Some 22 million viewers watched Saturday as American Pharoah became the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 37 years.
Saturday’s coverage of the 147th Belmont Stakes drew an average of 18.6 million viewers for NBC’s full race coverage (6:15-7:15 p.m.). Though it was actually down slightly from last year (20.5 million), it was still the third-most watched Belmont on record. American Pharoah’s Triple Crown was the first since Affirmed accomplished the feat in 1978.
Following the landmark race, the second game of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning rose slightly from last year’s second game to 6.6 million viewers. The game, a 4-3 win by the Lightning to even the series at 1-1, was the most-watched Game 2 on record and the most-watched non-clinching Stanley Cup Final game ever.
As in previous years, the Stanley Cup Final moves to cabler NBCSN for the next two games, beginning Monday.