Call it interest in Mine That Bird, call it excitement over Rachel Alexandra winning, call it whatever you want, just know that NBC Sports is crowing over the overnight ratings for the Preakness Stakes. It’s rare to get a Sunday press release, but when you get great ratings for a certain event, you don’t wait until Monday to crow about it. Take a look at what NBC is saying and a list of the highest rated markets for the race.
“SUPER FILLY” PUSHES PREAKNESS RATINGS
Overnight Ratings up 27% from '08, Highest since '04 and Second Highest in 19 Years
NEW YORK - May 17, 2009 - 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
Certainly not bad at all for NBC. Not surprised to see Baltimore as the highest rated market, but I am surprised to see my home market Providence ranked at #8. I’m doing links for you as we speak, but I didn’t want to wait to get this up.