With the opportunity to be a part of history in the making if Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Nyquist would have taken down the second leg of the Triple Crown, the ratings for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) were up from last year’s numbers.
Nyquist didn’t go on to win the Preakness, that honor went to his rival Exaggerator, but nonetheless ratings were on the rise. With Nyquist already ruled out of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) it would be no shock if TV ratings were down for that compared to last year when American Pharoah was on his own history making quest, which he eventually fulfilled in winning the 2015 Triple Crown.
As for the 2016 Preakness ratings, they were up by 500,000 compared to last year’s numbers, according to NBC. This year’s Preakness Stakes (gr. I) saw 9.4 million people tune in eagerly anticipating Nyquist’s attempt at making his own history. That’s six percent more TV viewers than last year’s 8.9 million watchers.
This marks the third time in the last four years that the second leg of the Triple Crown has eclipsed nine million TV viewers. NBC remarked that they haven’t seen a string of Preakness viewership numbers this high in a decade.
Peak TV watching for the Preakness was between 6:45-7 PM EST, where a high of 11.4 million people were watching. Ratings for the Preakness were also up from last year’s numbers. This year, the race scored a 5.8 rating/14 share, which was five percent more than last year’s 5.5 rating/13 sharing.
The top viewing markets were Baltimore, Louisville, Ft. Myers, Richmond, and West Palm Beach.