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Volume 26 No. 202
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Belmont Stakes Kicks Off Triple Crown With Lower Viewership

NBC averaged 3.4 million viewers (TV+streaming) for the rescheduled, shortened and fan-less Belmont Stakes on Saturday afternoon. The race, traditionally run as the final leg of the Triple Crown in early June, was the first to go this year, with the Kentucky Derby slated for Sept. 5 and the Preakness having the last leg on Oct. 3. The 3.4 million viewers marks the least-watched Belmont Stakes on record, with the previous low being 3.7 million on ABC in ’96. The 3.4 million viewers also marks the least-watched opening leg of the Triple Crown on record. The last time the Kentucky Derby did not top 10 million viewers was in '00 on ABC (9.1 million). Saturday’s race peaked at 4 million viewers from 5:45-5:57pm ET. Louisville led all markets with a 5.8 local rating, followed by West Palm Beach (5.5) and Baltimore (5.4). Despite the lower audience, Belmont led all sports telecasts over the weekend (NASCAR was rained out). The TV-only figure for the race was 3.3 million viewers.