Preakness Television Ratings Down From 2002

Coverage of the May 17 Preakness Stakes on NBC from 5-6:45 p.m. (EDT) earned a 5.6 overnight rating and a 15 share, compared with a 6.5 overnight rating and 15 share in 2002.

In other overnight numbers, the 5-5:30 p.m. pre-race segment of the show earned a 3.9 rating and 9 share, while the 5:30-6:45 p.m. race segment earned a 6.4 rating and 14 share. Last year, the race segment earned a 7.4 overnight rating and 16 overnight share.

This year's peak, when the actual race was run, was from 6-6:30 p.m. The overnight rating for that period was 7.7 and the overnight share 17. The figures are for 55 markets. One ratings point is the equivalent of 717,310 households.

"It think they are in keeping with other ratings that seem to be down a little bit (so far this year)," said Kevin Sullivan, spokesman for NBC Sports. "Everything seems to be down, and maybe people just didn't believe in Funny Cide after he won the Derby."

Sullivan said the Preakness victory by the New York-bred, however, should make for a great lead-in to the June 7 Belmont Stakes and perhaps generate a lot of interest in NBC's coverage of the third leg of the Triple Crown.

We're looking ahead to Belmont," Sullivan said. "I think with history on the line and some great stories, there will be heavy interest in the Belmont Stakes."