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Olympic Primetime Report Day 12: Women and Pairs Dominate NBC’s Coverage; Men’s Events Receive Little Airtime

Women received more coverage than men by a more than 4 to 1 margin on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast February 19, 2018. Though women scored significantly more airtime than men, NBC dedicated the largest amount of its coverage to the ice dancing finals on Monday night, which featured mixed pairs.

On the men’s side, bobsled carried the majority of the coverage. All other men’s sports were on the screen for less than a minute each, with curling having 40 seconds and all others 5 seconds or less. On the women’s side, alpine skiing (11 1/2 minutes) and freestyle skiing (nearly 53 minutes in the halfpipe) drove the coverage. A few other women’s sports that had less 40 seconds or less each. Ice dancing accounted for the bulk of the pairs coverage, though there was an additional 18 seconds devoted to pairs curling via the doping scandal.

The distribution of NBC’s Olympic coverage on Monday night was 42.89% for women’s events, while men’s events received 9.46% of the broadcast. The mixed pair events accounted for the largest share, with 47.65% of the broadcast.

NBC Night 12

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When mixed pair events are excluded, the percentages were 81.93% for women and 18.07% for men.

NBC Night 12 No Mixed

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An interesting programming note is that on Monday night’s broadcast, all of NBC promos were for women’s sports. This suggests future primetime programming will continue to tilt towards covering women.

After 12 nights, men have received more coverage than women on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast, but the gap closed even further last night. With ladies figure skating still on deck, the difference in coverage is likely to continue to shrink over the next several days.

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.

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* 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 11: Women Get More Coverage Than Men On NBC By An Almost 3 To 1 Margin

Women dominated NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast television coverage by almost a 3:1 margin on February 18, 2018.  Women scored a full hour of additional airtime compared to men on Sunday nights broadcast.

On the men’s side, bobsled carried the majority of the coverage and there was just over a minute of biathlon. All other men’s sports shown were on the screen for less than a minute each. On the women’s side alpine skiing, snowboarding, and speed skating drove the coverage. There was also just over a minute devoted to women’s ice hockey and a few other women’s sports had less than 15 seconds each. Pairs events also received significant coverage as it was the first night of the ice dancing competition.

The distribution of NBC’s Olympic coverage on Sunday night was 45.48% for women’s events, while men’s events received 17.65% of the broadcast. The mixed pair event accounted for 36.87% of the broadcast.

NBC NIght 11

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When mixed pair events are excluded, the percentages were 72.04% for women and 27.96% for men.

NBC NIght 11 Non Mixed

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After 11 nights, men have received more coverage than women on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast, but the gap was closed some last night. With ladies figure skating still on deck, the gap is likely to shrink even further over the next several days.

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.

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* 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.

 

NBC’s Primetime Olympic Broadcast Features Male Athletes By A Significant Margin During The First 10 Days

Gap Widens in Comparison to 2014 Sochi Games

(February 18, 2018) – NBC’s primetime broadcast of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games has highlighted men’s events significantly more than women’s events, 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.

Through the first ten nights, male athletes/sports received over three and a half hours more coverage than female athletes/sports. Men received 48.5% of the coverage while women received 32.9%; the remainder of the broadcast featured mixed-pair events (18.6%). When excluding pairs, men were shown more than women by almost a 3:2 margin (59.6%/40.4%).

The 15.6% gap is wider than what was found through the first half of the Sochi Games, where the gap was 10% before closing to 4% by the Closing Ceremonies. Still, in comparison to all other Winter Olympics examined before Sochi, the difference is smaller than the average gap found in the past two decades.

Sometimes the proportionality of medals won by male and female American athletes is a mitigating factor, as national coverage of the Olympics inevitably highlights home nation athletes doing well. Sochi featured a perfect balance as the 28 Team USA medals were split evenly by biological sex (13 men, 13 women, 2 mixed/pairs). The split is close again as American athletes have won 10 medals in PyeongChang and the split is again close (5 men, 4 women, 1 mixed [team figure skating]) after 10 days.

NBC’s primetime PyeongChang broadcast was altered substantially when multiple alpine skiing events and women’s snowboard slopestyle experienced weather postponements, making some nights lean and some nights congested with programming options, which could be a mitigating factor in these preliminary results. The authors will post regular updates tracking NBC’s coverage of men and women athletes throughout the 2018 Winter Games on FiveRingTV.com.

A complete table providing the exact amount of time NBC has devoted to each sport, with breakouts by athlete sex, during the first 10 days of its primetime Olympic broadcast has been posted here.

EDITORS’ NOTE: The complete PyeongChang 18-day report, providing the final percentages of male and female Olympian airtime, been posted here.

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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 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 10: Men Dominate Coverage; Bjørgen Remains Almost Invisible

Men dominated NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast television coverage by more than a 3:1 margin on Saturday, February 17, 2018.

NBC focused on men’s alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, short track, ski jumping, and an interview with the American men’s figure skaters. There were a number of other men’s sports with one minute or less of coverage. On the women’s side skeleton, short track speed skating and two minutes of alpine skiing drove the coverage. All other women’s sports generated less than a minute each. The pairs content came from promos for the ice dancing competition that starts Sunday night.

The distribution of NBC’s Olympic coverage on Saturday night 77.60% for men’s events, while women’s events received 22.02% of the broadcast. The mixed pair event promo accounted for 0.38% of the broadcast.

NBC NIght 10

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When mixed pair events are excluded, the percentages were 77.90% for men and 22.10% for women.

NBC Night 10 No Mixed

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Marit Bjørgen added a gold medal to her collection, her 13th medal overall, tying the record held by fellow Norwegian, Ole Einar Bjørndalen, as the most decorated Winter Olympian in history and breaking the record for most Olympic medals by a cross country skier. The historic accomplishment, however, did not result in significant airtime from NBC. Her feat was mentioned, briefly, during the primetime broadcast as cross country skiing received 28 seconds of coverage. She was not, however, the subject of a feature, nor was she interviewed.

Such minimal coverage has been par for the course. When the Norwegian Cross Country became the most decorated female Winter Olympian in history earlier in the PyeongChang Games, her accomplishment received a very brief mention on NBC’s Saturday February 10, 2018 primetime broadcast. No feature. No interview.

On Thursday night, Bjørgen’s 12th medal was acknowledged on NBC’s primetime broadcast within a 27 second discussion of Norway’s dominance in cross country skiing. Bjørgen’s feats have historically received little primetime broadcast coverage in previous Olympiads, and this history making medal was no exception. She was not the subject of a feature, nor was she interviewed on Thursday night’s broadcast.

As such, Marit Bjørgen remains a largely invisible record setter on NBC’s primetime Olympic broadcast.

These figures will be updated to include a running total of percentages for men’s and women’s events soon.

Regular updates about NBC’s coverage of men and women athletes will be posted throughout the 2018 Winter Games on FiveRingTV.com. A mid-Olympic report, with complete sport-by-sport coverage breakdowns, will be issued on February 18.

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* 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 9: Men and Women Get Almost Equal Time On NBC

The distribution of men’s and women’s sports was almost equal on NBC’s primetime Olympic television broadcast Friday, February 16, 2018.

On the men’s side, most of the coverage was dedicated to figure skating with men’s cross country being the only other men’s sport to receive more than one minute of airtime. On the women’s side, alpine skiing, slopestyle skiing and aerial skiing drove the coverage. All other women’s sports generated less than a minute each. Pairs events were briefly shown in a montage at the end of the broadcast celebrating the first week of the Games, with glimpses of pairs figure skating and mixed doubles curling.

The distribution of NBC’s Olympic coverage on Friday night was 50.53% for men’s events, 49.43% for women’s events, and 0.04% of mixed pair events.

NBC NIght 9

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When mixed pair events are excluded, the percentages were 50.55% for men’s events and 49.55% for women’s events.

NBC Night 9 Non Mixed

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These figures will be updated to include a running total of percentages for men’s and women’s events soon.

Regular updates about NBC’s coverage of men and women athletes will be posted throughout the 2018 Winter Games on FiveRingTV.com. A mid-Olympic report, with complete sport-by-sport coverage breakdowns, will be issued on February 18.

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* 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.