For the second straight year, viewership for the Kentucky Derby was the highest since the late 1980s.
The race portion of the 2010 Kentucky Derby drew a 9.8/23 final rating and 16.5 million viewers on NBC, even in ratings and up 2% in viewership from last year (9.8/22, 16.3 mil), and up 11% and 16%, respectively, from 2008 (8.8/21, 14.2 mil).
This marks the most-viewed Kentucky Derby since 1989 (18.5 mil). Additionally, the 9.8 rating is tied as the highest since ’92 (10.3/30).
This is the second straight year that the Kentucky Derby has drawn at least 16 million viewers. To put that in perspective, viewership never rose above 15.6 million from 1990 to 2008.
Viewership for the event has risen every year since 2006.
To put the numbers in perspective, the Kentucky Derby drew more viewers than every game of the 2009 NBA Finals, all but one game of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, three of the five BCS bowls and the 2010 Daytona 500.
Louisville was easily the highest rated market of the top 65 markets for the race, with a 48.3/74. Following were Ft. Myers/Naples (21.7/41), Cincinnati (21.0/40), Columbus, OH (20.0/38) and Orlando (18.2/35).
Viewership For Race Portion of Kentucky Derby Since ’89