How to Watch Kentucky Derby Live For Free 2024: Where to Stream


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As we gear up for the most exciting two minutes in sports, horse racing fans are already wondering how to watch the Kentucky Derby live for free so they can experience the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it action this weekend. If that’s you, keep on reading ahead to see the best options for streaming this year’s Run for the Roses.

Held annually at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, the Derby is a must-watch event for horse racing enthusiasts and newcomers alike. The race—originally inspired by England’s Epsom Derby—dates back to 1875 when it was first held on May 17. It has since grown into one of the most famous horse races in the world, capturing the attention of fans and race goers for nearly 150 years.

Tradition plays a major role in the Kentucky Derby, from the iconic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs to its signature drink, the Mint Julep. The race is often attended by celebrities and other important figures, with spectators donning elaborate hats and fancy outfits. But you don’t have to be in Louisville to experience the excitement for yourself—millions of viewers tune in to watch from home, making it one of the most-watched sporting events in the United States.

The Kentucky Derby features three-year-old Thoroughbreds competing over a distance of 1¼ miles (10 furlongs) on a dirt track. Some of this year’s top competitors are Sierra Leone, Fierceness, and Forever Young—and whoever wins will take home a pretty penny. The prize money for the Kentucky Derby is substantial, with the total purse reaching millions in recent years. In 2023, $1.86 million was awarded to the winning horse’s team. The Derby also sets the stage for other races, as it is the first in a series of prestigious Triple Crown races, followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

Whether you’re placing a friendly bet, enjoying the spectacle of the race, or simply soaking in the atmosphere, the Kentucky Derby is worth experiencing at least once in your lifetime. The good news is, you can watch it live for free through various platforms, making it accessible to everyone. So, grab your fanciest hat, mix up a Mint Julep, and get ready to find out how to watch the Kentucky Derby live for free to witness this year’s race from the comfort of your own home.

How to Watch Kentucky Derby Live For Free 2024: Where to Stream
Image: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

When is the 2024 Kentucky Derby?

The 150th running of the Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2024. Coverage begins on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET, but the main race will take place later in the day. While the exact post time varies from year to year, it typically takes place in the early evening, around 6:45 p.m. ET. That said, the race will be over quickly, so we highly recommend tuning in well ahead of time so you don’t accidentally miss anything.

How to watch the Kentucky Derby live for free

The Kentucky Derby will be aired nationally on NBC, which is available to stream on services like DirecTV Stream, Fubo, Peacock, and Hulu+ With Live TV. DirecTV Stream offers a five-day free trial, starting at $79.99 per month after the trial ends and includes NBC. Fubo offers a seven-day free trial, starts at $74.99 per month after the trial ends, and also includes NBC.

Peacock and Hulu+ With Live TV don’t have free trials, however, they are cheaper per month than the other options. Peacock starts at $5.99 per month, while Hulu+ With Live TV starts at $75.99 per month and also includes NBC to watch the Kentucky Derby live for free.

Best Overall Pick to watch the Kentucky Derby: Direct TV Stream’s Free Trial

Direct TV is our best overall pick to watch the Kentucky Derby live for free for its free trial, price and channel selection. Direct TV Stream offers a five-day free trial. DirecTV offers four plans: Entertainment, which costs $79.99 per month; Choice, which costs $108.99 per month with the first 2 months at $83.99 per month; Ultimate, which costs $119.99 per month with the first 2 months at $94.99 per month; and Premiere, which costs $174.99 per month. NBC is available on all four plans.

As for other differences between the plans, Entertainment includes more than 75 channels, the ability to stream on unlimited devices in your home, unlimited cloud DVR storage, and a special offer on premium channels. Choice, which is the most popular plan, includes more than 105 channels, regional sports networks, and everything included in Entertainment. Ultimate includes more than 140 channels and everything included in Entertainment and Choice. Premiere includes more than 150 channels including premium channels like HBO and Starz and everything included in Entertainment, Choice, and Premiere. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to watch the Kentucky Derby live for free with DirecTV Stream’s free trial. 

  1. Visit streamtv.directv.com‘s packages page
  2. Click “Try It Free” for the plan of your choice
  3. Enter your information and payment method
  4. Search for NBC and start watching the Kentucky Derby!

Best Free Trial Pick to watch the Kentucky Derby: Fubo’s Free Trial

Fubo is our best free trial pick to watch the Kentucky Derby live for free. Fubo offers a seven-day free trial (two days longer than DirecTV Stream) and offers three plans: Pro, which costs $79.99 per month; Elite, which costs $89.99 per month; and Premier, which costs $99.99 per month. NBC is available on all three plans.

As for the difference between the plans, Pro includes 180 channels, 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR, and the ability to watch on up to 10 screens at once. Elite includes everything in Pro, as well as a total of 256 channels and 4K resolution. Ultimate includes everything in Pro and Elite, as well as a total of 299 channels, Showtime, and Red Zone NFL Network. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to watch the Kentucky Derby live for free with Fubo’s free trial. 

  1. Visit Fubo.TV
  2. Click “Start Free Trial”
  3. Enter your information and payment method
  4. Search for NBC and start watching the Kentucky Derby!

Best Budget Pick to Watch the Kentucky Derby: Peacock

Peacock is our best budget pick to watch the Kentucky Derby live for its price. Peacock offers two plans: Peacock Premium for $5.99 per month, and Peacock Premium Plus costs $11.99 per month.

As for the differences between the plans, Peacock Premium offers more than 80,000 hours of TV shows and movies including NBC and Peacock originals; live sports and events; current episodes of NBC and Bravo shows; and 50 live channels. Peacock Premium Plus offers everything included in Peacock Premium, as well as no ads; the ability to download and watch select titles offline; and 24/7 live access to your local NBC channel. To watch the Kentucky Derby live, fans will need Peacock Premium Plus. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to watch the Kentucky Derby with Peacock.

  1. Visit PeacockTV.com
  2. Click “Get Started”
  3. Select your plan
  4. Enter your information and payment method
  5. Navigate to NBC and start watching the Kentucky Derby!

Best Upgrade Pick to watch the Kentucky Derby: Hulu+ Live TV

Hulu+ With Live TV is our best upgrade pick to watch the Kentucky Derby based on its channel selection and its free subscriptions to Hulu, Disney Plus, and ESPN Plus. Hulu+ With Live TV offers four plans: a $75.99 per month plan with access to only live TV; a $76.99 per month plan with free subscriptions to Hulu with ads, Disney Plus with ads, and ESPN Plus with ads; a $81.99 per month plan with free subscriptions to Hulu with ads, Disney Plus with no ads, and ESPN Plus with ads; and a $89.99 per month plan with free subscriptions to Hulu with no ads, Disney Plus with no ads, and ESPN Plus with ads. NBC is included on all four plans. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to watch the Kentucky Derby with Hulu+ Live TV.

  1. Visit Hulu.com/liveTV
  2. Click “Sign Up Now”
  3. Enter your information and payment method
  4. Search for NBC and start watching the Kentucky Derby!
How to Watch Kentucky Derby Live For Free 2024: Where to Stream
Image: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images.

How many horses are in the 2024 Kentucky Derby?

The 2024 Kentucky Derby has a maximum field size of 20 horses. The final lineup for the race is determined based on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby,” a series of qualifying races where horses earn points for their performance, with the top 20 point-earning horses gaining entry to the Kentucky Derby.

Who is favored to win the Kentucky Derby in 2024?

According to Sportsline, Fierceness is the 3-1 favorite for the 2024 Kentucky Derby, followed by Sierra Leone at 7-2 and Catching Freedom at 8-1.

How much does the winner of the Kentucky Derby earn?

The prize money for winning the Kentucky Derby has increased significantly over the years, making it one of the most lucrative horse races in the world. In 2024, the total purse is $5 million, which will be distributed among the top five finishers. The winning horse takes home the largest share of the total purse. For the 2024 Kentucky Derby, the winner will receive $3.1 million. Second place will take home $1 million, while third, fourth, and fifth earn $500,000, $250,000, and $150,000 respectively. 



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