Last year’s Kentucky Derby featuring superhorse American Pharoah brought plenty of eyeballs to the race run on the first Saturday in May. Despite Nyquist being the overwhelming favorite coming into this year’s Derby, the buzz entering this year’s race wasn’t as high as last year. So due to that, it’s not surprising to see the overnight ratings fall compared to 2015.

Sports Media Watch says the race portion of NBC’s coverage of the Derby received a 9.3 overnight rating, which is down 14% from the 10.8 overnight registered last year and down 8% from 2014. This marks a four-year low in rating for the race. In 2012, the Derby saw a 9.0, but when the final ratings came in, the race actually fared much better so NBC is hoping to see a similar increase from the overnights this year.

Since NBC began airing the Kentucky Derby in 2001, this is the fifth lowest overnight rating. And for the local markets, SMW notes that each of the top five saw rating decreases.

Louisville held the top spot with a 33.7 rating (-4%), followed by Cincinnati (16.6, -7%), Ft. Myers, FL (16.5, -16%), West Palm Beach, FL (14.6, -13%) and Tampa-St. Petersburg (14.2, -9%).

With Nyquist in the running for the Triple Crown, we’ll see if interest rises for the Preakness Stakes in Pimlico in two weeks and if Nyquist wins that, the Belmont Stakes should see some decent ratings when the race is run in June.

If you missed the Kentucky Derby, the entire race as called by Larry Collmus is below:

[Sports Media Watch]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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