The Winter Olympics TV Ratings Sucked…Real Bad

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The 2022 Winter Games TV ratings are in and they’re so bad that the two weeks of broadcasts will go down as the least-watched Games — ever — for NBCUniversal, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

THR reports primetime viewership averaged 11.4 million viewers across the NBCUniversal properties, which is down 42% from the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. And if that’s not bad enough, the Winter Games primetime numbers were down 26% from the 2021 Summer Olympics.

Fireworks explode over the Beijing National Stadium during the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics (Photo by Lu Pingping/VCG via Getty Images)

With very few bright moments to drive the Winter Games — Savannah Guthrie opened the Games by kissing China’s ass during the opening ceremony — NBC was left just trying to get through the Games and move on from the COVID/China era as fast as possible.

NBC is left bragging about its streaming numbers (Peacock is $9.99/month) being the largest or second-largest for any Olympics on record. Across all its streaming platforms, average primetime viewership was up 8% compared to the summer.

“This was probably the most difficult Olympics of all time,” NBC’s Pete Bevacqua told The Wall Street Journal while noting that advertisers were given additional commercial time to make up for the ratings disaster. “They were made whole throughout the entire Olympics,” he said.

Bevacqua added that the network sent just 600 people to work in China while keeping 1,600 in Connecticut at NBCU headquarters due to China’s COVID rules.

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. “advertisers were given additional commercial time to make up for the ratings disaster.” Do they think commercials will make people tune in more? I’d rather go outside and pick up dog sh*t than sit there and watch a commercial.

    • My guess (and I have no clue, I could be talking out of my ass) is that they say you will be “20 million viewers” if they guess that is one time slot. If they only have 10 million, they have to give them 2 different slots to get that total number. So in reality NBC can sell less ad spaces. Again, I could be way off, but that is how I read it.

  2. I watched as I love the sliding sports of the winter Olympics. Other than Shawn White and Mikaela Shiffrin, there wasn’t really a huge star to gravitate towards. Chloe Kim is great, but the women’s freestyle doesn’t hold a candle to the men. And as much as NBC tried to push other athletes as “stars,” they aren’t, no matter their color or gender, as their sports are almost unwatchable. Speed skating? Yawn.

    But above all, its never good when the results are known 12 hours before the event is shown. Add in the location, China, where everything is visibly artificial and in most cases, ugly, and its over. Hell, there was a ski jump set up in an industrial wasteland next to a nuclear power plant. Final nail is that no fans were there. Its not exciting.

  3. Never watched, but Savanah Guthrie must have sucked a lot of chicom dick by saying that her own country (the U.S) and other western nations are overblowing the Uyghur genocide by staying home. Apparently your denial can be easily bought. Btw, the Uyghur that lit the flame was probably sent back into the labor camps the next day for a forced abortion followed by another 16 hour shift making a few more pairs of LeFraud`s Nike`s.

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