The Kentucky Derby still delivers a big TV audience — especially when the venerable race generates a thrill ride like Saturday’s contest.
NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2022 Kentucky Derby generated a total audience delivery (TAD) of 16 million viewers, up 8% from 14.9 million for last year’s race.
Viewership across NBC and Peacock peaked at 19 million after 80-1 long shot Rich Strike and jockey Sonny Leon wove their way through the field to capture the race at the finish line.
It marked the largest “peak” audience for the Derby since 2017. Overall, this weekend’s race was the most-watched Run for the Roses since 2019.
Peacock live-streamed the Derby for the first time. This year’s race was the most-streamed ever, with a record average minute audience (AMA) of 247,300 viewers across NBCUniversal’s platforms. With a TV-only audience of 15.8 million, the Derby was NBC’s most-watched TV show since the Super Bowl.
Besides announcer Larry Collmus’ exciting race call, the most-talked about element of the coverage was a stunning overhead video of Rich Strike’s charge to victory.
Captured via airplane, the video has been viewed more than 36 million times across NBC’s social media platforms and YouTube channel. It is NBC’s most-watched TikTok ever, with 11.6 million views.