05/19/2004 11:00PM

Final Preakness ratings up

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The national television rating for NBC's live broadcast of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday was a 6.1 with a 15 share, the highest rating since 1990 and a 22 percent increase over the rating last year.

The broadcast was watched by 15 million people, according to NBC research. Last year, NBC estimated that 12 million people watched the Preakness.

Although the 6.1 rating was the best since 1990, the rating was also well below the figure posted that year. The 1990 Preakness had a 7.2 rating with a share of 21.

Each national rating point represents approximately 1.08 million households. Share represents the percentage of televisions in use at the time that are tuned to the broadcast.

* Pimlico Race Course issued revised handle figures for the Preakness card on Thursday after counting separate-pool and simulcast figures unavailable earlier. The final handle for the Preakness was a record $59,462,123, and the final handle for the entire 13-race card was $87,858,878, also a record.