Derby overnight ratings at 18-year high

From The Nielsen Company this morning, the Kentucky Derby set an 18-year high on overnight ratings for Saturday’s broadcast on NBC.

The following just came from NBC:

NBC Sports’ coverage of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby earned the highest overnight rating for the race in 18 years — since Lil E Tee won the Derby in 1992 (10.9 rating/23 share on ABC), according to data provided to day from The Nielsen Company. The 10.3 overnight rating and 23 share of yesterday’s race showed a gain of one percent over last year’s race (10.2/22) and is up seven percent from 2008’s 9.5/21 rating that was fueled by the hype of super horse Big Brown.

These are preliminary overnight ratings. When the final viewership and national ratings are made available on Tuesday, the viewership for yesterday’s race should rival last year’s 16.3 million viewers that was the most-watched Kentucky Derby in 20 years.

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