NBC dedicated more time to women’s sports than men’s for the 7th night in a row, and the 8th time in 9 nights, during its primetime Olympic broadcast on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.
Only one men’s sport had at least one minute of coverage. Men’s track and field was shown for 1 hour, 14 minutes, and 58 seconds as NBC featured the finals of the following events: Shotput, where Team USA’s Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs won gold and silver respectively; the 200 meters, which saw two Team USA medals as Kenny Bednarek, Noah Lyles, and Erriyon Knighton respectively placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th; the 110 meter hurdles, where American Grant Holloway won silver and American Devon Allen placed 4th; the triple jump, which saw American Will Claye just miss the podium in 4th place; and the 800 meters.
Five different women’s sports had at least one minute of coverage. Beach volleyball had more than 31 minutes, as NBC focused on Team USA’s April Ross and Alix Klineman winning their semifinal match.
Women’s track and field clocked in over 27 minutes of airtime, with the semifinals of the 400 meters, the heats for the 4×100 meter relay, and day one of the heptathlon.
Women’s diving received more than 12 minutes of coverage with the semifinals of the platform event.
Women’s golf had just under 4 minutes of airtime with coverage of day 2 of the tournament.
Women’s karate had 1 and a half minutes to kick off the new Olympic event and to promote it being shown on nbcolympics.com.
Overall, men’s events received 48.66% of the coverage on Wednesday night, compared to 51.34% for women. Mixed sex events did not receive any airtime.
When mixed sex events are excluded, men have received 41.13% of the total coverage, compared to 58.87% 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.