via press release:


8.8 Million Watch Preakness Race, Up 5% From 2010; Second Most in 5 Years

“…Good television is good television, and NBC’s coverage of horse racing is the definition of good television.”

– St. Petersburg Times, 5-23-11

NEW YORK – May 24, 2011 – The NBC Sports broadcast of the Preakness Stakes, in which Shackleford held off Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom by ½ length, drew 8.8 million viewers, a gain of five percent over last year’s race and the second most-watched Preakness in five years, according to official national data provided today by The Nielsen Company.

The race portion of the Preakness (5:56-6:41 p.m. ET) drew 8.8 million viewers, five percent more than last year’s race (8.4 million) and the second most-watched Preakness race in five years, topped only by the much-hyped boys vs. girls showdown in 2009 when filly Rachel Alexandra – with jockey Calvin Borel – beat Mind That Bird, which Borel rode to victory in the Kentucky Derby.
The national rating for Saturday’s race portion was a 5.6 with a 13 share, up six percent from last year’s 5.3/13 and the second highest in five years.
NBC Sports coverage of this year’s Preakness reached more than three million more viewers than the last Preakness broadcast by ABC in 2000 (8.8 million vs. 5.5 million, up 60 percent).
PREAKNESS A RATINGS SUCCESS ON NBC: Since NBC Sports began broadcasting the Preakness in 2001, every Preakness telecast on NBC over that period attracted more viewers than any Preakness telecast on ABC in the previous seven years. Viewership for the Preakness is up an average of 63% in the 11 years on NBC compared to the previous eight years on ABC.

PREAKNESS ON NBC (2001-2011)

Year Viewers

2011 8.8 million
2010 8.4 million
2009 10.9 million
2008 7.9 million
2007 8.4 million
2006 10.1 million
2005 9.3 million
2004 11.6 million
2003 8.6 million
2002 9.2 million
2001 8.7 million

PREAKNESS ON ABC (1993-2000)

Year Viewers

2000 5.5 million
1999 4.9 million
1998 5.2 million
1997 6.9 million
1996 5.1 million
1995 4.7 million
1994 6.5 million
1993 7.0 million

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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