Even without I'll Have Another going for the last leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes did OK in the ratings for NBC, drawing an overnight audience 13 percent larger than last year's and 74 percent above 2010.
Saturday's telecast drew a 5.4 rating and 13 share (rating is percentage of TV households in U.S., while share is the percentage in use). The actual number of viewers nationally will not be available until Tuesday, according to NBC Sports.
Here are the overnights for the last six years, and the TOP 10 markets for Saturday's race, as provided by NBC Sports.
The audience in Baltimore was the fourth largest in the nation just behind that of New York where the race was held.
BELMONT STAKES OVERNIGHT RATINGS SINCE 2006 (Race Portion):
2012 5.4/13 NBC (Triple Crown contender I’ll Have Another scratched
2011 4.8/11 NBC
2010 3.1/7 ABC
2009 5.0/12 ABC (Borel going for unprecedented jockey Triple Crown)
2008 9.5/21 ABC (Triple Crown at stake – Big Brown)
2007 3.5/8 ABC
2006 3.8/9 ABC
TOP 10 OVERNIGHT RATINGS FOR BELMONT STAKES:
1. Ft. Myers, 11.2/23
2. West Palm Beach, 10.8/21
3. New York, 9.6/22
4. Baltimore, 8.3/18
5. Orlando, 7.8/15
6. Tampa, 7.7/14
7. Greensboro, 7.5/15
T8. Pittsburgh, 7.4/19
T8. Louisville, 7.4/15
T8. Richmond, 7.4/14
In terms of overall viewership for the first two legs of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby was seen by 14.8 million, while 8.1 million saw the Preakness.
In 2011, the Preakness was seen by 8.8 million.