NBC Extends Kentucky Derby Deal

NBC Prolongs Association with Kentucky Derby Until 2032 Boosted by Increased Viewership

In a significant extension of an established relationship, NBC Sports and Peacock, the streaming service, will maintain their long-standing association with the Kentucky Derby, having secured a multi-year extension to their media rights agreement. This will see NBC broadcasting the prestigious equine event until at least 2032, solidifying its status as the event’s longest-tenured broadcast partner to date.

Key Points of the Extended Media Rights Deal

  • Contract Length: The partnership between NBC and Churchill Downs Incorporated will continue for the next 10 years.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: A full range of broadcasts, including the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, as well as Derby and Oaks Day programming, will air on NBC, along with the extended reach of Peacock, USA Network, and other NBCUniversal platforms.
  • Historic Milestone: The announcement coincides with the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby.
  • Viewership Surge: The 2024 Kentucky Derby captivated a national audience not seen since 1989, drawing an average viewership of 16.7 million.
  • Streaming Contribution: Around 714,000 viewers engaged with the event through streaming services.
  • International Expansion: Broadcasting deals now extend the Kentucky Derby’s reach to over 170 territories worldwide.

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Churchill Downs Incorporated, proprietors of the Kentucky Derby, continue to evolve their domestic media landscape by enhancing their agreement with Comcast’s NBC Sports. Initiated in 2001, NBC’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby has been marked by increases in viewership, peaking at 20.1 million viewers within the 7:00 pm to 7:15 pm time slot Eastern Time during the 150th race. The event not only saw a 9% rise in ratings but also a robust 27% market share. New international broadcasting deals were also announced ahead of this year’s milestone event, ensuring the “Run for the Roses” could be enjoyed by an expansive global audience.

As a correlation with this enduring partnership, significant audience figures have been maintained, underpinning the Derby’s status as a premiere sporting event within the United States and beyond. With NBCUniversal holding multiplatform rights and extensive promotion capabilities, they are set to further amplify the visual spectacle that the Derby and Oaks Day bring every year. The commitment of NBC and Churchill Downs Incorporated to continue this collaborative effort reflects their strategic vision to enhance both the reach and the experience of one of America’s most storied sporting traditions.

Recent Updates

Kentucky Derby Continuity

  • Extended Broadcasting Partnership
    • NBC retains rights through 2032
    • Maintains position as longest-serving Kentucky Derby media platform

Significant Milestones

  • Historic Event
    • 150th “Run for the Roses” commemorated
    • Oldest, unbroken major sports event

Race Profile

  • Focus on 3-year-old thoroughbreds
  • Known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports”

Related Queries

The Importance of the Kentucky Derby in Horse Racing

The Kentucky Derby is often referred to as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” and holds a prestigious position in Thoroughbred racing. It is the first leg of the American Triple Crown and is celebrated annually on the first Saturday in May. The race attracts the finest three-year-old horses from around the globe, vying for a place in history.

NBC’s Commitment to Broadcasting the Kentucky Derby

NBC Sports will continue to be the home of the Kentucky Derby for the foreseeable future. They have secured the rights to broadcast this esteemed event until at least 2032, underscoring a commitment to providing long-term coverage of the race.

Jockey Earnings at the 2024 Kentucky Derby

As of 2024, the Kentucky Derby offers substantial winnings for the participating jockeys. The exact figures depend on the prize purse for the specific year and the customary percentage taken by the jockeys, which is typically around 10% of the earnings for a winning ride.

Economic Impact of the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby generates considerable financial activity, from betting to tourism. Hotels, restaurants, and local businesses in Louisville see a significant upswing in their revenues during the Derby weekend. The exact figures can vary each year, but the event is known to bring in millions of dollars to the local economy.

Impact on Viewership Through NBC’s Partnership

The extended partnership with NBC has notably increased the viewership of the Kentucky Derby. For instance, the 2024 event achieved its highest audience numbers since 1989. This partnership not only ensures consistent coverage but also can potentially attract new audiences to the sport.

Provisions of NBC’s Derby Coverage Deal

NBC’s agreement includes multi-platform broadcasting rights, ensuring that viewers can enjoy the Kentucky Derby on various NBC channels and digital platforms like Peacock. The deal promises extensive coverage, including pre-event features and live race-day programming, to enhance the viewer experience.


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