Justify Brings 12 Percent Boost to Ratings in Preakness Win
Justify is winning more than races and a fan following. He’s creating a hurricane of ratings while running in the rain, slop, mud and fog. He’ll try to run his way to Triple Crown glory next in the Belmont Stakes following his close win in the Preakness Saturday. NBC reported its numbers two days after the May 19 race and the 2018 Preakness coverage increased 12 percent over last year’s broadcast.
Those overnight numbers do not include results for NBC’s digital platforms, and despite rainy and foggy conditions at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, the NBC broadcast earned a 5.5 overnight rating and a 12 share, peaking with a 6.6 rating and 15 share during the actual race portion of the broadcast.
Rating is a numerical measure of the number of people watching the broadcast, a somewhat antiquated metric that does not include the number of people watching the stream digitally. Share is the percentage of televisions in use tuned into a specific broadcast, meaning one in eight televisions in use were tuned to the Preakness.
The Kentucky Derby broadcast had a peak rating of 10.9 and a peak share of 25. With a Triple Crown in sight for Justify, the Belmont Stakes broadcast should set some TV and digital ratings records.
Top markets for NBC’s Preakness Stakes telecast, overnight ratings:
1 – Louisville 15.2/30
2 – Baltimore 14.9/31
3 – Tampa 10.7/20
4 – Washington, D.C. 10.3/23
5 – Ft. Myers 9.9/19
6 – Buffalo 9.0/20
7 – Richmond 8.7/15
8 – New Orleans 8.4/16
9 – Philadelphia 7.9/16
10 – Tulsa 7.7/15
There is some disappointment that the California market is nowhere in the top-10 of overnight ratings, and perhaps an earlier start for the Preakness would even boost ratings overall. But California-based Justify is now 5-for-5 in his career with major victories in the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. He’ll be the first undefeated dual classic winner to start in the Belmont Stakes since Big Brown in 2008, and Justify will attempt to become the 13th Triple Crown winner in racing history.