2:12pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Belmont Stakes Ratings: 22 Million Watch American Pharoah Win Triple Crown
American Pharoah broke horse racing's 37-year Triple Crown drought, but his triumphant run at the Belmont Stakes did not break any records.
An average 18.5 million viewers — down 2 million from 2014 — tuned in to see if the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner could pull off the three-peat at Belmont. That said, the telecast did spike between 6:45 and 7 p.m., when 22 million viewers saw American Pharoah cross the finish line.
It's the end of the big racing season for NBC, which has aired the Kentucky Derby (16 million viewers) and the Preakness (8.9 million viewers) over the last month.
The races were a mixed bag compared to 2014 — when California Chrome positioned himself as a potential Triple Crown winner before losing at Belmont. The Kentucky Derby was up (from 15.3 million viewers), and the Preakness was down (from 9.6 million viewers).