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.
NBC coverage of Kentucky Derby posts 10.1 HH overnight rating/23 share – best Saturday overnight on any network since Sochi Games (2/15/14)
— NBC Sports PR (@NBCSportsPR) May 4, 2014
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.