File Photo

Preakness National TV Ratings Up Dramatically

According to data provided by Nielsen Media Research, the race portion of NBC’s May 16 telecast of the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) from Pimlico drew 10.9-million viewers, up 38% from the year-ago figure of 7.9-million viewers.

The race portion, defined as 5:56-6:50 p.m. ET, registered a national rating of 6.8, with a 16 share, the highest numbers since 2004’s 7.7/19, and the second-highest since 1990 (7.9/23). The 2009 ratings represented a 24% hike over 2008's 5.5/13.

NBC Sports reported that the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the Preakness combined to attract an average of 13.4-million viewers, which it claimed was the most for the two races combined since 1989, when an average of 14.5 million watched the first two legs of the Triple Crown.

The 2009 numbers were helped by the presence of Rachel Alexandra, the filly who bested the boys, including Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, in the Preakness.

View our 2009 Preakness Stakes photo gallery.