History Made During NBC's Milestone Saturday
American Pharoah captured the first Triple Crown in 37 years as the Belmont Stakes posted a 12.3 overnight rating, while Serena Williams’ French Open victory for her 20th Grand Slam singles title rose 21 percent from last year’s women’s final. (Photo: AP Images)
NBC Sports’ history-making "Championship Saturday," featuring American Pharoah's victory in the 147th Belmont Stakes to win the first Triple Crown in 37 years, Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning, and Serena Williams winning her 20th Grand Slam singles title with her French Open victory, registered ratings milestones, according to metered market data provided today by The Nielsen Company.
On Saturday afternoon, American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 with a 5½-length victory in the Belmont Stakes. The race portion of the telecast (6:15-7:15 p.m. ET) registered a 12.3/27 metered market rating – the third-best overnight for a Belmont Stakes on record (People Meter history dates to 1988).
NBC has posted back-to-back 12+ overnight ratings for the Triple Crown’s third jewel (12.9 for California Chrome’s attempt in ’14) – marking the first time in People Meter history that successive Belmont Stakes have topped a 12 overnight.
The 2015 Belmont Stakes posted the highest metered market rating for a Saturday afternoon sporting event since NBC’s telecast of the Ravens-Patriots AFC Divisional Playoff on Jan. 10 (20.9).
The New York market, the home of the Belmont Stakes, registered a 16.6 rating/36 share – up 5% from last year’s Belmont (15.8/37) and ranking as the second-highest Belmont in the market behind only Smarty Jones’ Triple Crown attempt in 2004 (20.5/38). (Belmont Stakes top 10 markets below)
Last night’s Chicago Blackhawks-Tampa Bay Lightning contest on NBC, in which the Lightning won 4-3 to even the series at one game apiece, delivered a 4.8 metered market rating, making it NBC’s best Stanley Cup Final Game 2 overnight ever and best on broadcast television on record. It was up 5% vs. last year’s double overtime Game 2 (4.56, NYR-L.A.).
The game (7:15-10:15 p.m. ET), which immediately followed NBC Sports’ coverage of the Belmont Stakes, posted a 22.6 rating in Chicago and a 15.1 in Tampa. NBC was the No. 1 network in each market during the game.
Rounding out the Top 5 markets were Buffalo (8.6), Milwaukee (6.7) and Ft. Myers (6.5).
Serena Williams’ three-set French Open victory against Lucie Safarova – marking Williams 20th career Grand Slam singles crown – registered a 1.88 metered market rating on NBC, up 21% from last year’s women’s final.
Premier Boxing Champions on NBC (3-4:30pm ET), featuring Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero’s split decision win over Aron Martinez posted a .95 overnight – up 12% from NBC’s prior PBC on NBC afternoon telecast on May 23.
Scott Dixon’s Indy Car victory in the Firestone 600 on NBCSN last night drew a .37 metered market rating – up 6% from last year’s Texas race.
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