NBC devoted more time to women’s sports than men’s for the 6th night in a row, and the 7th time in 8 nights, during its primetime Olympic broadcast on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.
On the men’s side, three events had more than one minute of coverage. Diving had just under 25 minutes with the springboard competition. Track and field had over 24 minutes with the semifinal races in the 110 meter hurdles and the 200 meters. Gymnastics had more than 18 minutes with the high bar final, where Team USA’s Brody Malone was a contender for a medal as he finished in 4th place.
On the women’s side, three events also had more than a minute of coverage. Gymnastics came in with more than 38 minutes focused primarily on the balance beam final, where Team USA’s Simone Biles returned to competition to win a bronze medal. NBC also featured an interview with Simone Biles.
Women’s track and field had more than 36 minutes and featured three finals events, all of which had medal winning performances by Team USA Olympians. In the 800 meters, Athing Mu and Raevyn Rogers won gold and bronze, respectively. In the 200 meters, Gabrielle Thomas won silver. In 400 meter hurdles, Sydney McLaughlin won gold and Dalilah Muhammad won silver.
Women’s golf had just over one minute as day one of the women’s golf tournament started.
Equestrian was the lone mixed sex event receiving coverage, with 34 seconds of airtime. NBC specifically advertised the event would be on nbcolympics.com and mentioned that Bruce Springsteen’s daughter, Jessica, started her competition that day.
Overall, men’s events received 46.68% of the coverage on Tuesday night, compared to 52.94% for women. Mixed sex events received 0.38% of the airtime.
When mixed sex events are excluded, men have received 40.47% of the total coverage, compared to 59.53% 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.