Updated on 09/15/2011 12:25PM

Final Belmont ratings up 61%

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NEW YORK - NBC's broadcast of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday received a 4.5 rating and 13 share, a 61 percent increase over the final rating for ABC's broadcast last year.

The rating was the highest for a Belmont Stakes that did not include a horse trying for the Triple Crown since 1992. Last year, the rating for the Belmont was a 2.8 and 9 share, the lowest in history.

Overall, NBC's coverage of the Triple Crown exceeded the expectations of the network and Triple Crown Productions, the company owned by Churchill Downs, the Maryland Jockey Club, and the New York Racing Association. The combined final ratings for the three shows generated ratings that were 49 percent higher than the combined ratings in 2000.

NBC took over from ABC this year after bidding $51.5 million for the broadcast rights to the Triple Crown for five years. NBC moved the telecasts back a half-hour and also eliminated any competition between the racing broadcasts and the network's coverage of the NBA playoffs.