Men’s sports received more coverage than women’s sports by almost a 3 to 1 margin on NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast on Friday, February 18, 2022.
On the men’s side, freestyle skiing had 1 hour and 4 minutes of coverage for the halfpipe final where Team USA’s David Wise and Alex Ferreira won the silver and bronze medals respectively.
On the women’s side, the initial runs of the two-women bobsled were featured for 19 minutes.
For the mixed sex events, the short program for pairs figure skating was covered for 1 hour and 2 minutes.
No other sports (for men, women, or mixed) were seen for one minute or more.
Overall, coverage of men’s events accounted for 43.39% of NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast. Women’s events received 14.50% of NBC’s coverage. Mixed sex events (e.g., ice dancing) received 42.12% of NBC’s coverage. (Total amount exceeds 100% due to rounding.)
After 16 nights, when mixed sex events are excluded, men’s events have received 40.06% of NBC’s primetime broadcast coverage compared to 59.94% 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 be issued on February 21, 2022.
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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.