The 2022 Winter Olympics are coming to a close, though it would not be a surprise if you did not know that. Viewership for the event has taken a major downturn, leaving NBC in the red on the billions they paid for exclusive coverage of the global event.
NBC reportedly paid a whopping $8 billion in 2014 for exclusive rights to cover the event and other Olympics until 2032. Thus far, however, the investment has not paid off.
The Olympic Winter Games, hosted by communist authoritarian state China, reportedly gathered an average of 12.2 million viewers in primetime. That notes a 42-percent dip from the Winter Olympic games held just four years ago in Seoul, South Korea.
Fox reports that “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 Seoul games.”
“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,” the Associated Press wrote.
These Olympic games—like many before them—were controversial from the jump, after a multitude of countries diplomatically boycotted the games.
This, of course, means very little in terms of impact, as athletes were still sent to China to compete in the games.
According to Axios, a diplomatic boycott merely meant that “Government officials will not attend the Olympic Games, an event that is often attended by high-ranking officials from all over the world.”
The US and other allies said that the boycott was due to human rights abuses committed by the CCP.