A Chapter By Chapter Overview of Olympic Television
Olympic Television: Broadcasting the Biggest Show on Earth is an examination of how NBC renders its primetime Olympic broadcasts. Each chapter provides insight into American Olympic television from a unique vantage point.
Just how big is the biggest show on television? Why examine Olympic television broadcasts?
Chapter 1 – Stories We Tell: The Development of Olympic Television
This chapter provides an historical survey of how Olympic television developed, from the German broadcasts in 1936 to the present day. The primary focus is on Olympic telecasts in the United States from 1948 to the present, but advancements in early Olympic films, the 1936 German television broadcasts, potential television plans for the scrapped 1940 Games, and the 1948 London television broadcasts are also examined.
Chapter 2 – Stories Shaped: Interviews with NBC Producers and Sportscasters
This chapter features interviews with the NBC President of Sports and Olympics, along with NBC producers, anchors, and reporters. These interviews were conducted in the months following the 2016 Rio Summer Games, focusing on the overarching role and structures involved in NBC’s rendering of the Games while also postulating their (a) intended blueprint for the coverage entering the 2016 Olympics and (b) the extent in which these overarching aims were achieved when the Rio telecast unfolded.
Chapter 3 – Nationalized Stories: Portraying US vs. Portraying ‘The World’
NBC’s primetime broadcast of the 2016 Rio Games are analyzed through the nationalistic lens. A 20-year composite of results is offered, providing a longitudinal set of trends within the telecasts. Finally, the results are then synthesized with interview data regarding NBC responses to these nationalized trends. In sum, this chapter analyzes NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast to determine how U.S. athletes are characterized in different manners than non-U.S. athletes.
Chapter 4 – Stories Segmented by Biological Sex: Men and Women in the Thirty-First Olympiad
This chapter synthesizes data regarding NBC’s portrayal men and women athletes. First, data specific to gendered portrayals of the athletes specifically within the NBC’s primetime broadcast of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games is offered. Then, a 20-year composite of results is offered. Finally, the results are then synthesized with interviews from NBC personnel about gendered trends in Olympic programming.
Chapter 5 – Racialized Stories: Stacking and Difference at the Rio Games
This chapter focuses on the role of race within NBC’s primetime telecast. First, data specific to racialized portrayals of the athletes specifically within the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games is offered. Second, a 20-year composite of results is offered, resulting in a robust longitudinal set of trends that have emerged in the telecasts. The results are then synthesized with NBC interview responses to these racialized trends.
Chapter 6 – Stories Reverberated: The Impact of Olympic Media Consumption
This chapter incorporates previous work regarding Olympic effects while offering new results related to 2016 Rio Games. Survey research has been conducted in the past decade and is applied to the current case in relation to how the amount of Olympic media consumed impacts perceptions of nationality, gender, and race.
Chapter 7 – Deciphering Stories: The Legacy and Future of Olympic Media
This chapter offers a synthesis of the work, combining interviews, content analyses, and surveys to frame an agenda for Olympic media research in the years beyond the 2016 Summer Games. Where is Olympic television at the conclusion of the Rio Games and where will it be going in the next few years? What must NBC, the rights holder through at least 2032, do to provide a robust product that will reach the maximum possible audience?
If you are interested in the televised Olympic Games, Olympic Television: Broadcasting the Biggest Show on Earth will give you new insight into the television mega-event that takes over the world every two years.