The NBC press release store just put this one up for sale, and maybe cause the network to think twice about why it would even want an NHL OT playoff game even coming close to upsetting its ratings for a horse race pre-game show in progress:
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 most viewers in five years and the second most in 20 years according to data provided today by Nielsen Media Research.
NBC Sports employed its broad promotional effort to reach casual fans leading to the Kentucky Derby and Preakness combining to draw an average of 13.4 million viewers, the most for the two races combined in 20 years (14.5 million in 1989).
The race portion of the Preakness (5:56-6:50 p.m. ET) drew 10.9 million viewers, three million more than last year’s race (7.9 million, up 38 percent) when the much-hyped Big Brown won to take the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
The national rating for Saturday’s race portion was a 6.8 with a 16 share, the highest since 2004 (7.7/19) and the second highest since 1990 (7.9/23).
NBC Sports coverage of this year’s Preakness reached nearly twice the number of viewers than the last Preakness broadcast by ABC in 2000 (10.9 million vs. 5.5 million, up 98 percent).