06/14/2011 11:35AM

Belmont Stakes television ratings up markedly from 2010

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The race portion of the 2011 Belmont Stakes broadcast on NBC Sports on Saturday had a 4.3 rating and 10 share, well over the numbers for the anemic 2010 broadcast on ABC but slightly off the 2009 rating and share.

The rating for the race portion of the broadcast was up 43 percent over last year’s rating, which was the lowest since 1996. Public interest in last year’s Belmont was negatively impacted by the absence of the winners of both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, while this year’s race included both winners of the first two legs of the Triple Crown, along with a total of seven runners from the Derby.

According to data released by NBC from the Nielsen Company, 6.8 million viewers watched the race portion of the broadcast, up 44 percent over last year’s race portion. Although the 4.4 national rating for the 2009 broadcast was slightly higher than the 2011 broadcast, the Nielsen data indicated that the viewership figure for the 2009 race was slightly lower than this year’s race, at 6.6 million.