Anne M. Eberhardt

Entire Preakness TV Program Climbs 21%

NBC released national ratings numbers for its Preakness Stakes (gr. I) telecast from Pimlico May 16 indicating the nearly two-hour program attracted 21% more viewers than the 2008 coverage of the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

For the time period spanning 5-6:50 p.m. ET, NBC’s telecast earned a 5.7 rating and 14 share, up from last year’s 4.7/12. Each ratings point in national ratings equals approximately 1.1-million viewers, while the share refers to the percentage of televisions in use at that time that were tuned in to the program. The 5.7 rating equaled that from 2006 as the highest since Smarty Jones’ run in 2004 attracted a 7.2 rating and 16 share.

The pre-race portion of NBC’s coverage, from 5-6 p.m., garnered a 4.6/12, up 44% from 2008’s 3.2/8. What the network calls it’s Preakness Stakes Special from 4:30-5 p.m. earned a 2.5/7, 67% better than last year’s 1.5/4.

As previously reported, the race portion of the telecast, from 5:56-6:50 p.m., registered a 6.8/16, 24% better than 2008’s 5.5/13.