Kentucky Derby draws 16.7M viewers, most since 1989

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STAMFORD, Conn. — Mystik Dan’s nose victory in the 150th Kentucky Derby drew 16.7 million viewers, the biggest audience for the race since 1989.

Viewership peaked at 20.1 million from 7 to 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, when 18-1 shot Mystik Dan, Sierra Leone and Forever Young hit the wire together in the Derby’s first three-horse photo finish since 1947. That marked the biggest peak audience ever for the Derby on NBC.

The 16.7 million viewers was up 13% from last year’s 14.8 million.

NBC Sports said Sunday that it was the biggest Derby audience since 18.5 million watched Sunday Silence win in 1989, when the race was shown on ABC.

NBC Sports and Churchill Downs Inc. have agreed to a multiyear contract extension that will keep the Derby on the network through 2032.

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