06/11/2013 10:57AM

Belmont Stakes television ratings down slightly from 2012

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The Belmont Stakes broadcast on NBC on Saturday had a final national rating of 4.5 with a share of 11, slightly down from the figures last year but slightly up from the 2011 figures, according to numbers distributed by the network Tuesday.

Comparisons between the Belmont this year and last year are somewhat quirky because of the scratch last year of I’ll Have Another the day before the race. I’ll Have Another had already won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and the run-up to a possible attempt at a Triple Crown boosted interest in the race, even though the horse did not run in the Belmont.

Last year, the national rating was a 4.8 with an 11 share, according to NBC, translating to 7.7 million viewers. Viewership for this year’s broadcast, which ran from 5 to 7 p.m. Eastern, was 7.0 million, NBC said.

In 2011, when a Triple Crown was not on the line, the rating was a 4.3 and the share was a 10, with viewership of 6.8 million, according to NBC.

Overall, viewership for the three Triple Crown races this year was up an average of 7 percent, the network said. Though total annual handle numbers for U.S. races have declined markedly over the past five years, television ratings for the three races of the Triple Crown have been surprisingly resilient, with the Derby broadcast remaining one of the highest rated sports telecasts of the year.

Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
it would not shock me.NBC butchered the coverage of Preakness day, when it went on the national feed. They neglected to show the 2 races prior to the preakness. They actually think the general public, for whom they cater to turn in to watch. with no triple crown on the line,these johnny come lately fans abandoned the racing game as though it had the plague.To NBC and the racing heads,enough with trying to make this game a spectator sport.You have tried this for the past 5 years with rachel,zennyata and many other favorites. It does not work,these people watch and never come to the track or bet from home. Realize that gambling is not illegal in horse racing. Use your energies to get back the millions of fans you lost with your incompetant handling of the game.Stop being greedy,offer higher rebates to the lower tier player.do not just cater to your whales. Trust me,any rebate money a horseplayer gets.they will reinvest it into the windows.They will not pull the money out.they love the action to much.As far as NBC is concerned,when showing the triple crown races. Show all of the others.have a responsibility to help expand the game,do not just aim for the ratings and neglect the racing fan. B not showing other graded races,you are telling the novice or beginer that they are not important.therefore why should they come and bet. They will just wait for the next big national feed and tune in to watch.
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
I thought NBC's coverage was excellent and very well paced. Lafitte Pincay lll proved he belongs with A list broadcasters.. Great job by all..
Gunner More than 1 year ago
LP3 is the man!