NBC Sports' coverage of the Preakness Stakes drew 9.7 million viewers, making it the most-watched Preakness since 2009 and the fourth most-watched since 1990.
The viewership for the race was up 20% from last year’s 8.1 million viewers, according to The Nielsen Company.
Saturday’s race, broadcast from 5:50-6:39 p.m. ET, was the most-watched Preakness Stakes since 2009 when Rachel Alexandra won the second leg of the Triple Crown as the favorite.
It was the fourth most-watched Preakness dating back to 1990, surpassed only by the 2009 race, the 2006 Preakness when Barbaro was the favorite, and the 2004 Preakness won by Smarty Jones.
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% 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%from last year’s Derby (14.8 million) and up 12% from the Derby in 2011 (14.5 million).
By Dick Downey