NBC dedicated more time to women’s sports than men’s for the 8th night in a row, and the 9th time in 10 nights, during its primetime Olympic broadcast on Thursday, August 5, 2021.
For the men’s events, three had more than a minute of coverage. Track and Field had more than 28 minutes, with coverage of the 1500 meter semifinals, the 400 meter finals, and the final of the decathlon. Skateboarding had more than 19 minutes, with coverage of the first ever final in the park event which saw American Cory Juneau win bronze. Wrestling was shown for more than 2 minutes, as NBC aired the ending of the gold medal match in the 86kg weight class where American David Taylor won gold.
For the women’s events, four sports had more than a minute of airtime. Beach volleyball had more than 51 minutes as Team USA’s April Ross and Alix Klineman won gold. Diving had more than 27 minutes with coverage of the platform final. Track and Field had more than 16 minutes of airtime fosed on the 4×400 meter relay heats, the pole vault final where American Katie Nageotte won gold, and the final event of the heptathlon. Soccer had more than 2 minutes of coverage showing the U.S. winning the bronze medal match.
Overall, men’s events received 34.21% of the coverage on Thursday night, compared to 65.79% for women. Mixed sex events did not receive any airtime.
When mixed sex events are excluded, men have received 40.63% of the total coverage, compared to 59.37% 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.