NBC will broadcast the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), which the moves to ABC in 2006.
The popularity of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones contributed to an overnight television rating of 7.2 and 16 share for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), up 29% from 2003.This year, NBC Sports reported an overnight 5.9/14 rating/share, down 18% from 2004 but up from the 5.6/13 reported in 2003. When asked if Smarty Jones was the impetus for the 2004 rating, NBC spokeswoman Alana Russo said: "It sort of seems that way. Last year's rating for the Preakness was very high. This year's overnight rating is pretty much on par with the 2001 and 2002 numbers."