How to live stream the Kentucky Derby 2021 FREE and from anywhere

Churchill Downs is ready to welcome the runners and riders for the 147th Run for the Roses. Find out how you can live stream the Kentucky Derby 2021, regardless of where you are in the world

Live stream the Kentucky Derby 2021
(Image credit: CHRIS WILKINS/AFP via Getty Images)

Get ready for the "Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" and the world's most famous horse race - read on for your full guide to getting a Kentucky Derby live stream and watch the action online from anywhere. 

Back in its traditional May slot in the calendar with a limited amount of spectators allowed to attend, the 1.25-mile Run for the Roses at Louisville's iconic Churchill Downs dirt track is the first leg of the prestigious American Triple Crown.

Twenty of the finest three-year-old thoroughbreds will be competing on Derby Day, with the winner set to take home a tidy $3 million prize.

Essential Quality heads up this year's field, with the Godolphin Stables-owned horse having chalked up recent wins in the Maiden Special Weight race, Breeders' Futurity Stakes, Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Southwest Stakes, and Blue Grass Stakes. 

The main competition for Essential Quality looks set to come from Santa Anita Derby winner Rock Your World and Medina Spirit who were posting odds of 5-1 and 15-1, respectively at the time of writing.

We've got all the info on how to live stream the Kentucky Derby 2021 no matter where you are in the world with our guide below. And if you happen to be outside of the country and can't access your preferred domestic broadcaster, you can always use a VPN to bypass those geo-restrictions.

What time can I live stream the Kentucky Derby 2021?

The biggest event in the US racing calendar takes place at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, May 1.

The horses are set to be under starter's orders at 6.57pm ET local time, making it a 3.57pm PT, start elsewhere in the US and Canada, and a 11.57pm BST start in the UK.

Where can I live stream the Kentucky Derby 2021 in the US?

You can watch all the drama from Churchill Downs unfold with a Kentucky Derby live stream via NBC and NBCSN in the US. Alternatively, you can watch the Kentucky Derby online on NBC Sports website - you'll just need to log-in with details of your TV provider.

How to live stream the Kentucky Derby 2021 if you're abroad

If you're out of the country for this weekend's action from Louisville, you can still get access to a live stream - simply use the best VPN around to avoid geo-restrictions. 

With most domestic broadcasters locking streaming services to their country, you may hit a wall when it comes to accessing the likes of NBC, TSN and Sky Sports when overseas. However, by getting yourself a handy streaming VPN, you can hop onto a server within the US or UK (or anywhere else for that matter depending on where your online content is geo-restricted to), and this will switch your IP address to make it appear as if you're browsing right from the comfort of your own home.

ExpressVPN is our pick of VPN providers

ExpressVPN is our pick of VPN providers - With its consistent high speeds, and wealth of security features, alongside its ability to unlock geo-restricted content, you can live stream this weekend's rugby with ExpressVPN.

Better still, it offers new customers a 30-day money back guarantee, allowing you to give it a go and find out if it's actually the service for you before you well and truly part with your hard-earned dollar. Better still, right now you can save 49% and receive an additional 3 months with your plan for free.

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Live stream the Kentucky Derby 2021

(Image credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Can I live stream the Kentucky Derby in the UK?

The great news for horse racing fans in the UK is that they can watch this iconic event on Sky Sports Racing, with coverage of the event starting at 8.45pm BST, ahead of the race at 11.57pm

Subscribers also get to watch on the move using the Sky Go app, which is available on nearly all modern phones, tablets, laptops, PCs and consoles.

For those without Sky, the best option is a Now TV Sky Sports Monthly Pass, which includes all 11 channels.

To access your usual streaming service from outside the UK, you'll need to download a good VPN as detailed above. 

How to live stream the Kentucky Derby 2021 elsewhere around the world

Canadian horse racing fans can watch the 2021 Kentucky Derby and all the build-up on TSN, with coverage starting at 2.30pm ET / 11.30am PT ahead of a 6.57pm ET / 3.57pm PT start.

Cord cutters can opt for its TSN Direct streaming service which can be had from just $7.99 a day or (much better value) $19.99 a month and can be purchased by anyone - regardless of whether you have the channel as part of a pay TV package in the country or not.

Existing subscribers should all bear in mind that they can log-in to watch TSN live streams at no extra charge with details of their provider.

It's not great news for Aussie racing fans, with no confirmed broadcaster of the Kentucky Derby 2021 Down Under sadly.

Your best option is to explore the VPN route set out above, and tap into a broadcast from elsewhere. 

The race is due to begin at 8.57am AEST on Sunday morning

How to use a VPN to unblock any restrictions

If you're outside of your preferred broadcaster's boundaries, you can use a VPN to unblock any geo-restrictions and live stream the 2021 Kentucky Derby as if you were right at home. Here's our step-by-step guide on how to do just that.

  • VPN - standing for virtual private network - offers security and anomality as you browse online, using set protocols to encrypt your data and make it unreadable to outsiders.
  • As a part of that, you can also switch your IP address, which identifies your location.
  • Most VPNs offer a list of locations where its servers are based to join. Connecting to them switches your IP to appear as if you're browsing from that country/city. In turn, you can then access content locked to that country.
  • When it comes to finding a VPN, you should make sure you find the best one that's suitable for your chosen device, with VPN providers offering compatibility for a ton of devices, including VPN for MacVPN for Android smartphones, an iPad VPN, and even a range of fairly nifty free VPNs.
  • Once you've made the decision for the most suitable VPN for your device and your means for using a VPN, sign-up and install it
  • To live stream the 2021 Kentucky Derby, all you need to do is select a UK server from its list of available servers and connect. You'll then be able to hop over those geo-restrictions with the likes of NBC opening its online gates to you.
  • We also want to ensure your money is well spent, so we would recommend going for a VPN that offers a risk free trial. ExpressVPN is one of many providers that has a 30-day money back guarantee.

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Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. The author of Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait, Kevin is a regular feature writer for a number of tech sites and the former Technology Editor for the Daily Mirror. He has also served as editor of and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards. Alongside reviewing the latest AV gear, smartphones and computers, Kevin also specialises in music tech and can often be found putting the latest DAWs, MIDI controllers and guitar modellers through their paces. Born within the sound of Bow Bells, Kevin is also a lifelong West Ham fan for his troubles.