05/22/2016 10:33AM

Preakness TV ratings rise 7 percent


The overnight rating for the race portion of the Preakness Stakes broadcast on NBC on Saturday evening was up 7 percent compared with the rating for the same portion of the broadcast last year, according to the network.

The overnight rating of 6.2 for this year’s Preakness, won by second-choice Exaggerator, exceeded the 5.8 posted for last year’s Preakness, which was won by American Pharoah en route to the first Triple Crown in 37 years. Share, which measures the percentage of television in use that are tuned to a broadcast, was a 14 this year, identical to the share last year.

The spike in the overnight rating is unusual in the context of a steep decline in the overnight rating for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs two weeks ago. The overnight rating for the race portion of the Derby broadcast dropped 14 percent, while share dropped 12.5 percent.

NBC said that the rating for this year’s broadcast peaked at an 8.0 from 6:45 p.m. Eastern to 7:00, while share during the same period was an 18. The Preakness went off at 6:52. Both figures were up 5 percent compared with the figures from the same period of last year’s broadcast.

This year’s Derby was won by Nyquist, and with Exaggerator taking the Preakness, no Triple Crown is possible this year. The connections of both colts have said that they are likely to point to the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, in three weeks.