How to watch the Kentucky Derby

Note: This article will be updated once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and schedules come out.

The Kentucky Derby is a grand affair involving wide-brimmed hats, fancy dress, and all the mint juleps you can handle. Often hailed as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” this event normally takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May. 

The Kentucky Derby has been running steadily since 1875, making it America’s longest continuously held sporting event. The Derby is a U.S. Triple Crown event alongside the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Though Derby day traditions range from donning dapper suits to collecting Derby glasses, the entire proceeding revolves around a one and one-quarter mile race that lasts no more than a few minutes. Twenty horses compete in the Kentucky Derby each year. Horses qualify based on the total number of points won throughout a 35-race series known as the Road to the Kentucky Derby. 

Are you wondering how to stream the race? Here is everything you need to know about watching the Kentucky Derby without cable. 

When is the 2020 Kentucky Derby?

Because of COVID-19-related delays, this year’s 2020 Derby has been postponed to September 5. The race will be broadcast on NBC.

Live TV streaming services for the Kentucky Derby 

Live TV streaming services are a great way to watch your favorite channels without a cable connection. To catch the Kentucky Derby, you will want to ensure that your subscription gives you access to NBC.

AT&T TV Now (formerly DIRECTV NOW) allows subscribers to stream live and on-demand content without an annual contract or cancellation fee. Subscribers gain access to 45+ channels, including NBC, for $65/mo. All plans allow simultaneous streaming on 3 screens and provide plus 500 hours of True Cloud DVR. The service offers a risk-free seven-day trial.

fuboTV is a live sports and TV streaming service that costs $54.99/mo. and includes NBC. fuboTV allows simultaneous streaming on two devices for free. Those in need of a third stream can sign up for the Family Bundle for $59.99/mo. Base plan subscribers can enjoy 30 hours of DVR storage. Deluxe and Premium Bundles offer more channels, 3 streams, and 500 hours of cloud DVR recording space. A free seven-day trial is available to new users. 

Hulu + Live TV offers the Hulu streaming library plus 60+ live and on-demand TV channels, including NBC. The plan costs $54.99/mo., and features streaming on 2 screens, 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, and the freedom to cancel your plan at any time. Plans allow the creation of up to five user profiles. Parents also have the option of setting up Kid Profiles that exclusively grant access to content in the Kids Hub. New subscribers can take advantage of the service’s free seven-day trial. 

The NBC Sports App provides access to all live streams airing on NBC. The website and app are free of charge, but you will need to sign in using your TV provider’s login credentials. You can also watch online through NBC Sports Live. 

SlingTV offers three plans, Sling Orange ($30/mo.), Sling Blue ($30/mo.), and Sling Orange + Blue ($45/mo.) NBC is available with either Sling Blue or Sling Orange + Blue. The channel is only available in select markets, so it is best to check with the provider before signing up. All packages come with 10 hours of free cloud DVR recording space. The service also lets users record multiple shows at once and adjust parental control settings. New subscribers can choose between $10 in savings on the first month or $20 in savings over four months.

How to watch the Kentucky Derby with an antenna

NBC is also available over the air if you use an antenna. A Tablo DVR or HDHomeRun will allow you to view over-the-air channels on several devices. Before buying and installing an antenna, be sure to check Antenna Web to find out if the channels you want are available in your area.

The final cut

Few sporting events offer the thrill, fun, and fanfare of the Kentucky Derby. The race will broadcast on NBC on September 5, 2020. Several streaming services, including AT&T TV Now, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and Sling TV, provide access to NBC. With so many convenient options at hand, all that is left to do is pour yourself a mint julep and saddle up for an exciting event. 

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