Viewership up 20 percent from last year's Preakness
NBC Sports' coverage of Saturday's Preakness Stakes drew 9.7 million viewers, making it the most-watched Preakness since 2009, and the fourth most-watched dating back to 1990. The viewership for the race is up 20 percent from last year's Preakness (8.1 million), according to official national data provided today by The Nielsen Company.
Saturday's race (5:50-6:39 p.m. ET), won by Oxbow, with jockey Gary Stevens, is the most-watched Preakness Stakes since 2009 when super-filly Rachel Alexandra captivated the country by defeating Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird (10.9 million). It is the fourth most-watched Preakness dating back to 1990, surpassed only by the aforementioned 2009 race, the 2006 Preakness, which featured Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro (10.1 million), and the 2004 Preakness, won by Smarty Jones (11.6 million).
· The household rating of 5.9/14 is up 13 percent from last year's race (5.2/13), the highest since 2009 (6.8/16), and the second best since 2006 (6.6/16).
· NBC Sports Network's two-hour pre-race show (2:30-4:40 p.m. ET) drew 466,000 viewers, a gain of 99 percent from last year (234,000).
The Preakness viewership gains follow the Kentucky Derby, which drew 16.2 million viewers on NBC, making it the second most-watched Kentucky Derby since 1989. The viewership was up 9 percent from last year's Derby (14.8 million) and up 12 percent from the Derby in 2011 (14.5 million).
Since NBC began broadcasting the Preakness in 2001, every Preakness telecast on NBC over that period has attracted more viewers than any Preakness telecast on ABC in the previous eight years. Viewership for the Preakness is up an average of 61 percent in the 13 years on NBC compared to the previous eight years on ABC.