Women’s sports received more coverage than men’s sports for the sixth night in a row during NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast on Thursday, February 17, 2022.
For the men’s events, there was a promo for Team USA’s David Wise competing in the freestyle skiing halfpipe that lasted 16 seconds and a very brief mention, with an image, of the Team USA men’s speed skaters who won bronze in the team pursuit event.
Three women’s sports were featured for more than one minute. Figure skating received 1 hour and 38 minutes of coverage for the free skate event. Freestyle skiing had 28 minutes of airtime for the halfpipe. Speed skating had 10 minutes of coverage for the 1,000 meter event where Team USA’s Brittany Bowe won bronze.
The 17 seconds of mixed sex events coverage focused on a promo for the upcoming pairs figure skating event.
Overall, coverage of men’s events accounted for 0.28% of NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast. Women’s events received 99.52% of NBC’s coverage. Mixed sex events (e.g., ice dancing) received 0.20% of NBC’s coverage.
After 15 nights, when mixed sex events are excluded, men’s events have received 38.50% of NBC’s primetime broadcast coverage compared to 61.50% 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.