Preakness Overnight Ratings Dip Slightly

Overnight ratings for NBC’s telecast of the May 19 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) registered a slight decrease from a year ago, when Barbaro attracted much attention for the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown. NBC reported a 5.4 rating and a 13 share of the audience for this year’s Preakness telecast, which aired from 5 p.m.-6:48 p.m. ET. That represented a 5% dip from 2006’s 5.7/14. One ratings point equals 770,000 viewers in overnight ratings, and the 13 share represents the percentage of televisions in use that were tuned to the race.

This year’s Kentucky Derby telecast drew an 8.3/18 in the overnights.

The race segment of the Preakness show, from 6-6:30 p.m., attracted a 7.4 rating. NBC reported that the Preakness telecast was the highest rated sports show of the day, far outdistancing FOX’s baseball coverage of the New York Yankees—New York Mets tilt. Since NBC took over the Preakness in 2001, the average overnight rating for the telecast has been a 6, up by more than a third from the previous seven years, the network said.

The top 10 markets for the Preakness telecast were: 1) Baltimore (21/41); 2) Louisville (16.5/34); 3) Buffalo (12.6/30); 4) West Palm Beach (11.9/25);  5) Columbus (10.8/22);  6) Orlando (10.8/20); 7) Fort Myers (10/19); 8) St. Louis (9.3/20); 9) Cleveland (9/19); and 10) Knoxville (9/18).