Monday, June 01, 2009

Belmont Stakes TV Ratings Preview

Now that we know Rachel Alexandra will skip the Belmont Stakes, how will the TV ratings be? For a point of reference this years Kentucky Derby had a final rating of 9.8 and the Preakness had a final rating of 6.8.

One thing for sure, is that ratings for the Belmont Stakes climb when a horse is going for the Triple Crown and are only so-so when no Triple Crown is on the line.

Here is the Data. First the ratings when a Triple Crown is on the line (since 1997) listed by rating, year, horse attempting triple and network:

9.0,: 2008-Big Brown - ABC
13.1,: 2004-Smarty Jones - NBC
10.7,: 2003- Funny Cide - NBC
8.4,: 2002- War Emblem -NBC
6.0,: 1999- Charismatic - ABC
5.9,: 1998- Real Quiet -, ABC
5.3,: 1997,-Silver Charm - ABC

Now here are the ratings when no Triple Crown is on the line since 1997 listed by rating, year, Belmont winner and network:

3.2, - 2007-Rags to Riches -ABC
3.5, -2006-Jazil - ABC
5.4, -2005-Afleet Alex - - NBC
4.9,-2001 - Point Given - NBC
2.8,-2000 – Commendale-, ABC

Since 1997 , with a Triple Crown on the line, the average rating is 8.3. When it is not the rating average is 4.0.

If Rachel would have run, (she had more name recognition than Rags to Riches) the matchup with Mine That Bird would have drawn the casual fan to the Tube, and a 5.0-7.0 rating figure would be possible. Now, with no Triple Crown on the line and no marketable foe facing Mine That Bird look for a rating in the 3.5-5.0 range.

Source: Nielsen Media Research


Power Cap said...

I think you are correct on the rating. Also consider that ABC has the rights to the race. ABC's promotion of the race has been anemic compared to the blitz NBC used to tout the Derby and Preakness.

sissyfisher said...

Don't be so negative. With the right media attention it could be a very fruitful event.

Anonymous said...

Get the women involved. The whole Bethany Frankel, Housewives of NY City thing is awful powerful. I'm sure there are other female angles to build on.

Haven't seen one ABC advertisement yet?

SaratogaSpa said...

Thanks all for reading.

I would love to see one network have exclusive rights to the Triple Crown series. NBC did a good job with the Derby & Preakness-would have been interesting to see them continue to promote straight into the Belmont.

keeptrying said...

I think the ratings just might be pretty good for the Belmont. Alot of people are staying close to home because of the economy. Besides that, IMO ABC does a pretty good job with their news reporting compared with NBC. Maybe that can transfer over to Belmont Day coverage.
Also, I think the idea of Bethenny Frankel and that Housewives show is a mistake. It's already been used. I think reality shows are on the way out!!!!!!!!!
Why not have some features about horses and racing with someone who seems credible, honest,caring and intelligent doing the voiceover/interviewing.
Lastly, hopefully ABC can forget the self righteous and sentimental attitude Costas and some of his NBC colleagues seem to think the public want so dearly to hear.
Emjoy the race!

Anonymous said...

Today's Belmont coverage by ABC was dreadful! What happened?