06/12/2011 4:39PM

Belmont Stakes overnight ratings soar for NBC

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ELMONT, N.Y. – The overnight rating for the race portion of NBC Sports’s broadcast of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday was a 4.8, up 55 percent over the overnight for the race portion of the broadcast last year on ABC, according to the network.

The race portion of the broadcast, from 6:15 p.m. Eastern to 7, also received an 11 share, up 57 percent from last year’s share of 7, NBC said in a release.

Interest in last year’s Belmont Stakes suffered from the lack of both the winners of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Its overnight rating, a 3.1, was the lowest in more than a decade.

The overnight rating for this year’s broadcast compared favorably with the overnight for the 2009 broadcast on ABC, when the race portion received a 5.0 and a 12 share. The 2009 Belmont included the Derby winner and the Preakness second-place finisher, Mine That Bird.

The pre-race portion of the broadcast, from 5 p.m. to 6:15, received a 2.6 rating, up 86 percent over the pre-race rating last year of 1.4. Share was 6, double the 3 share of last year’s pre-race portion of the broadcast.

NBC is in the first year of a five-year contract to broadcast all three races of the Triple Crown.

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