Olympic Primetime Report Day 6: NBC Focuses On Men And Mixed Pair Events; Women’s Events Receive Little Airtime

Shaun White’s quest for his third gold medal in Snowboard Halfpipe and an emphasis on pairs figure skating events drove NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast on Tuesday, February 13, 2018.

The women’s alpine event was canceled due to weather (though it received three and a half minutes of coverage for updates about the schedule) and men’s speed skating received 22 minutes of coverage. No other sport had more than two minutes total.

As a result, men received significantly more coverage than women on Tuesday night, with men’s events accounting for 60.16% of NBC’s Olympic coverage, the largest percentage for men recorded in one evening at this Olympiad to date. Women’s and mixed pair events comprised 3.12% and 36.72% of NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast respectively.

NBC Night 6

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When mixed pair events are excluded, the contrast in coverage is even more stark, as men received 96.06% of NBC’s primetime coverage compared to 4.94% for women

NBC Night 6 No Mixed

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These figures will be updated to include a running total of percentages for men’s and women’s events soon.

Regular updates about NBC’s coverage of men and women athletes will be posted throughout the 2018 Winter Games on FiveRingTV.com. A mid-Olympic report, with complete sport-by-sport coverage breakdowns, will be issued on February 18.

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* The percentage of primetime devoted to men’s, women’s and mixed sex sports was calculated by a single researcher, utilizing a stopwatch and DVD time codes, measuring (to the millisecond) the total amount of time devoted to each event. Any time spent at the actual athletic site, on a profile about an athlete, promos about a specific athlete or sport, and host commentary about a specific sport or athlete was recorded. Split screens combining commercials and live coverage are included in the calculation, but commercial breaks are not included. The NBC broadcast network East Coast feed was used for this calculation. Olympic coverage on cable networks and live streaming was not included. Network overruns beyond 11:00pm up to the break for local news are included within this calculation.

Olympic Television: Broadcasting the Biggest Show on Earth contains a detailed 20-year examination of how male and female athletes have been covered within primetime Olympic broadcasts. The book also has analyses of how race/ethnicity and nationality impact Olympic coverage, interviews with NBC personnel about the content and production of Olympic broadcasts, and an overview of Olympic television history. Published by Routledge, it is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats at Amazon.com, the Routledge website, The Bookstore Plus, and other outlets.