Belmont TV Ratings Slump 60%

NBC Sports' coverage of the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) managed a 4.5 national rating/11 share for its 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. EDT telecast.

With a Triple Crown not on the line in the Belmont for the first time since 2001, viewership figured to suffer, and it did, slumping 60% off the enormous 11.3 rating and 26 share from a year ago, when fan favorite Smarty Jones was vying to sweep the three jewels of the Triple Crown.

Last year's Belmont was the number one rated show on network television for the week.

The 4.5 share earned this year was equal to the number garnered by NBC in 2001, and improved on the 2.8 rating done by ABC in 2000 in another non-Triple-Crown-possible year. Each rating point represents 1.096 million households.

The pre-race segment of the 2005 program from 5:30 p.m.-6:10 p.m. registered a 3.4/9 share, while the race segment that followed improved to 5.4/13.

Next year, NBC will televise the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I), but the Belmont will shift back to ABC.