Mid-Atlantic television markets did their fair share of Kentucky Derby-watching on Saturday, with three of them among the top 20 metered markets in terms of ratings of the race portion of the broadcast, NBC said today.
Overall, more than 15 million people watched the Kentucky Derby on NBC on Saturday, a 5.5 percent decline from 2013 but the fourth time in six years that at least 15 million people had tuned into racing’s biggest event. Nationwide, the event had a household rating of 9.4 and a share of 22, meaning 9.4 percent of households — and 22 percent of households watching TV at that time — watched the Derby.
Those Louisville residents who couldn’t get to the Derby apparently all watched it on TV. In Louisville, the Derby earned a 37.8 rating, with a share of 66.
Baltimore was the top-rated mid-Atlantic market, and the 14th highest nationally. The Derby broadcast earned a 12.9 rating in Charm City, with a 27 share.
Two other regional markets — Washington, DC and Richmond, VA — tied for the 18th highest Derby rating, at 12.2.
The Derby faced head-to-head- competition from the NBA playoffs, which may have had some impact on viewership. NBC hastened to point out that ratings for this year’s Derby were three percent above those for 2012, the last time the race and a basketball playoff game squared off.
Next up is the Preakness on May 17, when Baltimore is likely to move up the list. Last year, Baltimore and DC ranked first and ninth, respectively, in ratings for the Preakness.