Beijing Olympics Primetime Coverage Report Day 2: Women Receive Slightly More Airtime On NBC Than Men; Men Lead Overall Coverage

NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast on Friday, February 4, 2022, was centered on the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony, with little coverage dedicated to specific athletes and sports.

Only two men’s events received more than one minute of airtime: curling and snowboarding. Curling coverage focused on Team USA’s flag bearer, John Shuster. Snowboarding coverage included previews that highlighted Team USA’s Shaun White and Red Gerard.

On the women’s side, the only sport with more than one minute of airtime was speed skating, as NBC focused on Team USA flag bearer, Brittany Bowe, and showed a brief interview with Erin Jackson.

Overall, coverage of men’s events accounted for 44.91% of NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast on Friday night. Women’s events received 52.74% of the coverage. Mixed sex events (e.g., ice dancing) received 2.35% of NBC’s coverage.

NBC Beijing Day 2 Mixed

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After 2 nights, when mixed sex events are excluded, men’s events have received 75.48% of NBC’s primetime broadcast coverage compared to 24.52% for women’s events.

NBC Beijing Day 2 No Mixed

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Regular updates about NBC’s coverage of men and women athletes will be posted throughout the 2022 Beijing Winter Games on FiveRingTV.com. Additional updates will also be posted on the @FiveRingTV Twitter feed. A mid-Olympic report, with complete sport-by-sport coverage breakdowns, will also be issued.

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Method: 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. 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 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.