How to Watch The 2020 Kentucky Derby Without Cable

Live stream the Kentucky Derby online

The 2020 Kentucky Derby is happening on Saturday, and you don’t need cable or satellite TV to watch the most exciting two minutes in sports. 

Cord cutters have been watching the Derby for years either for free or by using a live TV streaming service.

Only 16 horses and jockeys will compete at the 146th running of the Derby. Finnick the Fierce, the one-eyed wonder that beat Tiz the Law last year, will scratch from Saturday’s competition. King Guillermo also scratched a day earlier because of a fever.  Art Collector scratched because of a foot injury.

And unlike years past, the stands — which usually hold over 150,000 people — will be empty because of COVID-19.

The Kentucky Derby is being aired on NBC. The actual race happens at 7:02 p.m. Eastern time. Coverage on race day begins at 2:30 p.m.

The winning purse is $3 million guaranteed.

Planning on taking part in all the pomp and circumstance from home this year?

Chances are you will need more than two minutes of television. You’ll probably want it on a big screen while you sip on your mint julep(s) from home.

I prefer Hulu with Live TV this year for a streaming service to watch the Kentucky Derby and other sporting events.

Even if you already have Hulu on-demand, you can get a free 7-day trial of Hulu + Live TV.

But I will flesh all your possible choices out in more detail in a moment, including one option that’s always free.

What time is the Kentucky Derby 2020?

Coverage of this year’s Kentucky Derby starts on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET, May 4. The actual race is at 6:50 p.m. ET

Kentucky Derby contenders 

Tiz the Law (3-5)

Honor A.P. (5-1)

Authentic (8-1)

Thousand Words (15-1)

Ny Traffic (20-1)

King Guillermo (was 20-1/scratch)

Max Player (30-1)

Major Fed (50-1)

Sole Volante (30-1)

Enforceable (30-1)

Money Moves (30-1)

Storm The Court (50-1)

Finnick The Fierce (was 50-1/scratch)

Attachment Rate (50-1)

Winning Impression (50-1)

Attachment Rate (50-1)

Necker Island (50-1)

South Bend (50-1)

** Source: Horse Betting Pro. Predictions made before latest two scratches. 

Watch the Kentucky Derby without cable

There are two options for watching the Kentucky Derby without cable. If you have a TV antenna around your place, you might be good to go.

Just plug that sucker into your TV, scan for channels and make sure you have crystal clear reception.

We don’t want your guests to be disappointed.

Don’t have an antenna handy? To figure that out, here are some pointers on how to choose the best TV antenna.

Unless you have some speedy Amazon delivery, or a Best Buy close by, you may be pressed for time. So you have some faster options at your disposal too.

Here are my top picks of live TV streaming services for watching the Kentucky Derby either on a PC or your television using a Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV.

Top pick: Use Hulu with Live TV to watch a Kentucky Derby Live Stream

Hulu with Live TV has the most local NBC stations than any other streaming service out there.

So it’s the best option for most people who want to quickly get coverage for the Derby before the race starts.

Hulu’s live TV package comes with about 60 live channels, 50 hours of Cloud DVR, and its full on-demand library. That’s the same on-demand library that people pay $5.99 per month and up for.

The channel lineup includes BTN, Food Network, History Channel and USA Network. The service works on Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV and Fire Sticks. Gamers can also catch Hulu with Live TV on Xbox One and Xbox 360.

There’s a free 7-day trial for new customers.

A subscription costs $54.99 per month, but there is no obligation to keep the service beyond the free trial.

Runner up: fuboTV for a Kentucky Derby live stream on NBC

fuboTV began as a sports-first platform, but has expanded into channels once exclusive to cable like A&E, FX, History Channel, Viceland and Bravo.

fuboTV carries local NBC stations in roughly 153 markets around the U.S. You can check out fuboTV using a 7-day free trial.

You’ll get 130+ channels that you can watch on your TV or mobile apps. You’ll get two simultaneous streams and 30 hours of Cloud DVR storage. Subscribers get local FOX and CBS networks alongside NBCSN, Fox Sports, FS1, FS2 and Golf Network.

fuboTV is the first streaming platform to broadcast select sporting events in 4K on networks such as NBCSN and FS1. There are no plans to broadcast the Derby in 4K.

You can check out the channel lineup to make sure NBC is in your area, and see what other sports offerings might interest you once the Kentucky Derby is over.

(Remember, it’s only two minutes long.) By the way, fuboTV also lets you activate 40 apps on streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV. 

After that, the regular monthly rate of $64.99 per month applies.  

Sling TV: NBC live stream in select areas

Sling TV is a very popular service, and I was happy with the channel reception when I was a customer.

If NBC is available in your area (see below), you will need to sign up for the Sling Blue plan. The Blue plan gives you 45+ channels for $30 per month.

But NBC is only available in 11 markets.

You can look at the map within my Sling TV guide to see whether NBC is available in your market.

Popular channels in the Sling Blue package include AMC, History Channel, A&E and USA Network. Go to the Sling TV site to check out their channel lineup. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV has local NBC networks across the U.S., and works on Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV and Android TV devices.

You can look over their channel lineup and try out their service free for a week. A subscription costs $64.99 per month. 

Can I stream the derby online?

Sure. But according to NBCSports.com, you need to authenticate the app with a cable or satellite subscription to get access to live coverage.

NBCSports.com will carry a simulcast of Kentucky Derby coverage. You can also use the NBC Sports Live Extra app on a streaming device for TV. 

So I hope this quick guide was helpful. 

Hulu with Live TV remains my top choice for events like the Kentucky Derby. The 7-day free trial requires no commitment, and you can cancel before the billing kicks in if you don’t want to keep the service.

OK, onto the race. Where’s my mint julep?

For more news on streaming, how-to guides and reviews, head over to the main page of The Cord Cutting Report or follow the CCR on Google News

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3 Comments

  1. I tried the Hulu plus Live TV and ended up with a 2 HOUR DELAY!!! You might want to check that option and make sure it actually works! Thankfully we used the seven day free trial! Unfortunately now we don’t have that option in the future … but then again, why would I?

  2. Great suggestions! The Roku channels all say they carry NBC live until I sign up then it’s revealed it’s on demand only for my area. ? Trying the digital antenna next. Wish me luck!

  3. Be wary of Sling tv. I signed up to watch the super bowl, and it wasn’t available in my area on sling. Because I had a subscription for the world series, it cost me $25 for nothing.

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