22 million watch American Pharoah cross finish line as First Triple Crown winner in 37 years
Blackhawks-Lightning on NBC most-watched NHL Stanley Cup Game 2 on record
NBC Sports' history-making "Championship Saturday," featuring American Pharoah's victory in the 147th Belmont Stakes to win the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978, and Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning, delivered ratings milestones, according to fast national data provided by The Nielsen Company.
"The 37-year wait is over. American Pharoah is finally the one! American Pharoah has won the Triple Crown!" - Larry Collmus' race call on NBC
An average of 22 million viewers tuned in on NBC from 6:45-7 p.m. ET as American Pharoah crossed the finish line of the Belmont Stakes with a 51/2-length edge to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.
•The full race portion of the telecast (6:15-7:15 p.m.) averaged 18.6 million viewers - ranking as the third most-watched Belmont Stakes on record (People Meter history dates to 1988), and marking the first time on record the Belmont has averaged at least 18.5 million viewers in consecutive years (20.5 million in 2014). The Belmont Stakes posted an 11.2/26 fast national rating - also third-best in People Meter history for a Belmont.
•Post-Belmont coverage from 7-7:15 p.m., which featured the special Triple Crown ceremony, delivered a 10.9/25 rating and 18.3 million viewers - up a respective 8 percent and 2 percent from last year's post-race quarter hour.
•The Belmont Stakes posted the largest viewership for a Saturday afternoon sporting event since NBC's telecast of the Ravens-Patriots AFC Divisional Playoff Jan. 10 (34 million viewers).
•The New York market, the home of the Belmont Stakes, registered a 16.6 rating/36 share - up 5 percent 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).
•The replay of the Belmont Stakes, with Collmus' race call, plus additional Belmont video coverage was viewed 2.5 million times across the platforms of NBC Sports Digital.
NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 2
NBC Sports' Saturday primetime presentation of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on NBC averaged 6.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched Game 2 on record (data available since 1994), and the most-watched non-deciding Stanley Cup Final game on record. The game followed NBC Sports' presentation of the Belmont Stakes.
•The second contest between the Blackhawks and Lightning surpassed last year's viewership of Game 2 between the Kings and Rangers, which also followed Belmont Stakes coverage and was decided in double overtime (6.4 million), by 3 percent. Viewership for the game peaked in the final full quarter-hour (9:45-10 p.m.), with more than 7.2 million viewers. The 7:15-7:30 p.m. lead-in quarter-hour, which immediately followed Belmont Stakes coverage, averaged nearly 10.7 million viewers. The game delivered a 3.9 household rating.
•Chicago delivered a 22.6 rating, followed by Tampa Bay's 15.1 local market rating, which stands as the second-highest rating in Tampa for a Lightning game on any NBC network, trailing only Game 1 last Wednesday night on NBC (17.9).