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“I’m Stunned”: Beijing Olympics Was Total Ratings Disaster

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Between half-empty stands, Russian figure skaters berated on TV, announcers covering games from Connecticut, and a backdrop of serious human rights abuses, China's 'oppression' Olympics earned dismal ratings for NBC.

According to Fox News, NBC's $7.75 billion investment in 2014 which gave the network exclusive rights to the Games through 2032 is not paying off.

Through Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, an average of 12.2 million watched the Olympics in primetime on NBC, cable, or its Peacock streaming service, a 42-percent dip from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Only 10 million watched NBC alone, a 47-percent drop from 2018, and through early last week, it was down 57 percent in the critical 25-54 age demographic from the Pyeongchang games. That was even taking into account the Super Bowl viewership boost NBC got from airing the Olympics directly after the network aired the game on Feb. 13. -Fox News

"These Olympics were a disaster for the network: a buzz-free, hermetically-sealed event in an authoritarian country a half-day’s time zone away, where the enduring images will be the emotional meltdown of Russian teen-agers after a drug-tainted figure skating competition and a bereft Mikaela Shiffrin, sitting on a ski slope wondering what went wrong," wrote the Associated Press.

"Viewers stayed away in alarming numbers, and NBC has to wonder whether it was extraordinarily bad luck or if the brand of a once-unifying event for tens of millions of people is permanently tainted."

That said, AP noted that NBC had a significant increase in streaming viewership, going from 2.2 billion in 2018 to 3.5 billion – however as Slate pointed out: "to note that the reach of YouTube and TikTok is extending NBC’s viewership into the hundreds of millions might unintentionally send the network’s more lucrative broadcast audience into the sea of on-demand digital video consumption, where their value would be diluted."

NBC's unfortunate ratings comes after the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games were also a flop – averaging 12.9 million primetime viewers, the smallest Summer audience since the network began airing them in 1988 – and a drop of 49% over the Rio Olympics in 2016, and 58% vs. the 2012 London Games.

Amid a U.S. diplomatic boycott, the Chinese Communist Party under Xi Jinping thumbed its nose at the world as it exulted in Beijing being the first city to host both the Summer and Winter games. 

China used a Uyghur athlete to deliver the Olympic flame in the opening ceremony – NBC's Savannah Guthrie called it an "in your face response" to the West – despite its ongoing ethnic cleansing of the minority and first-person accounts of systemic rape, torture, and sterilization. It also used a Chinese military commander, who was involved in deadly clashes with Indian border forces in 2020, as a torchbearer in a move that angered India. -Fox News

Perhaps a few more Uyghurs in the opening ceremony would have helped?

"The media for the most part is still skittish when it comes to talking about Beijing's acts in Xinjiang and other places," author and prominent Chinese government critic Gordon Chang told Fox News Digital. "It's not alleged human rights violations. They are atrocities. There's genocide, as determined by both the Trump and Biden administrations. They're crimes against humanity, and the coverage, and this is not just the U.S media, it's around the world that you see there is an unwillingness to call it out for what it actually is."

Chang says that as an Olympics fan who skipped watching the games this year out of protest, NBC shouldn't have broadcast them at all.

"Normally I am totally glued, excluding all else, watching Olympics, but I didn't this year at all, and the reason is I thought it was wrong to have the Games in China," he said. "It was wrong for NBC to broadcast them … I'm surprised the ratings were so low. As a matter of fact, I'm stunned. And the reason is I thought these Games would attract an abnormally high viewership because it's in China and because of all the things that go with that, including the atrocities."

""I think part of it is because people just have made a decision that China is too atrocious to deal with, so therefore they didn't watch," Chang continued, saying he was happy at the crappy ratings.

"There is karma in the world."


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