In a conference on Thursday, NBC Sports chairman Pete Bevacqua spoke to the low ratings in the coverage of the Winter Olympic Games.
“For us, it’s been difficult. There’s no way around this,” he said, according Alex Weprin of The Hollywood Reporter.
“The fact that we’ve been able to bring these Games to life during a pandemic with only a six-month window between the two [Olympics], the ratings are — of course we always want to have the ratings better — but the ratings for these Games, as I said, are about where we thought they’d be.”
“It’s no secret that athletes in masks, venues without spectators, so much of the passion and excitement, those great moments of Olympic athletes hugging their family and friends and spouses and partners, so much of that magic is just out of necessity not present.”
According to a report from Sports Media,
Tuesday’s primetime coverage of the Beijing Winter Olympics averaged 8.35 million viewers on NBC alone and 11.0 million across all platforms, down 59% and 51% respectively from the comparable night of the PyeongChang Games four years ago (20.5M on NBC, 22.6M across all platforms).”
The previous night’s window was not much better, averaging 8.45 million on NBC and 11.5 million across all platforms — down 58% and 48% respectively from ’18 (20.3M; 22.3M).”
The primary NBC telecasts delivered the second and third-smallest primetime Olympic audiences ever on broadcast television, topping only last Thursday’s “bonus” coverage (7.25M). Dating back to last year’s Tokyo Summer Olympics, six of NBC’s last nine primetime Olympic windows have averaged fewer than ten million viewers.
Bevacqua then went on to compare the stats to that of the previous NFL ratings,
“Look at the difference in NFL ratings in ’21 compared to ’20. I think one of the main differences is because in ’20, we didn’t have the passionate NFL fan base in those stadiums adding to the atmosphere. We did our best out of necessity. But this year, those fans were back and the ratings showed that.”
As many may attribute these NFL numbers to the plethora of controversial social activism that was being heavily endorsed in the league, it leaves to question whether Bevacqua’s assumptions on the Olympics ratings are fully accurate. While he states valid factors, there is furhter talk to the affirmation of this year's games being a “genocide Olympics.” There is a horde of human rights activists protesting and holding rallies to encourage people to not support or watch it. Much of this work is being driven by The Committee on the Present Danger: China (CPDC) and Women’s Rights Without Frontiers (WRWF).
“The Chinese Communist Party is a murderous, totalitarian regime—arguably the worst human rights violator in the world. Forced abortion, forced sterilization, forced organ harvesting, forced labor, religious persecution, genocide, crushing Tibet, Hong Kong and Southern Mongolia, infecting the world with the coronavirus— what human right have they not violated?” said Reggie Littlejohn, founder and President of WRWF. “It is appalling that they are given the privilege of hosting the most prestigious event in the world, the Olympic Games, with hardly a whisper of opposition from the international community. The Third Reich used the 1936 Berlin Olympics to legitimate itself, and shortly thereafter, invaded Poland and launched the Second World War. What will the CCP do after this manifest kowtowing of the world—invade Taiwan? It is absolutely critical that we do whatever we can to register opposition. Use our online toolkit and pledge not to watch the Genocide Games.”