The revamped NTRA Champions Series got off to a good start June 10 with a relative improvement in television rating. The series' inaugural program, which featured the Manhattan H. (gr. IT) and Brooklyn H. (gr. II) from Belmont Park and The Californian (gr. III) from Hollywood Park, received an overnight rating of 1.7 and attracted 4% of the viewing market.

A true comparison with last year is not possible because the series has changed significantly. Last year, Fox aired five "Super Series" races that included the Donn H. (gr. I), Santa Anita H. (gr. I), Pimlico Special (gr. I), Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), and the Whitney H. (gr. I). This year, the series was expanded to 11 races being broadcast on four days in June and July, and the series was moved to CBS. Fox could not accommodate the series because of its contracts with NASCAR and Major League Baseball.

The five-race series on Fox collectively earned a 1.1 rating and a 3% market share. The Santa Anita Handicap earned the best final rating of the series with a 1.3 and 3% market share.

CBS is comparing its June 10 broadcast with the Pimlico Special, which aired May 13 last year. Fox's Pimlico Special telecast earned a 1.5 overnight rating and 4% market share.

The NTRA Champions 4-5 p.m. telecast competed for sports fans against the PGA St. Jude Classic, which earned a 3.2 and an 8% market share on ABC, and a WNBA game between Houston and Phoenix, which earned a 1.5 rating and a 4% market share.

The final rating for the NTRA Champions program will be available Thursday afternoon.

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