Ratings down for Justify’s Triple Crown victory

Justify’s historic Triple Crown victory in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes on NBC delivered an 8.1/19 overnight (not including digital) – likely making it the weekend’s top TV event. NBC’s overnight for the 150th Belmont Stakes peaked at a 9.9/23 from 6:45-7 p.m. ET, according to the networks, as Justify crossed the finish line to become the second undefeated Triple Crown winner (Seattle Slew) in U.S. horse racing history.

Top markets for NBC’s Belmont Stakes telecast:
1 – Louisville 19.0/36
2 – Ft. Myers 15.2/30
3 – Baltimore 12.7/30
3 – West Palm Beach 12.7/23
5 – Tampa 12.1/26
6 – Columbus 11.5/23
7 – Orlando 11.2/25
7 – Norfolk 11.2/21
7 – Knoxville 11.2/21
10 – Pittsburgh 11.1/24

However, the race’s overnight rating was a 33% decline from the 12.3 overnight delivered when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown in 2015, a performance that ended a 37-year Triple Crown drought. That decline in viewership is almost identical to the numbers generated for the Boston Red Sox when the team broke its World Series drought in 2004 (average of 25.4 million viewers) compared to when they won the World Series again three years later in 2007 (17.1 million viewers). Both of those World Series were four-game sweeps.

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