Preakness Stakes Draws Its Lowest Overnight Since '00 For Shackleford's Win
NBC earned a 6.0 overnight Nielsen rating for the race segment of Saturday's Preakness Stakes from 6:00-6:45pm ET, marking the lowest overnight for the race since '00. Shackleford's half-length victory over Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom is also down 6% from a 6.4 overnight for Lookin At Lucky's win at Pimlico Race Course last year. For the entire broadcast on NBC from 5:00-6:45pm, the net earned a 4.6 overnight, flat compared to last year (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes NBC's coverage of the Preakness shows the network "has this horse racing thing down pat." Hosted by Bob Costas, the "show is fast-paced, whirling from analyst to analyst and feature to feature and news story to news story." The two hours before the race "fly by, and the coverage is so good that it's almost disappointing that it has to end when the race arrives." Jones: "All in all, it was an outstanding two hours of coverage" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/23). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes Costas' pre-race interview with Animal Kingdom's manager and part-Owner Barry Irwin "would make a strong case study for pure professionalism and its rewards." Irwin, after Animal Kingdom won the Kentucky Derby, "essentially accused the thoroughbred industry of being loaded with liars and assorted bad guys." Saturday, "without apologizing, Costas asked good, tough questions, and Irwin returned them with good, firm answers" (N.Y. POST, 5/23).