06/10/2012 11:42AM

Belmont Stakes 2012: NBC's overnight ratings for race telecast jump 13 percent

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The overnight rating for the race portion of the Belmont Stakes broadcast on NBC on Saturday evening was a 5.4, up 13 percent over the rating last year, according to the network. Share was a 13, up 18 percent compared with  the share for last year, the network said.

The jump in broadcast figures dovetailed with significant increases in attendance and handle for the card at Belmont on Saturday, despite the scratch on Friday of I’ll Have Another, who had already won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. I’ll Have Another’s quest to try to become the 12th horse to earn the Triple Crown focused attention on the sport leading up to the race.

According to the network, the 5.4 overnight rating was the highest rating for a non-Triple Crown Belmont broadcast since 2005. Ratings are generally far higher when a horse is attempting to win the Triple Crown.

In 2011, the rating was a 4.8. A year earlier, when the race was broadcast by ABC, the rating was a 3.1.

In 2008, when Big Brown was going for the Triple Crown, the rating was a 9.5, with a 21 share.

NBC said that the overnight rating for the “pre-race” portion of the broadcast, from 5 to 6:15 p.m. Eastern, was a 3.1, up 19 percent compared with  the pre-race overnight rating last year.

The overnight rating in the New York metropolitan area was a 9.6 with a 22 share, up 30 percent over the rating for the area last year and the highest rating in New York for a non-Triple Crown bid since 2006, the network said.

john More than 1 year ago
News flash to NBC and NYRA...for all intents and purposes this WAS a triple crown Belmont. People who had made plans to go didn't change them. And it's even money to me that plenty of people got to Belmont on saturday, and never heard the news that I'll Have Another was scratched.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
John: Given the level of social media we have today and the news had been played over and over since Friday afternoon, I suspect most people knew that I'll Have Another was going to be unable to run in The Belmont Stakes. Most people were anticipating attendance would drop sharply following the defection of I'll Have Another, with some going as low as 35,000 and others saying between 45-50,000 (my view was between 60-65,000). Most were shocked that 85,000 showed up at Belmont Park, a number that exceeded every Belmont Stakes where the Triple Crown was on the line prior to 1999. While a FEW of those might have been people wanting to get out of Manhattan (which had numerous streets closed by a host of street fairs) on Saturday AND we had a number of people already in town for The Belmont (which is why I felt we would still get 60-65,000), the fact we still had 85,000 at Belmont Park speaks volumes to people still coming out to see the race after the air had been popped from the balloon.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
You have to wonder if with the 5.4 rating for The Belmont Stakes (an excellent number given the circumstances), NBC now looks to push back the Belmont Stakes telecast to 5:30-7:45 PM ET (and moving Belmont Stakes post time back to 7:05 PM ET) while at the same time asks the NHL to set up the playoffs so the Stanley Cup Finals are at no earlier than Game 4 on the day of The Belmont Stakes so NBC can use The Belmont Stakes telecast as a direct lead-in to most likely Game 4 of the Finals. That to me would make sense because NBC can then have a 20-minute pre-game show following The Belmont with face-off at 8:05 PM ET and a good chance even with an overtime of the game finishing before 11:00 PM ET that way, and at the same time keep viewers watching The Belmont with NBC for a Stanley Cup Finals game they might not otherwise watch..
mikey More than 1 year ago
NBC can make a zillion if they can bottle the belmont show.This will put people to sleep faster than anything a doctor can give you.Who need's a dozen wannabe commentator's send them back and get some racing guy's in there.Just not the clown's from TVG.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Does anyone recall who Buddy Raines rode on See The USA? Yeah, yeah, I tried NBC.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice of NBC to casually tell us who had won the Woody Stephens without bothing to show it. At least they reduced the number of camera angles from about 215 down to about 75. I didn't notice their ground level shots this year.
Gregg Thomas More than 1 year ago
They sure know how to use innuendo to cause uncalculable harm.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Call this a side note or whatever but I just read Mary Rampellinis' report that Retired Jockey Perrodin has been killed by lung cancer... I want to ask everyone to please stop inviting that disease into their bodies.
Anne More than 1 year ago
I couldn't believe that NBC did not show the Woody Stephens...lost all interest after that.
Jerry Sabo More than 1 year ago
Bob Costas is not good horse racing commentator, just reads a script. Boring.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
And he's GOT to be able to afford a better looking rug, eh?
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
Agree - a BUSH LEAGUE broadcast !