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Preakness TV Ratings Edge Higher

NBC Sports reports 8.8 million viewers watched Preakness race segment

NBC Sports’ coverage of the May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore yielded a national TV rating of 5.6 and a 13 share for the race segment of the show, from 5:56-6:41 p.m. ET, according to data provided by The Nielsen Company.

Those numbers represent a 6% increase from 2010’s 5.3/13. The share represents the percentage of televisions in use that were tuned to the telecast.

Nielsen estimated that 8.8 million viewers watched the race, compared with 8.4 million a year ago. Numbers for the entire telecast won’t be released until May 26.

The 8.8 million viewers ranks  the 2011 Preakness smack-dab in the middle of viewership over the past 11 years, with five Preaknesses drawing more viewers and five others attracting less.

NBC Sports will televise the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) live from New York June 11.