The Kentucky Derby is known as the greatest two minutes in sports. As such, it draws a large crowd, both on and off the track. Last year, 14.5 million viewers watched the race portion of the one hour Kentucky Derby telecast on NBC Sports. However, the largest audience in 21 years occurred in 2010 when a total of 16.5 million viewers tuned in for the race. One might suspect the torrential rains on that day may have forced race fans to forego the live race and watch it from home.
In 2011, the one hour broadcast from 6-7 p.m. garnered an 8.5 Nielsen rating and a 19 share of viewers. In 2010, the same period received a 9.8 Nielsen rating and a 23 share. This was the highest since 1992 when the broadcast received a 10.3 Nielsen rating and a 30 share.