Preakness Filly Finds Ratings Success for NBC Sports

The NBC Sports broadcast of the Preakness Stakes in which Rachel Alexandra became the first filly in 85 years to win the race as she held off Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird by a length, had the highest overnight rating since 2004 and the second highest rating in nearly two decades. For the Preakness, NBC Sports continued its broad promotional effort to reach casual fans that led to the most watched Kentucky Derby in 20 years.

The race portion (6:00-6:45 p.m. ET) earned an overnight rating of 7.9/18 a gain of 27 percent over last year’s race (6.2/14) when the much-hyped Big Brown won to take the first two legs of the Triple Crown. The overnight rating for yesterday’s race portion was the highest since 2004 (9.2/20).

All of the segments of NBC Sports’ broadcast yesterday showed significant ratings gains:

– The total program (5-6:45) received an overnight rating of 6.3 and a share of 15 up 24 percent from last year (4.7/12), the highest since 2004 (7.2/16) and the second highest since 1990 (7.8/20).

– The Preakness Stakes special (4:30-5 p.m. ET), which featured an extended look at the story of Mine That Bird, posted an overnight rating of 2.7 and a 7 share up 42 percent from last year (1.9/5).

– The prerace (5-6 p.m. ET) produced a 5.1/12 up 46 percent from last year (3.5/9).

– The rating peaked from 6-6:30 p.m. ET at an 8.6/19.

With the Preakness and its “Girl vs. the Boys” storyline, NBC Sports continued the broad promotional effort designed to reach the casual fans that led to the most watched Kentucky Derby in 20 years. There were stories about the Preakness on Friday and Saturday on the TODAY show as well as jockey Calvin Borel’s appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last Tuesday.

Promo spots for the Preakness Stakes, which included the voice of a 10-year old girl as Rachel Alexandra, aired throughout NBC Primetime, the TODAY show and Late Night with Jay Leno as well as across the many cable networks of NBC Universal.

Top Twenty Markets for the Preakness (Race Portion):

1) Baltimore 25.1/51

2) Louisville 21.3/38

3) Ft. Myers 17.3/32

4) West Palm Beach 14.8/27

5) Columbus 13.3/26

6) Buffalo 13.0/25

7) Dayton 11.7/24

8) Providence 11.5/27

T9) Tampa 11.2/23

T9) Orlando 11.2/22

11) Albuquerque 10.9/24

12) Richmond 10.8/21

13) Pittsburgh 10.7/20

T14) Indianapolis 10.5/22

T14) Hartford 10.5/21

16) Nashville 10.4/20

17) Knoxville 10.0/18

18) Memphis 9.6/18

T19) Cincinnati 9.3/18

T19) Greenville 9.3/17

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