NBC devoted more time to women’s sports than men’s for the 5th night in a row, and the 6th time in 7 nights, during its primetime Olympic broadcast on Monday, August 2, 2021. Women’s coverage almost tripled the men’s on Monday night.
For the men, only track and field was featured for more than one minute as more than 40 minutes were devoted to covering the 400 meter semifinals, the 200 meter heats, the qualifying round for the triple jump, and the final for the 400 meter hurdles. The 400 meter hurdles saw Team USA’s Rai Benjamin win silver.
On this women’s side, four different sports had over a minute of airtime. Women’s track and field clocked in just over 48 minutes for the 400 meter opening heats, the 400 meter hurdles semifinals, and the long jump finals, where American Brittney Reese won silver. Brief recaps for both the qualifying round of the pole vault and the discus final, where Team USA’s Valarie Allman won gold, were also featured.
Women’s beach volleyball received just under 39 minutes of coverage, with the focus on the American beach volleyball team of April Ross and Alix Klineman winning their way into the semifinals. More than 23 minutes were dedicated to gymnastics for both American Jade Carey’s gold medal win in the floor exercise final and discussion of Simone Biles’s return for the balance beam final. Soccer received more than one minute of coverage which included a recap of Team USA’s loss to Canada.
Overall, men’s events received 27.35% of the coverage on Monday night, compared to 72.65% for women. Mixed sex events did not receive any coverage.
When mixed sex events are excluded, men have received 39.91% of the total coverage, compared to 60.09% for women.
Regular updates about NBC’s coverage of men and women athletes will be posted throughout the 2021 Tokyo Summer Games on FiveRingTV.com.
Additional updates will be posted on the @FiveRingTV Twitter feed.
A mid-Olympic report, with complete sport-by-sport coverage breakdowns for the first seven nights of the Tokyo Olympic Games is posted here.
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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 or DVR 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. The NBC broadcast network East Coast feed was used for the calculations. Olympic coverage on affiliated cable networks and live streaming was not included. Network overruns beyond 11:00pm up to the break for local news are included within the calculations.
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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 a detailed overview of Olympic television history. Published by Routledge, it is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats at Amazon.com, the Routledge website, and other outlets.