Plenty of viewers are expected to tune in to NBC for the 147th running of the Belmont stakes on Saturday June 6th, with the hope of watching American Pharaoh become the 12th Triple Crown winner and the first to capture the title since Affirmed in 1978.
For those of us casual horseracing fans, completing the Triple Crown consists of winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes within the same year. With American Pharaoh emerging victorious from the Derby and Preakness in 2015, this will be the second consecutive year with a Triple Crown hopeful and the 3rd time in four years.
NBC is clearly reaping the benefits of this unlikely string of Triple Crown contenders. According to Nielsen, Belmont total viewership has increased 11.5% YOY in 2012 and 183% YOY in 2014. The chart below shows total viewership for each race from 2011-2015.
As soon as American Pharaoh crossed a rainy finish line at Pimlico, we can only imagine that there was dancing, fist bumps and awkward hugs galore over at NBC Sports.