Men’s sports received a little more than 56% of the coverage, when mixed sex sports are excluded, during NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast on Thursday, February 10, 2022.
Only two men’s events received any coverage Thursday night: snowboarding and figure skating. Almost 1 hour and 25 minutes of airtime was dedicated to snowboarding as Team USA’s Shaun White made his final Olympic appearance in the halfpipe just missing the podium in fourth place. There was also 8 minutes of figure skating as NBC replayed Nathan Chen’s performance from the night before and his medal ceremony.
Three women’s events had at least one minute of airtime. Alpine skiing had 1 hour and 7 minutes for the Super-G and Mikaela Shiffrin. Snowboarding had 3 minutes to show the medal ceremony for Team USA’s Chloe Kim. Figure skating was featured for just over 1 minute to give an update on the Kamila Valieva doping situation.
In the mixed sex events, a promo for ice dancing and a brief mention of the American’s gold medal performance from the day before in the freestyle skiing team aerials event each received less than one minute of coverage.
Overall, coverage of men’s events accounted for 56.17% of NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast. Women’s events received 43.45% of NBC’s coverage. Mixed sex events (e.g., ice dancing) received 0.38% of NBC’s coverage.
After 8 nights, when mixed sex events are excluded, men’s events have received 47.88% of NBC’s primetime broadcast coverage compared to 52.12% 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.