06/14/2017 10:06AM

Belmont ratings down 15.6 percent

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Viewership of Saturday’s Belmont Stakes broadcast on NBC and its digital platforms was down sharply from last year, according to figures provided by the network, as the race’s lack of star power took its toll.

Total viewership of the broadcast was 4.9 million, NBC said, down 15.6 percent from last year’s 5.8 million. The number counts those watching on television and on digital devices such as phones.

The number is the lowest since 2010, when the Belmont broadcast drew 4.7 million viewers. In that year, Drosselmeyer won the Belmont in a field that did not include Derby winner Super Saver or Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky.

The Belmont drew an enormous viewership figure in 2015, when American Pharoah was going for the Triple Crown, at 20.5 million viewers, but the race this year did not have the Derby winner or the Preakness winner in the field, and the expected favorite, Classic Empire, withdrew on the Wednesday prior to the race with a hoof abscess.

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