What time is the Kentucky Derby 2021?
The post time for the actual race is at 6:50 p.m. ET. TV coverage of the 2021 Kentucky Derby starts much earlier, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET, May 1 on NBCSN, then continues on NBC at 2:30 p.m.
How to stream Kentucky Derby 2021 Live on Roku, Fire TV Stick
The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby has returned to its usual spot on the calendar, the first Saturday in May.
Cord cutters have been watching the most exciting two minutes in sports free for years by trying out a streaming service. (See services below.) But the truly free way to watch the Derby on NBC is through a TV antenna.
Last year’s race was run in September and without fans in attendance because of the pandemic. This year’s race is an attempt at a return to normal — with some adjustments. Instead of the usual 165,000 fans packing Churchill Downs. The famed Louisville racetrack is allowing roughly 45,000 fans to watch the race from the stands.
Even with the smaller numbers in attendance, a steady stream of Mint Juleps, celebrity sightings and campy outfits that could only be worn at the Louisville track will be on display.
Essential Quality is the 2-1 favorite and drew the No. 14 position for the race. Known Agenda has the second-best odds to win at 5-1, but drew the No. 1 position on the inside, a not-so great spot to start out. You can read all of the 2021 Derby odds here.
How to Watch the Kentucky Derby on TV Without Cable
There are two options for watching the Kentucky Derby without cable.
If you have a TV antenna around your house, then you can watch the Derby on NBC for free. (That’s assuming you live within range of local broadcast towers.)
You can also try out a live TV streaming service, and watch the Kentucky Derby on your television using a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV or Google Chromecast with Google TV. Many Smart TVs, including ones with Android TV software, support the live TV streaming services discussed below.
If you’re just using a PC, phone or tablet, NBCSports.com will carry a simulcast of Kentucky Derby coverage.
Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV has more than 65 live TV channels including local NBC and NBCSN.
The live TV package has two simultaneous streams, 50 hours of Cloud DVR, and 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. A subscription costs $64.99 per month, but new and existing customers can get a free 7-day trial. There is no obligation to keep the service beyond the free trial.
fuboTV carries local NBC stations and NBCSN across the U.S.
Subscribers get 130+ channels, two simultaneous streams and 250 hours of Cloud DVR storage. The starter bundle also carries local FOX and CBS networks alongside ESPN, FS1, FS2 and Golf Channel.
Sling TV: Limited NBC coverage
Sling TV has NBC in its Blue channel bundle, but it’s only available in 11 markets.
If NBC is available in your area (see map below), the Blue plan gives you 45+ channels, three simultaneous streams and 50 hours of Cloud DVR for $35 per month.
Popular channels in the Sling Blue package include AMC, History Channel, A&E and USA Network. Sling is offering a $25 discount for the first month of service.
YouTube TV has local NBC networks and NBCSN across the U.S., and works on Roku, Amazon Fire TV Chromecast, Apple TV and Android TV devices. Subscribers get 85+ channels, three simultaneous streams, and unlimited Cloud DVR.
You can look over their channel lineup and try out their service free for a week. A subscription costs $64.99 per month.
AT&T TV’s Entertainment bundle carries 65+ channels, 20 hours of Cloud DVR and 40,000 on-demand shows.
AT&T TV has ESPN, Nickelodeon, HGTV and TNT. There are other local channels, including NBC, ABC and CBS. A subscription costs $69.99 per month.
The service works on Roku, Apple TV or Fire TV at home, and a smartphone if you’re not at home. AT&T TV has a no contract option that gives you the most flexibility with the length of your subscription.
If you do sign up, you should know that you have to choose the “no contract” option during the account setup process. It’s not automatic.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble