Primetime Olympic Report Day 15: Women Dominate NBC’s Coverage For Five Nights In A Row; Women’s Coverage Has Potential To Be Historic

Women received more coverage than men by a more than 5 to 1 margin on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast February 22, 2018 and have dominated NBC’s coverage for the past five nights.

On the men’s side coverage of short track speed skating accounted for the bulk of the coverage – nearly 27 minutes – with just over a minute of men’s curling.  The two other sports (ice hockey and snowboarding) were seen for 2 seconds each in a montage.

On the women’s side there was short track speed skating (approximately 19 minutes), ice hockey (more than 4 minutes), and figure skating (nearly 2 hours and 10 minutes) that led the coverage. Beyond those sports, there were three other sports that were each seen less than 10 seconds.

The pairs coverage was a follow up on the Russian mixed pairs curler who was disqualified for doping and therefore lost the pairs bronze medal.

The distribution of NBC’s Olympic coverage on Thursday night was 84.35% for women’s events, while men’s and mixed pair events received 15.46% and 0.19% of the broadcast respectively.

NBC NIght 15

Buy Olympic Television at Amazon.com

When mixed pair events are excluded, the percentages were the same: 84.52% for women and 15.48% for men.

NBC NIght 15 No Mixed

Buy Olympic Television at Amazon.com

After 15 nights, women have received more coverage than men on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast. This is a reversal the trend for the first 10 nights of the Games, when men received more coverage than women by almost a 3 to 2 margin. In the past five days, however, women’s significantly outpaced men’s coverage by a more than 4 to 1 margin.

NBC No Mixed Compare

Buy Olympic Television at Amazon.com

Based on information provided by NBC, it is predicted women will receive more primetime coverage than men in PyeongChang. Such an occurrence would be historic as women have never received more primetime airtime than men in a Winter Olympiad, dating back to 1994 when the studies began. Further, if there is just an equal split between the men’s and women’s coverage over the next three nights, the 55.23% of total primetime coverage would be the largest proportion of primetime coverage ever afforded female athletes in any Olympiad studied, summer or winter.

Regular updates about NBC’s coverage of men and women athletes will be posted throughout the 2018 Winter Games on FiveRingTV.com. A final report will be issued after the Games conclude.

—– —– —–

* 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 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.

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 an overview of Olympic television history. Published by Routledge, it is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats at Amazon.com, the Routledge website, The Bookstore Plus, and other outlets.

Olympic Primetime Report Day 14: Women Get More NBC Coverage Than Men For The Fourth Night Straight; Marit Bjørgen Overshadowed Again

Women received more coverage than men by a 3 to 2 margin on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast February 21, 2018.

On the men’s side, NBC focused on alpine skiing and freestyle skiing halfpipe with each sport clocking in more than 20 minutes. The only other men’s sport featured was bobsled at just 23 seconds when Mike Tirico commented on the impact of Steve Holcomb’s death on the USA bobsled team. On the women’s side alpine skiing, bobsled, and cross country skiing had significant amounts coverage. Beyond these, there were eight other sports that were seen anywhere from 1 second in a montage to just over 2 minutes.

The distribution of NBC’s Olympic coverage on Wednesday night was 60.03% for women’s events, while men’s events received 39.97% of the broadcast. There were no mixed pair events aired.

Night 14

Buy Olympic Television at Amazon.com

When mixed pair events are excluded, the percentages were the same: 60.03% for women and 39.97% for men.

Night 14 No Mixed

Buy Olympic Television at Amazon.com

Marit Bjørgen became the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time when she collected her 14th medal on Wednesday in the cross country team sprint. Throughout the PyeongChang Games, Bjørgen has received very little attention on NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast, despite a series of record setting accomplishments this Olympiad.  Wednesday was no exception. While the women’s team sprint received 14 minutes and 36 seconds of coverage, NBC’s focus was on Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall, who became the first Americans ever to win gold in a cross country Olympic event. Their accomplishments marked only the second time a Team USA athlete won an Olympic medal in cross country. As such, while NBC gave cross country skiing exponentially more coverage than it normally does in primetime – with significant time spent on the race – the emphasis was on Diggins and Randall, who were interviewed after the event. While Bjørgen was mentioned, and shown during the race, she was not interviewed, nor was there a feature on her record setting accomplishment.

After 14 nights, women have received more coverage than men on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast. Based on information provided by NBC, it is predicted that this trend will continue and that women will likely end up with more primetime coverage than men in PyeongChang. Such an occurrence would be historic as women have never received more primetime coverage than men in a Winter Olympiad, dating back to 1994 when the studies began.

Regular updates about NBC’s coverage of men and women athletes will be posted throughout the 2018 Winter Games on FiveRingTV.com. A final report will be issued after the Games conclude.

—– —– —–

* 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 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.

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 an overview of Olympic television history. Published by Routledge, it is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats at Amazon.com, the Routledge website, The Bookstore Plus, and other outlets.

Marit Bjørgen Sets The Record As The Most Decorated Winter Olympian of All Time … Will NBC Finally Give Her More Than A Few Seconds of Primetime?

Norwegian Cross Country Skier Marit Bjørgen scored her 14th Winter Olympic medal on Wednesday, thus becoming the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time.

But is that good enough for her to get significant coverage on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast?

History suggests it’s not.

During the PyeongChang Games, NBC has decided Bjørgen’s three previous record setting accomplishments did not warrant substantial airtime on NBC’s primetime Olympic  broadcast.

When she became the most successful female Winter Olympian in history earlier in the PyeongChang Games, she received a very brief mention on NBC’s Saturday February 10, 2018 primetime broadcast at 10:28pm as part of larger discussion of a cross country event. She was not, however, the subject of a feature, nor was she interviewed.

When Bjørgen added a 12th medal to her record, which also tied her with Bjørn Dæhlie as the cross country skier with the most Olympic medals, she was acknowledged on NBC’s primetime broadcast within a 27 second discussion of Norway’s dominance in cross country skiing on the Thursday, February 15, 2018 primetime broadcast. Once again, she did not receive a feature, nor was she interviewed.

When she collected her 13th Winter Olympic medal on Saturday, tying the record held by Norwegian Biathlete, Ole Einar Bjørndalen, as the most decorated Winter Olympian in history, and breaking the record for most Olympic medals by a cross country skier, her feat was mentioned, briefly, during the primetime broadcast as cross country skiing received 28 seconds of coverage. No feature. No interview.

She was also mentioned very briefly on Sunday, February 18, 2018 during the primetime broadcast within the context of Norway being the overall medals leader for the 2018 Games.

Bjørgen has been largely invisible on NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast in previous Olympiads, where her achievements have received little airtime. This year, she has received passing mentions on NBC’s primetime broadcast, but not the coverage her record setting accomplishments suggest she deserves.

Heading into tonight’s broadcast, the question remains: Will Marit Bjørgen – the most successful Winter Olympian of all time – finally receive the NBC primetime television coverage her accomplishments seemingly warrant?

Or will she continue to remain a largely invisible record setter?

—– —– —–

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 an overview of Olympic television history. Published by Routledge, it is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats at Amazon.com, the Routledge website, The Bookstore Plus, and other outlets.

Olympic Primetime Report Day 13: NBC’s Coverage Dedicated Almost Exclusively To Women; Total Clocktime Now Favors Women

In a telecast that contained more than two and half hours of athlete and sport coverage, women’s coverage outpaced the men’s by an astounding 83 to 1 margin on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast on February 20, 2018

Men’s coverage included ice hockey, which clocked in at over a minute, and other sports that amounted to 15 seconds or less each. In total, men’s sports received 1 minute, 51 seconds of airtime.  On the women’s side alpine skiing, bobsled, figure skating, and short track speed skating that had significant amounts coverage. Women’s ice hockey had 26 seconds of coverage. There were no mixed pair events aired.

The distribution of NBC’s Olympic coverage on Tuesday night was 98.81% for women’s events, while men’s events received 1.19% of the broadcast. There were no mixed pair events aired.

Night 13

Buy Olympic Television at Amazon.com

When mixed pair events are excluded, the percentages were the same 98.81% for women and 1.19% for men.

Night 13 No Mixed

Buy Olympic Television at Amazon.com

After 13 nights, women have now received more coverage than men on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast. Based on information provided by NBC, it is predicted that this trend will continue and that women will likely end up with more primetime coverage than men in PyeongChang. Such an occurrence would be historic as women have never received more primetime coverage than men in a Winter Olympiad, dating back to 1994 when the studies began.

Regular updates about NBC’s coverage of men and women athletes will be posted throughout the 2018 Winter Games on FiveRingTV.com. A final report will be issued after the Games conclude.

—– —– —–

* 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 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.

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 an overview of Olympic television history. Published by Routledge, it is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats at Amazon.com, the Routledge website, The Bookstore Plus, and other outlets.

Coverage of Women Eclipses Coverage of Men Through Day 13 of NBC’s Primetime Olympic Television Broadcast

Could Women Athletes Receive The Majority of Primetime Television Coverage for the First Time in a Winter Olympiad?

(February 21, 2018) – Coverage of women athletes is dominating the final week of NBC’s primetime broadcast* of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, according to Andrew C. Billings (University of Alabama), James R. Angelini (University of Delaware), and Paul J. MacArthur (Utica College), authors of the book Olympic Television: Broadcasting the Biggest Show on Earth.

After featuring male athletes 3 hours and 40 minutes more than female athletes through the first 10 nights of primetime broadcast coverage, the shift toward female athletes and sports has been dramatic. What was a 15.6 percent gap favoring men will have been entirely eliminated in three subsequent nights of heavy women’s coverage. Moreover, sources inside NBC expect the trend to continue to the point that, for the first time since analyses began in 1994, women athletes are projected to receive the majority of the clocktime in a primetime Winter Olympic television broadcast.

American medal successes could be aiding the women’s coverage, as women have won the majority of Team USA’s 15 medals (8 women, 5 men, 2 mixed). The schedule also inherently moved toward highlighting female athletes and sports with, most notably, ladies figure skating occurring in the later days of the Games. Still, the finding—particularly in a Winter Olympiad—is noteworthy as the gender gap has been wide (sometimes more than 20%) in previous Winter Games. The Sochi Games marked the closest an American primetime broadcast had come to equal coverage (52.3% men; 47.7% women excluding paired/mixed events) and it now appears the coverage in PyeongChang could result in women receiving more airtime than men.

NBC had signaled a marketing plan focusing on women athletes, as three of the five Olympians they heavily promoted before the Games were women (Mikeala Shiffrin, Lindsey Vonn, Chloe Kim) and 53 percent of the athletes invited to NBC’s pre-Olympic West Hollywood promotional shoot were women. This promotion of female athletes and sports didn’t result in women receiving more coverage in the first 10 nights, but may be emerging now.

The authors will post regular updates tracking NBC’s coverage of men and women athletes throughout the 2018 Winter Games on FiveRingTV.com.

Contact Information

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 an overview of Olympic television history. Published by Routledge, it is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats at Amazon.com, the Routledge website, The Bookstore Plus, and other outlets.

—– —– —–

* 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 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.