The “highest-rated local TV markets” for the Derby were "Louisville, Fort Myers, Cincinnati, West Palm Beach, Buffalo and Baltimore" (, 5/10). In Stamford, Paul Schott writes viewership for the derby across the NBC network and digital platforms “improved by 8 percent on the average audience." Not including the ‘20 edition, which was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it "marks the eighth-consecutive year" that the race at Churchill Downs has “attracted more than 15 million viewers.” It is the first time the derby was “livestreamed on Peacock,” helping the race to “record an ‘average minute audience’ of 247,300 viewers" (STAMFORD ADVOCATE, 5/11).

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