TV Ratings: Triple Crown Hopes Drive 21 Million to Belmont Stakes

California Chrome's failed attempt at horse-racing's biggest title gives the NBC telecast its second-biggest audience ever.
Associated Press

Saturday was a boon to NBC. The network averaged 21.3 million viewers during the running of the Belmont Stakes, the race's second biggest audience on record.

For the third race in the Triple Crown, hopes were high for California Chrome, the horse that won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. He finished in a tie for fourth place.

The last Triple Crown attempt, which aired on ABC in 2008, pulled in 13.1 million viewers -- making this an impressive 57 percent jump.

Among adults 18-49, the race clocked in an impressive 4.0 rating.

It just marked the beginning of a huge sports day for NBC, which had aired Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final to huge gains over the last two years.