Union Rags winning the Belmont Stakes.

Union Rags winning the Belmont Stakes.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Belmont Overnight Ratings Up 13%

Overnight ratings for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on NBC soared.

Overnight ratings for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on NBC soared in spite of the scratch of Triple Crown-hopeful I'll Have Another , topping last year’s overnight by 13% and the 2010 overnight by 74%. The  overnight rating for the June 9 event was the highest for a non-Triple Crown Belmont since 2005 on NBC.

NBC’ broadcast of the Belmont Stakes, which was won by Union Rags , registered a 5.4 overnight rating and a 13 share for the race portion, up from last year’s race (4.8/11 on NBC), and way up from the 2010 race (3.1/7 on ABC). Yesterday’s Belmont had the highest overnight for the race in a non-Triple Crown year since 2005 on NBC (6.0/13), according to overnight ratings data provided today by The Nielsen Company.

The NBC Sports Group presented 11 total hours of Belmont Week coverage (8.5 hours on NBC Sports Network and 2.5 hours on NBC). This is the second straight year that NBC televised all three Triple Crown races. NBC previously aired all three races from 2001-2005.

•The race portion of the Belmont (6:15-7 p.m. ET) registered a 5.4/13 overnight rating, 13% higher than last year’s 4.8/11 on NBC and 74% higher than the 2010 Belmont (3.1/7 on ABC).

•The 5.4/13 overnight rating is the highest for a non-Triple Crown year in seven years (6.0/13 in 2005 on NBC).

•The rating is up 8% higher than Belmont in 2009 when jockey Calvin Borel attempted to make history by becoming the first jockey to win the Triple Crown on two different horses in the same year (Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont, and Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness).

•The local market rating in New York (9.6/22) is up 30% from last year’s Belmont (7.4/16) and the best rating for the New York market for a non-Triple Crown race since 2006 (9.9).

•The pre-race (5-6:15), bolstered by a 90-minute Belmont Access show on NBC Sports Network that preceded the NBC broadcast, is up 19% over last year (2.6/6 on NBC) and up 121% from the 2010 pre-race on ABC (1.4/3).

•The 3.1 overnight rating for the pre-show was the best for that segment in a non-Triple Crown year since 2005 (3.9/9).

*Viewership for Belmont Stakes will be available June 12 when The Nielsen Company releases national ratings.

2012 5.4/13 NBC (Triple Crown contender I’ll Have Another scratched
2011 4.8/11 NBC
2010 3.1/7 ABC
2009 5.0/12 ABC (Borel going for unprecedented jockey Triple Crown)
2008 9.5/21 ABC (Triple Crown at stake – Big Brown)
2007 3.5/8 ABC
2006 3.8/9 ABC

1. Ft. Myers, 11.2/23
2. West Palm Beach, 10.8/21
3. New York, 9.6/22
4. Baltimore, 8.3/18
5. Orlando, 7.8/15
6. Tampa, 7.7/14
7. Greensboro, 7.5/15
T8. Pittsburgh, 7.4/19
T8. Louisville, 7.4/15
T8. Richmond, 7.4/14

The Belmont ratings success follows strong ratings for the Kentucky Derby and Preakness when 14.8 million watched the Derby and 8.1 million viewed the Preakness.