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Beijing Olympic Television Ratings Demonstrate World's Anger at China

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China isn’t exactly the sort of nation that the rest of the world is clamoring to cozy up to, and with good reason.  This is, after all, a country whose place on the global stage was built upon the exploitation of their workforce, the dismantling of any notion of free speech, and actual, literal genocide.

And so when the International Olympic Committee decided to allow Beijing to host the 2022 Olympics, a great many of the good people of the planet rolled their eyes.

As it turns out, a whole lot of us tuned out as well.

The media adjectives pouring in to describe the legacy of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics aren’t pretty: “Disaster.” “Joyless.” And NBC’s $7.75 billion investment in 2014 that gave it exclusive American media rights to the Olympic Games through 2032 is under question after a second consecutive ratings dud.

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.

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And that wasn’t all:

“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.

“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.”

Perhaps the most succinct description of the games came from The New York Times, however, who referred to them as “a joyless spectacle”.

Better luck next time, IOC.

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About the Author:
As a lifelong advocate for the dream promised us in the Constitution, Andrew West has spent his years authoring lush prose editorial dirges regarding America's fall from grace and her path back to prosperity. When West isn't railing against the offensive whims of the mainstream media or the ideological cruelty that is so rampant in the US, he spends his time seeking adventurous new food and fermented beverages, with the occasional round of golf peppered in.