Monday, May 8th, 2017


NBC’s TV-Only Kentucky Derby Viewership Peaked at 19.1 Million as Always Dreaming Crossed Finish Line – Up 7% from Nyquist & American Pharoah Derby Victories

Total Audience Delivery for Penguins-Capitals Game 5 Averages 4.365 Million Viewers; Second-Most Watched Non-Stanley Cup Final Game in 24 Years

Kentucky Derby is Most-Watched Saturday Afternoon Program since NFL Divisional Playoffs in January

NBC Sports Digital Sets Kentucky Derby Records

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 8, 2017 – NBC Sports’ coverage of the 143rd Kentucky Derby followed immediately by the primetime Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals Stanley Cup Playoff Game 5 last Saturday posted numerous viewership milestones for both events,  according to fast national data provided by The Nielsen Company and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

Always Dreaming’s victory in the Kentucky Derby posted a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) average of 16.5 million viewers across NBC and NBC Sports Digital platforms – marking the largest Kentucky Derby audience since 1989 (18.5 million viewers for Sunday Silence’s win on ABC).

For the second consecutive year, NBC aired a Stanley Cup Playoff game in primetime after the Kentucky Derby. With Saturday’s puck drop shortly after Always Dreaming’s victory, Game 5 of the Penguins-Capitals second-round series delivered a Total Audience Delivery average of 4.365 million viewers, making it the most-watched early-round Stanley Cup Playoff game in People Meter history (1993).

TAD measures consumption across multiple platforms, combining the average minute audience for television and digital.

Following are viewership highlights from NBC Sports’ Super Saturday:


  • TV-only Kentucky Derby viewership peaked at 19.1 million viewers from 6:45-7:00 p.m. ET when Always Dreaming crossed the finish line 2¾ lengths ahead of Lookin at Lee – up 7% from the peaks of the past two Kentucky Derby races, won by Nyquist in 2016 and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015 (17.9 million for both).
  • The 143rd Kentucky Derby (6:24-7:11 p. ET) on NBC averaged 16.4 million TV-only viewers with a 9.3/22 HH rating – up 6% and 3% respectively from last year.
  • Saturday’s Kentucky Derby is television’s most-watched Saturday afternoon program since the NFC Divisional Playoff (Jan. 14, 2017).
  • This is the fifth consecutive year and seventh time in nine years (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017) that NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage averaged more than 15 million viewers. NBC’s five-year streak (2013-17) averaging 15+ million viewers is the only such Kentucky Derby stretch in People Meter history (Kentucky Derby viewership history at bottom).
  • NBC Sports Digital’s presentation of the Kentucky Derby ranks as the most-streamed Kentucky Derby ever, delivering 9 million minutes, up 30% from last year. The stream also delivered a record 281,000 unique users. The Average Minute Audience (AMA) for the Kentucky Derby via the NBC Sports app and was 97,800 viewers.
  • Louisville, the home of the Kentucky Derby, topped the metered markets with a 39.0 rating/65 share (top 20 markets listed at bottom).


  • Game 5 (7:11-10 p.m. ET), in which the Capitals staved off elimination by coming back to beat the Penguins 4-2 at home, delivered a Total Audience Delivery average of 4.365 million viewers, making it the most-watched early-round Stanley Cup Playoff game in People Meter history (1993), as well as the second-most watched non-Stanley Cup Final game in 24 years, behind only the Chicago-Anaheim Western Conference Final Game 7 in 2015 (4.636 million).
  • This year’s Penguins-Capitals Game 5 was up 4% vs. the same series’ Game 5 last year (Total Audience Deliver of 4.187 million), which also aired after the Kentucky Derby.
  • On television only, the game delivered a 2.38 HH rating and 4.330 million viewers. The Average Minute Audience across and the NBC Sports app was 35,000 viewers, up 53% vs. last year’s game.
  • Pittsburgh led the nation with a 19.9 rating for the game, while Louisville – home of the Kentucky Derby – was second (9.3). Washington D.C. was the nation’s third-highest market with a 7.5 rating, followed by Buffalo (6.9) and Baltimore (6.7). NBC was the No. 1 market in both Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., during the course of the game. Following are the Top 10 markets:
Rank Market Rating
1 Pittsburgh 19.9
2 Louisville 9.3
3 Washington, D.C. 7.5
4 Buffalo 6.9
5 Baltimore 4.7
6 West Palm Beach 4.2
T7 Nashville 3.9
T7 Philadelphia 3.9
T7 Ft. Myers 3.9
10 Richmond 3.8
  • Total Audience Delivery (TAD) for NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network,, and the NBC Sports app through Thursday, May 4 (55 games not including this past weekend’s games), has averaged 881,000 viewers, the best in three years and up 5% vs. 2016 (838,000).
  • The Penguins lead the series 3-2, and can move on to the Eastern Conference Final with a Game 6 win against the Capitals tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET.


2017 16.543 million* NBC Always Dreaming
2016 15.6 million* NBC Nyquist
2015 16.1 million* NBC American Pharoah
2014 15.3 million NBC California Chrome
2013 16.2 million NBC Orb
2012 14.8 million NBC I’ll Have Another
2011 14.5 million NBC Animal Kingom
2010 16.498 million NBC Super Saver
2009 16.1 million NBC Mine That Bird
2008 14.2 million NBC Big Brown
2007 13.7 million NBC Street Sense
2006 12.9 million NBC Barbaro
2005 13.6 million NBC Giacomo
2004 14.6 million NBC Smarty Jones
2003 11.8 million NBC Funny Cide
2002 12.8 million NBC War Emblem
2001 13.5 million NBC Monarchos
2000 9.1 million ABC Fusaichi Pegasus
1999 9.9 million ABC Charismatic
1998 9.5 million ABC Real Quiet
1997 11.3 million ABC Silver Charm
1996 11.0 million ABC Grindstone
1995  9.3 million ABC Thunder Gulch
1994 12.2 million ABC Go For Gin
1993 11.5 million ABC Sea Hero
1992 13.7 million ABC Lil E Tee
1991 13.4 million ABC Strike The Gold
1990 15.6 million ABC Unbridled
1989 18.5 million ABC Sunday Silence


1 Louisville 39.0/65
2 Ft. Myers 21.3/39
3 Cincinnati 18.8/37
4 Buffalo 17.9/31
5 Knoxville 17.0/28
6 Dayton 16.2/29
7 Pittsburgh 15.5/30
8 Cleveland 15.1/29
9 Richmond 15.0/29
10 West Palm Beach 14.8/27
11 Columbus 14.6/28
12 Indianapolis 14.0/27
13 Baltimore 13.5/28
14 Greenville 13.2/21
15 Philadelphia 13.0/24
16 Orlando 12.7/25
T17. Milwaukee 12.5/28
T17. Nashville 12.5/21
19 Washington, DC 12.4/26
20 Detroit 12.2/24

In two weeks, Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming will take the next step in his Triple Crown quest. NBC Sports Group’s coverage of The 142nd Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Md., begins Friday, May 19 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.  NBC presents The Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 20 at 5:00 p.m. ET, with coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Date Time Event Network
Fri., May 19 3 p.m. Black Eyed Susan NBCSN
Sat., May 20 2:30 p.m. Preakness Saturday NBCSN
Sat., May 20 5:00 p.m. Preakness Stakes NBC

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