A whole lot of people tuned in to watch Justify win a fog-bogged classic and the 2018 Preakness ratings enjoyed a big jump of 12 percent because of it. The overnight shares came in at 5.5 and the peak of the broadcast hit a solid 6.6 rating. Total viewership has not been accounted for just yet, and these numbers do not factor in the digital sources for NBC, which used a multi-platform approach.
Those that were fortunate enough to view the spectacular event were treated to a unique sight. Not only was the track muddy beyond belief, a low hanging, white cloud of fog smothered the track forcing strange camera angles and rapid cuts just to keep track of the action. In the end, Justify was able to outlast his rivals as Bravazo stormed in to second place and Tenfold caught Good Magic at the wire to steal fourth. The race had unfolded as a brutal showdown between Good Magic and Justify early on, and put the eventual winner to the ultimate test by forcing him to push in the opening stages.
What usually spikes viewership and overnight shares with this race is the potential of a Triple Crown champion, and now that Justify has put that hope on the table, the 2018 Preakness ratings spike will probably create a wave of momentum leading up to the 2018 Belmont Stakes on June 9th as well.
The top 2018 Preakness ratings markets are listed below, with notable presences from Kentucky, Maryland and Florida topping the charts.
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
The fact that the race was competing with events like the NHL Eastern Conference Finals and the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, featuring the Celtics and Cavaliers, makes the significant spike in Preakness ratings all the more impressive. A lot of viewers were streaming the Preakness in to the NHL playoff matchup between Washington and Tampa Bay, which aired on NBC right after the conclusion of the post-race festivities.
In case you weren’t there to see it – which is silly given how easily you could’ve watched it on TwinSpires TV or NBC’s multitude of platforms – you can check it out below.