Television ratings for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 25 stayed on an even keel with last year's numbers, according to overnight ratings taken from 55 metered markets. NBC received a rating of 2.2 with a five percent share of the television audience over the four and a half hours of coverage. Each ratings point represents 740,000 households. Both the 2.2 rating and five share equaled 2002 numbers. The overnight ratings monitor nearly 70% of the country. Final numbers were due out Oct. 30."We feel this is a terrific rating, considering the competition on the other networks and the defection of some of the top horses from the Breeders' Cup," noted NBC manager of communications Kathy Connors. The primary competition for viewers came from strong national and regional college football contests that included Notre Dame-Boston College, Tennessee-Alabama, Purdue-Michigan, and USC-Washington.The first 90 minutes of the NBC telecast checked in with a 1.9 rating and five share. The rating grew progressively throughout the day, inching up to 2.0 and then 2.2 through the middle segments of the telecast. In the five o'clock hour (Eastern Standard Time) with the running of the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge, the audience grew to a 2.9 rating with a six share.