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2022 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Draws Record-Low Ratings

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NBC faces a disastrously low viewing audience for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

The viewership for Friday’s Opening Ceremony reported an abysmal 16 million, which was a record low for the ceremonial event.

Americans aren’t tuning into the winter games like years past, and NBC must dig themselves out of a rating debacle.

MSN reported:

It is a record low for the Opening Ceremony (20.1 million for 1988 in Calgary was the previous record) and a whopping 43 percent below the 2018 Games in South Korea that notched 28.3 million viewers despite also dealing with a less than advantageous Asian time zone for American audiences.

It comes on the heels of Thursday’s ratings disaster that saw just 7.7 million people tune in, dramatically below same-night audiences of 2018 (16 million) and 2014 from Russia (20.02 million).

NBC said the 16 million is a “total audience delivery” and includes all of its networks and streaming. The television-only average audience was below 14 million for the day, per the preliminary data released by the network.

While ratings tend to increase over the first week, as more viewers get caught up in the action, NBC will have to work out of a ratings hole.

Outkick commented on the reasons why Americans turned off their televisions:

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 secretaryJen 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.

When the host nation of the Olympic Games is embroiled in human rights violations, American viewers take notice.

That’s the message NBC should take home if they want to boost their ratings.

 

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