Preakness TV Ratings Tick Up

NBC's telecast of the May 20 Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course near Baltimore, Md., drew a slightly higher audience than the 2005 running. The network reported a 5.4 national rating and a 14 share for the program, which ran from 5 to 6:50 p.m. EDT.

Each rating point equals approximately 1.1 million viewers, meaning that the show was watched by just under six million. The share measures the percentage of televisions that were tuned to the telecast.

The 5.4 rating and 14 share represent a 6% increase from year-ago numbers of 5.1/13. The race portion of this year's broadcast (5:47 p.m.-6:50 p.m. EDT) measured a 6.6/16, up 5% from last year's 6.3/16. The pre-race part of the Preakness (5 p.m.-5:47 p.m. EDT) garnered a 3.9/10, up 11% from 3.5/10 in 2005. The Preakness numbers crested from 6 p.m.-6:30 p.m. EDT, drawing a 7.6/19.

The Preakness telecast was the highest-rated sporting event shown May 20, besting FOX's Major League Baseball Game of the Week (2.9/8). It also outdrew the following day's Game 7 of the National Basketball Association's Eastern Conference Finals between the Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers, which registered a 6.1/14 on ABC.

In the last six years, NBC has averaged a 5.5 national rating for the second leg of racing's Triple Crown.

The June 10 Belmont Stakes will be televised by ABC from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. EDT.