NBC no doubt took a major ratings blow when I'll Have Another was scratched from the 2012 Belmont Stakes, leaving the race without a potential Triple Crown winner. The race was still a big ratings draw, however, even without its biggest story line during the three-week lead up. The event drew a 5.4 rating and a 13 share, which is a 13 percent increase over last year's Belmont Stakes, and 74 percent over the 2010 race on ABC.
The ratings were the best for a non-Triple Crown Belmont since 2005. Predictably, ratings would have fared much better if I'll Have Another had been healthy. Big Brown's attempt to win the Triple Crown in 2008 drew a 9.5 rating a 21 share for ABC.
This year's Belmont did especially well in the New York market, drawing a 9.6 rating and 22 share--a 30 percent increase over the previous year.