The 5.4 Neilsen rating which the Preakness earned wasnt the reason why the sudden death overtime period of the Buffalo Sabres vs. Ottawa Senators Stanley Cup playoff game was abandoned on NBC Network Television. No, the reason was that the television contract between the NTRA and NBC required the network to switch to Preakness coverage precisely at 5 PM.

Its a common complaint of horse racing fans that key races often get replaced by other sporting events that run into overtime or face rain delays or have some complicating factor that causes them to run longer than planned. Thoroughbred horse racing rarely gets higher TV ratings than another sport, but the NHL has its problems, too.

The ratings for the hockey game did a 1.2 in the Neilsens good enough for the Versus cable network, but not good enough to force a contractual squabble. Too bad for hockey fans the Senators won 15 minutes into the Preakness telecast, while the Preakness went at least 30 minutes too long with content that nobody cared about.