NBC Sports' coverage of the Kentucky Derby earned the highest overnight rating for the race in 17 years according to data provided today from Nielsen Media Research. The 10.2 overnight rating and 22 share of the Kentucky Derby race (6-7 p.m. ET) showed a gain of seven percent from last year's 9.5/21 rating (won by Big Brown). The 10.2/22 is the highest-rated overnight for the Kentucky Derby since Lil E Tee won in 1992.
This rating is for the 6-7 pm time slot. NBC splits the race and the pre-race into 2 distinct shows. I don't have a rating yet for the pre-race show (4-6pm). NBC smartly moved up the Derby Time several years ago from its prior post time of 5:30 pm. The 10.2 number is also an overnight rating. The final ratings (which tend to be a little lower) will be in later in the week and we will update you at that time.
Credit NBC with their "Big Event" multi-platform marketing strategy. As shown with this past Summer Olympics and the Super Bowl, NBC does Big Events well.