Women’s sports received more coverage than men’s sports for the fifth night in a row during NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast on Wednesday, February 16, 2022.
Two men’s events received at least one minute of coverage. Freestyle skiing had 18 minutes of airtime for the aerials finals. Curling had 2 minutes of coverage focused on the Team USA match against Denmark.
Four women’s events were featured for more than one minute. Alpine skiing led the way with 53 minutes of coverage focused on the combined event. Freestyle skiing clocked in just under 35 minutes for halfpipe coverage. Figure skating had 6 minutes of airtime, with a focus on the Russian doping controversy. Ice hockey had just under 4 minutes of coverage hyping the Team USA vs. Canada gold medal game that would take place later that night.
No mixed sex events were covered.
Overall, coverage of men’s events accounted for 17.48% of NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast. Women’s events received 82.52% of NBC’s coverage. Mixed sex events (e.g., ice dancing) received 0.00% of NBC’s coverage.
After 14 nights, when mixed sex events are excluded, men’s events have received 41.39% of NBC’s primetime broadcast coverage compared to 58.61% 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 final 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 DVR or DVD 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. Split screens combining commercials and live coverage are included in the calculation, but commercial breaks are not included. The NBC broadcast network East Coast feed was used for this calculation. 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 this calculation.
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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.