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Kentucky Derby live stream: How to watch the greatest 2 minutes in sports

Authentic #18, ridden by jockey John Velazquez #18 crosses the finish line of the delayed Kentucky Derby in 2020.
Authentic #18, ridden by jockey John Velazquez #18 crosses the finish line of the delayed Kentucky Derby in 2020. The race returns to the first Saturday May in 2021. (Image credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Kentucky Derby is called the greatest 2 minutes in sports. But if you want to watch the 147th running at Churchill Downs, you can tune in pretty much all day Saturday, May 1, as coverage starts hours before the horses make their way to the gates.

And you know what? It's worth it. And it's also a little unusual this year given that we just just had the Kentucky Derby in September. (Thanks, global pandemic!) But the first Saturday in May is where it's supposed to be, and that is where it shall be.

How, then, can you watch the Kentucky Derby if you're not in Kentucky? All sorts of ways, it turns out.

How to watch the Kentucky Derby in the United States

Coverage for the Kentucky Derby starts about 27 days before the actual running of the race. (Not really, but it feels like it.) On race day, however, you're going to have hours to kill.

Everything kicks off on Saturday at noon Eastern (that's 10 a.m. on the West Coast) on NBCSN. (Yes, that channel is going away later this year, but it's still here now.) At 2:30 p.m., you'll want to switch over to NBC proper.

If all you care about is watching horses do their thing, post time is scheduled for 6:57 p.m. Eastern. (That's 4:57 Pacific.) So tune in a few minutes before that to watch the horses get lined up, then wait for the start. There will be about a half-hour of post-race coverage on NBC, for interviews with jockeys and horses and owners.

How, then, to watch NBC? You've got a world of options. 

For streaming, one of the best choices will be Hulu With Live TV. A few reasons for that: First is that Hulu With Live TV is really good, with a a channel list that competes with any other, and comparable pricing. Add to that the massive on-demand catalog that you get along with your $64.99 subscription, and that's hard to beat.

But you can still do better. For just another $7 a month you can upgrade to the Disney Bundle, which will add on Disney+ and ESPN+ to Hulu With Live TV. And that's an excellent deal.

Watch the Kentucky Derby with an over-the-air antenna

An even easier method of watching the Kentucky Derby is via an over-the-air antenna, seeing as how the race is being broadcast by NBC.

All you need is an antenna and ... well, that's it. Just point it in the right direction, and scan for channels, then you're good to go come race day.

If you're in the market for a new over-the-air antenna, we've got a guide that'll get you the right kind in the right price point. Just remember that putting it outdoors is better than indoors, and the higher you can mount it, the better. And you want to make sure it's facing the direction of your local broadcast stations.

MORE: The best over-the-air antennas

How to watch the Kentucky Derby in the UK

If you're up in the middle of the night in the UK and want to watch the ponies do their thing, you'll need to tune in a bit before midnight due to the time difference. And you'll want to log in to Sky Sports in order to do it.