In a telecast that contained more than two and half hours of athlete and sport coverage, women’s coverage outpaced the men’s by an astounding 83 to 1 margin on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast on February 20, 2018
Men’s coverage included ice hockey, which clocked in at over a minute, and other sports that amounted to 15 seconds or less each. In total, men’s sports received 1 minute, 51 seconds of airtime. On the women’s side alpine skiing, bobsled, figure skating, and short track speed skating that had significant amounts coverage. Women’s ice hockey had 26 seconds of coverage. There were no mixed pair events aired.
The distribution of NBC’s Olympic coverage on Tuesday night was 98.81% for women’s events, while men’s events received 1.19% of the broadcast. There were no mixed pair events aired.
When mixed pair events are excluded, the percentages were the same 98.81% for women and 1.19% for men.
After 13 nights, women have now received more coverage than men on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast. Based on information provided by NBC, it is predicted that this trend will continue and that women will likely end up with more primetime coverage than men in PyeongChang. Such an occurrence would be historic as women have never received more primetime coverage than men in a Winter Olympiad, dating back to 1994 when the studies began.
Regular updates about NBC’s coverage of men and women athletes will be posted throughout the 2018 Winter Games on FiveRingTV.com. A final report will be issued after the Games conclude.
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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.