Viewership for the June 9 Belmont Stakes won by Union Rags was up 12% from last year.

Viewership for the June 9 Belmont Stakes won by Union Rags was up 12% from last year.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Belmont Stakes Viewership Up 12% From 2011

The final TV ratings for the third leg of the Triple Crown were released June 12.

Viewership for the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on NBC was up 12% from last year and 62% from 2010, according to official data provided by The Nielsen Company June 12.

The figure of 7.67 million viewers is the highest for a non-Triple Crown Belmont Stakes since 2005, when the race also was broadcast on NBC. Last year there were 6.84 million viewers on NBC, and in 2010 4.74 million viewers on ABC.

A Triple Crown possibility existed this year until the day before the race, when I'll Have Another  was scratched because of an injury.

The race portion of the Belmont (6:13-6:58 p.m. EDT) registered a 4.8/11 national household rating, 12% higher than last year’s 4.3/10 on NBC and 60% higher than the 2010 Belmont (3.0/7 on ABC). The pre-race portion (5-6:13 p.m.), bolstered by a 90-minute Belmont Access show on NBC Sports Network that preceded the NBC broadcast, drew 4.35 million viewers, up 27% from last year (3.43 million on NBC) and up 129% from the 2010 pre-race on ABC (1.90 million).

The three Triple Crown races on NBC (Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at 14.83 million, Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at 8.08 million, and Belmont at 7.67 million) averaged 10.34 million viewers, up 2% from last year’s three races (10.12 million). It was the best average for a non-Triple Crown year since 2005 (10.40 million), and the second-best for a non-Triple Crown since the advent of Nielsen People Meters in 1988, NBC said in a release.