Olympics Ratings Plummet To All-Time Low On Opening Night

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The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing are off to anything but a roaring start, with viewership down to an all-time low.

Thursday’s primetime coverage averaged just 7.25 million viewers on NBC. The previous low was the 8.5 million that tuned in for the final night of competition at last year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, per Sports Media Watch.

As OutKick’s Clay Travis noted on Twitter Friday, Americans are simply choosing not to watch, as the Olympics carry on in Beijing amid the ongoing Chinese genocide against Muslim Uyghurs.

For retrospect, Thursday’s number is down 55% from the 16 million that watched the opening night of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

The U.S. notably did not send any diplomatic representatives to the Games, in a protest against China’s human rights violations.

“We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games. U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these Games as business as usual in the face of [China’s] egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we simply can’t do that,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Dec. 6.

NBC’s broadcast, to the surprise of many, didn’t shy away from acknowledging the issues at hand in China. Olympics host Mike Tirico began his opening monologue with a message for Americans watching at home.

“Everything and everyone attached to these Games is facing questions,” Tirico said.

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Follow Nick Geddes on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes. 

Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.


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  1. It’s the sports they prioritize and all the back stories designed to make viewers vote Democrat. That’s always what it’s all about. Just put each athlete into an identity/victim bucket to convince everyone to redistribute power to those groups via Democrats. It’s totally unwatchable.

  2. Every Olympic year I make sure I watch “Miracle on Ice”.

    I was 17 that year, at a Kinks concert, and Ray Davies stopped the show to announce that the US had beat Russia. Place went ballistic, I still get chills.

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