Kentucky Derby 2014

Kentucky Derby overnight ratings down from last year, but holds its own vs. NBA

The Kentucky Derby’s ratings can be all over the place, but last year, the Run for the Roses on NBC amassed its best overnight ratings in 21 years by generating a 10.4 for the race portion of the broadcast. This year’s numbers were down three percent from last year averaging a 10.1 rating which NBC says was the best Saturday overnight on any network since the Sochi Olympics in February.

The Derby did well in Louisville and the market finished first in the country among the local ratings with a stunning 37.8 rating and a 66 share. Fort Myers  (21.3/40), West Palm Beach (17.8/31), Buffalo (16.8/32) and Cincinnati (16.7/35) round out the Top Five for the local markets.

In addition, this year’s Derby went head-to-head against the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2012 when the race received a 9.0 (a six-year low, by the way). The Derby did quite well against the 2014 playoffs.

Game 7 of the Atlanta-Indianapolis series began at 5:38 p.m. and averaged a 2.3 overnight rating on TNT. The game saw an average of 3.5 million viewers. It did have a portion of viewers, but not enough to make a big dent in NBC’s Kentucky Derby ratings.

Looking at the rest of TNT’s NBA Game 7 doubleheader, Memphis at Oklahoma City registered a 3.6 rating with 5.8 million viewers winning primetime among cable programs. This Game 7 was up 33% as compared to last year’s Game 7 between Chicago and Brooklyn which also was in primetime. Viewership was up 32%.

For the Golden State-Los Angeles Clippers nightcap, TNT received a 3.6 rating and 6 million viewers. This game was the most-viewed first round playoff contest on TNT since 2012′s Game 7 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets which received 6.5 million viewers.

For the tripleheader, TNT averaged a 3.2 rating and 5.1 million viewers which is up from its first round average of 2.6 rating and four million viewers.

So on a day which had big events, NBC and TNT can claim they they had their share of ratings and viewership victories for the first Saturday in May.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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