You can watch The Kentucky Derby without cable through six live TV streaming services.
The 2023 Kentucky Derby marks the 149th running at Churchill Downs. It happens during the first Saturday in May in Louisville, Kentucky. The kickoff to the Triple Crown races airs on NBC and streams live on Peacock.
Horse racing fans, and cord-cutters alike have a number of good options to watch the Kentucky Derby live. Those options include using a TV antenna to watch the Derby for free, or using the NBC Sports app with a TV provider.
You can jump down to the summary of how to watch the 2023 Kentucky Derby live without cable, or read through all your options.
NBC will also broadcast the Kentucky Oaks, Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup.
How to Watch Kentucky Derby 2023 without cable
There are a number of live TV streaming services that are similar to cable TV subscriptions.
These services are used by cord-cutters to watch local channels such as NBC and popular cable channels like ESPN.
To get started, you just need an internet connection and pick a streaming service. You can download the app to your Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast or Apple TV.
You can easily cancel a streaming service online, and jump to a competing service whenever you want. Some cord-cutters even jump from platform to platform throughout the year just to catch certain shows.
Here is an overview of each of these services.
DIRECTV STREAM carries the 2023 Kentucky Derby on NBC in its Entertainment channel bundle.
You can get the 5-day free trial without any obligations. New customers get $10 off for the first three months of service.
Subscribers to the Entertainment package get more than 75 channels, including ESPN, TNT, HGTV, USA Network and Hallmark Channel. Local channels include CBS, FOX and ABC.
You get unlimited Cloud DVR for recordings. You can watch live TV on unlimited screens within your home. The on-demand library has more than 40,000 shows.
New customers can choose to get a free trial of HBO Max, Showtime, STARZ, and Cinemax. The free trial for these premium channels lasts for three months if you keep your subscription.
The regular rate for those four channels kicks in after the three-month free trial ends.
You can watch DIRECTV STREAM on Smart TVs, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast with Google TV and Apple TV.
Subscriptions run month to month. There are no contracts or obligations.
Hulu Live TV
Hulu Live TV carries over 75 TV channels, including local NBC stations airing the Kentucky Derby.
A&E, ESPN, HGTV, USA Network, NBC Sports, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Telemundo and USA Network are among the entertainment channels on Hulu.
You can watch NBC and other local channels such as ABC, CBS and FOX. For news, there is CNN, MSNBC and FOX News.
Hulu only offers one channel bundle for $69.99 per month and unlimited Cloud DVR storage. You will also get unlimited access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu’s streaming library.
Hulu supports Roku, and Fire Stick, XBox One and Xbox 360 consoles, and iOS and Android devices. You can watch TV or on-demand content on two screens at a time.
Look over the channel lineup for Hulu before deciding whether you want to sign up. There is no longer a free trial.
Fubo (formerly fubo TV) has more than 152 channels in its Pro plan, including just about everything you would expect from a cable TV subscription.
Subscribers can watch the Kentucky Derby on NBC in just about every market in the U.S.
You can get a free 7-day trial.
The channel lineup has mainstream entertainment channels like HGTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, USA Network and Hallmark Channel.
Subscribers get 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR. Big Ten Network, PAC-12 Network and ESPN are included along with regional Bally Sports and NBC Sports networks.
A subscription costs $74.99 per month. A regional sports fee is $10.99 to $13.99 per month. You can watch TV or on-demand content on three screens at once.
fubo works on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV. You can look over the channel lineup for your area before giving fubo a try. There are no contracts or obligations.
Sling TV is an affordable way to watch the Kentucky Derby on NBC, but only in a number of TV markets.
Sling TV Blue has about 41 channels, including local NBC stations within its channel lineup in 11 TV markets, or “Designated Market Areas.”
If you live in or around one of these cities, then you should be able to get NBC through Sling Blue:
- Dallas/Fort Worth
- Miami/Fort Lauderdale
- Hartford/New Haven
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose
- Washington, DC
- San Diego
Sling Blue costs $40 per month. You will get NFL Network, A&E, and MTV as part of the Sling Blue channel lineup.
Sling TV offers 50 hours of free Cloud DVR to all subscribers. All Sling Blue subscribers can watch live TV on three screens at once.
Sling TV works on Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV and Apple TV (4th generation).
When you sign up for Sling TV, there are no contracts.
For a larger lineup of 51 channels, you can combine the Sling Blue plan with the Orange plan for $55 per month. Sling Orange has channels not available on the Blue plan such as ESPN and USA Network.
YouTube TV offers NBC stations and NBC regional sports networks for coverage of the Kentucky Derby.
For $72.99 per month, subscribers get more than 128 TV channels and unlimited Cloud DVR. Subscribers get local stations. The channel lineup includes ESPN, Oxygen Network, USA Network, Comedy Central, CNN, and Telemundo.
You can watch TV or on-demand content on up to three screens at once. You can add on premium channels such as HBO Max to the base plan.
Subscribers can use Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast. You can also watch TV live on a PC with your subscription. You can get a free 7-day trial.
A Peacock subscription is an affordable way to stream the Kentucky Derby on NBC.
Peacock Premium subscribers can also watch the Kentucky Oaks, Black Eyed Susan, and Preakness Stakes that air on USA Network and CNBC between May 5 and May 20.
A Peacock Premium subscription costs $4.99 per month. Peacock has apps for Smart TVs from LG, Hisense, Vizio, Samsung, and sets powered by Google TV and Android TV.
Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast with Google TV all have Peacock apps.
Peacock shows a variety of live sports, including Sunday Night Football, Notre Dame Football, Premier League, NASCAR, INDYCAR and WWE events.
Peacock has full seasons of “The Voice”, “Saturday Night Live”, “Yellowstone” and “The Office”.
A subscription to Peacock Premium Plus costs $9.99 per month.
How to Watch the Kentucky Derby for free
DIRECTV STREAM, fubo, and YouTube TV all offer free trials that let you stream the Kentucky Derby.
But not everyone wants to use a streaming service. Using a TV antenna is the least expensive way to watch the Kentucky Derby on local NBC station for free.
People living within 30 to 40 miles of local broadcast towers have an excellent shot at getting local broadcast channels with a quality TV antenna.
You can use the free tool at AntennasDirect to see whether NBC is available in your area. Local channels broadcast digital signals in 1080i or 720p, which is High Definition.
If you are new to TV antennas, here is a list of resources that I have written to get you started.
- How to Choose the Best TV Antenna
- How to Connect Multiple TVs to One Antenna
- Review: The Best Indoor TV Antennas
- Review: The Best Outdoor TV Antennas
How to Watch Kentucky Derby Without Cable FAQs
Here are questions readers often ask while searching for ways to stream the Kentucky Derby live without a TV provider.
What streaming service has the Kentucky Derby?
fubo, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM and YouTube TV all carry local NBC stations airing the Kentucky Derby. Peacock will live stream the Kentucky Derby to subscribers of their Premium plan.
What time is the Kentucky Derby?
The actual race happens at 6:57 p.m. ET, but coverage from Churchill Downs begins on NBC at 12 p.m. ET.
When is the Kentucky Derby?
The 149th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs happens on May 6, 2023. By tradition, the race happens on the first Saturday in May.
What channel is the Kentucky Derby on TV?
NBC airs the Kentucky Derby on local cable TV, satellite and streaming services such as YouTube TV and Peacock.
Where can I watch the Kentucky Derby 2023?
The Kentucky Derby airs May 6 on NBC. You can sign up for DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV. Peacock carries the Derby and other horse racing events with a subscription to the Premium plan.
Smart TV users can also try to get NBC for free by plugging in a TV antenna and scanning for over-the-air channels such as PBS, the CW, and ABC under settings.
What horses are in the 2023 Kentucky Derby?
There are 20 horses competing in the 2023 Kentucky Derby, all aiming to take the first jewel in the Triple Crown races. Here is a complete list of all the horses running this year.
- Hit Show
- Two Phil’s
- Confidence Game
- Tapit Trice
- Practical Move
- Jace’s Road
- Sun Thunder
- Angel of Empire
- Raise Cain
- Derma Sotogake
- Rocket Can
- Lord Miles
Can you watch the Kentucky Derby on Peacock?
Yes. You can subscribe to Peacock and stream The Kentucky Derby live. The Premium plan costs $4.99 per month. The Peacock app is available on supported Smart TVs and major streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV.
How do I watch the Kentucky Derby on Roku?
You can get NBC on Roku devices by signing up for a streaming service. DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV and Sling TV all carry NBC within their channel lineups. But plans and pricing does vary among these live TV services.
How to stream the Kentucky Derby live on Amazon Fire TV
Fire TV and Fire Stick owners can subscribe to DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV and Sling TV to watch the Derby on NBC without cable.
What’s the best way to watch the Kentucky Derby without cable?
DIRECTV STREAM has a 5-day free trial, and comprehensive coverage of local NBC stations.
Subscribers to the Entertainment package get popular TV channels, including sports, news and local channels. ESPN, TNT, HGTV, USA Network and Hallmark Channel are included in the channel lineup.
Subscribers pay on a month-to-month basis, so there are no long term commitments. You can add free trials of HBO Max, Showtime and Cinemax as well. A subscription costs $74.99 per month and includes unlimited Cloud DVR storage for recordings.
Peacock is an affordable way to stream the Kentucky Derby live. You can sign up for the Premium plan and pay $4.99 for the first month of service. Subscriptions run month to month and you can cancel anytime.
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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