NBC Sports coverage of the 127th Preakness Stakes Saturday won by War Emblem generated a 6.5 overnight rating and 15 share (5-6:45 p.m. ET), the highest overnight rating for the Preakness since 1990's 7.8/20 on ABC, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The 6.5 overnight represents an 8 percent increase over last year's 6.0/15 overnight rating in NBC's first year of Triple Crown coverage.
The overnight rating is based on the 53 metered markets.
Last year's final rating was 5.6, up considerably over the previous year's 4.6.
This year, the rating peaked from 6-6:30 p.m. ET with an 8.9/19 (14 percent better than last year's 7.8/18 from 6-6:30 p.m. ET).
The Preakness Stakes lead-in, network officials said, helped boost NBC's coverage of Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals between the L.A. Lakers and Sacramento Kings to a 7.5 rating/14 share, compared to last year's 7.0/15 for the comparable Western Conference Finals Game 1 match-up (Lakers-Spurs).