Kentucky Derby dips 3 percent to 15.5 million viewers

Everything You Need To Know About Kentucky Derby Hats
Everything You Need To Know About Kentucky Derby Hats

Nyquist may have beaten American Pharoah's time at the Kentucky Derby, but the colt couldn't top the eventual Triple Crown winner's TV ratings.

NBC's "Run for the Roses" on Saturday dipped 3 percent year over year to 15.5 million total viewers. Last year, the race averaged 16 million.

The world's most famous equine-sprint peaked at 17.9 million total viewers from 6:45 to 7 p.m. ET — when Nyquist crossed the finish line. That was the same as last year's top quarter-hour.

NBC Sports Live Extra's presentation of the Kentucky Derby ranks as the most-streamed Kentucky Derby ever, delivering 7 million minutes, up 75 percent from last year's 3 million minutes. The stream also delivered a record 225,000 unique users.

Also Read: Nyquist Comes From Behind to Win Thrilling Kentucky Derby

Nyquist bested American Pharoah's 2015 time by nearly two seconds, with 2:01.31 over the mile-and-a-quarter versus a 2:03.02.

For the first time ever, NBC used the Derby as a lead-in for playoff hockey. It paid off to the tune of 4.164 million million viewers for Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals Game 5 — the second-most watched non-Stanley Cup Final game in 23 years.