The overnight ratings are in and they are impressive. NBC drew a 7.9 overnight rating, which is up 27% over last year (Big Brown) and the highest since the Smarty Jones Preakness win in 2004.
Here are Preakness Overnight Ratings since 2002 listed by year, Winner, Network, Rating and Household Share.
2009 Rachel Alexandra NBC 7.9/18
2008 Big Brown NBC 6.2/14
2007 Curlin NBC 6.4/15
2006 Bernardini NBC 7.0/16
2005 Afleet Alex NBC 7.2/17
2004 Smarty Jones NBC 9.2/20
2003 Funny Cide NBC 6.4/14
2002 War Emblem NBC 7.4/16
NOTES: The ratings listed is for the Race portion of the broadcast, defined as the final hour of broadcast (6pm-6:45pm). NBC broke up the day in 3 portions, A 1/2 special (4:30-5pm) which drew a 2.7 share and a "pre-race" show 5-6pm which drew a 5.1 share. Those shows saw a 42% and 46% jump from the 2008 Preakness shows.
These ratings are overnight figures and final ratings figures will be released later in the week.
We will have pre-race Belmont Stakes Ratings historical data for you in the coming weeks.
Source: Nielsen Media Research