Men’s sports received more coverage than women’s sports during NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast on Wednesday, February 9, 2022.
There were three men’s events with at least 1 minute of content. Figure skating, which featured Team USA’s Nathen Chen winning a gold medal in the men’s singles competition, had 1 hour and 33 minutes of coverage. Alpine skiing had just under 22 minutes of airtime. Snowboarding had 6 and a half minutes of coverage with a preview focusing on Team USA’s Shaun White and the halfipe final taking place the next day.
Three women’s events had least 1 minute of content: snowboarding, alpine skiing and figure skating. Snowboarding clocked in at 1 hour and 28 minutes of airtime as NBC showed the snowboard cross final where Team USA’s Lindsey Jacobellis won her first gold medal in the event after winning silver in 2006 and then failing the medal in 2010, 2014 and 2018. It was also the first ever Team USA gold medal in snowboard cross. Women’s snowboard halfpipe, however, received the bulk of the snowboarding coverage as Team USA’s Chloe Kim repeated her PyeongChang success by winning a gold medal in the event. Alpine skiing had more than a minute of coverage focused on Team USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin. Figure skating also had just over a minute of airtime with a discussion of the team event and Kamila Valieva’s positive drug test.
There were no mixed sex events featured.
Overall, coverage of men’s events accounted for 57.30% of NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast. Women’s events received 42.70% of NBC’s coverage. Mixed sex events (e.g., ice dancing) received no coverage.
When mixed sex events are excluded, the numbers are the same: 57.30% for men’s events and 42.70% for women’s events.
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.