Driven by team snowboard cross, mixed sex sports received 43.82% of the sports coverage during NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast on Friday, February 11, 2022, more than either men’s or women’s sports.
Four men’s events had least one minute of coverage. Skeleton had 20 minutes of airtime as the medalists were crowned. Short track speed skating had 13 minutes of coverage for the 500 meter heats. Ski jumping clocked in at just under 10 minutes for the large hill qualifiers. 3 minutes were dedicated to snowboarding as NBC recapped Shaun White’s Olympic career.
Three women’s events had at least one minute of airtime. Short track speed skating had 15 minutes with the semifinals and finals of the 1000 meter race. Alpine skiing had 6 minutes of coverage focused on the training run for downhill. Figure skating rounded things out with 1 minute dedicated to the doping scandal.
In mixed sex events, the only sport to receive more than a minute of coverage was snowboarding. NBC devoted more than 56 minutes to the inaugural team snowboard cross event, where Team USA’s Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner won the gold medal.
Overall, coverage of men’s events accounted for 36.74% of NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast. Women’s events received 19.44% of NBC’s coverage. Mixed sex events (e.g., ice dancing) received 43.82% of NBC’s coverage.
After 9 nights, when mixed sex events are excluded, men’s events have received 48.93% of NBC’s primetime broadcast coverage compared to 51.07% 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.