NBC Sports reported that the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) upset victory by Ruler on Ice produced a 4.8 overnight rating and 11 share for the race portion of the two-hour broadcast, reflecting a 55% increase over the 3.1 rating/7 share for the race portion of the ABC broadcast in 2010.
According to NBC, its race portion ran from 6:15-7 p.m. (ET) Saturday while the ABC numbers for 2010 were for the period from 5:30-7 p.m. The ratings were based on data provided by The Neilsen Company.
This year’s Belmont telecast was the first for NBC since 2005. All three Triple Crown races this year aired on NBC, also the first time the three events were on the same network since 2005.
The NBC Sports Group presented 6 1/2 hours of Belmont Stakes coverage (4 1/2 hours on VERSUS and two hours on NBC).
According to NBC, the race portion rating is down 4% from the 2009 Belmont when jockey Calvin Borel attempted to make history by becoming the first jockey to win the Triple Crown on two different horses-- Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Belmont and Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
The pre-race period (5-6:15 p.m.), preceded by a two-hour “Belmont Access” show on VERSUS, was up 86% over last year’s pre-race segment on ABC (2.6/6 vs. 1.4/3). According to NBC, the 2.6 overnight rating for the pre-show was the best for that segment in a non-Triple Crown year since 2006.
NBC said Ft. Myers, Fla. had the highest overnight rating share of 8.7/17. The two cities that host the other two legs of the Triple Crown--Louisville (Kentucky Derby) and Baltimore, Md., (Preakness), tied at 8.6/18.
Final television ratings for the Belmont will be released during the week of June 13-20.
BELMONT STAKES OVERNIGHT RATINGS SINCE 2006 (Race Portion):
2011, 4.8/11, NBC
2010, 3.1/7, ABC
2009, 5.0/12, ABC
2008, 9.5/21, ABC
2007, 3.5/8, ABC
2006, 3.8/9, ABC
TOP 10 OVERNIGHT RATINGS FOR 2011 BELMONT STAKES:
1. Ft. Myers, 8.7/17
T2. Louisville, 8.6/18
T2. Baltimore, 8.6/18
4. Hartford, 8.1/15
T5. New York, 7.4/16
T5. Buffalo, 7.4/17
7. West Palm Beach, 7.2/13
8. Nashville, 7.1/13
T9. Tampa, 6.8/15
T9. Providence, 6.8/13