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NBC earns strong TV ratings with American Pharoah's Triple Crown win

History was made at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, and the television ratings reflect the significance of American Pharoah's Triple Crown triumph.

According to NBC, the race, which saw American Pharoah become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, registered the third-best preliminary TV rating (12.3/27 metered market rating) for a Belmont Stakes telecast since records began in 1988.

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In addition, the race posted the highest rating for a Saturday afternoon sporting event since the AFC divisional playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots on Jan. 10.

Still, the 12.3 overnight rating isn't the best rating NBC has seen with the Belmont Stakes. Last year, the network achieved a 12.9 for California Chrome's attempt at the Triple Crown. It is only the second time an overnight 12 rating has been achieved for the Belmont Stakes.

Ratings represent the percentage of U.S. homes with televisions tuned to a program, and overnights measure the country's largest markets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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