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Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony Hit All-Time Viewership Low



Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics symbol is seen at the Olympic Green | Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony Hit All-Time Viewership Low | featured

So far, it’s been a bad show for the 2022 Beijing Olympics, ratings-wise. Ratings for the much-awaited opening ceremonies hit all-time lows in terms of viewership.

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Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony Registered All-Time Low Viewership

Background for winter olympic game in Beijing, China, 2022 | Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony Registered All-Time Low Viewership

Last Saturday, NBC Sports revealed that Friday’s full-day opening ceremony received nearly 14 million viewers.

This is a harrowing 43% plunge compared to the 2018 South Korea Winter Olympics opening. That year, 23.8 million Americans watched the international spectacle.  

The Beijing Olympics’ opening ceremony surpassed the previous low set by the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games, which posted 21.6 million viewers.

In contrast, the highest record for an opening ceremony was set during the London Games in 2012. More than 40 million viewers tuned in to NBC’s tape-delayed coverage.”

Propaganda-Laden Coverage

Meanwhile, Deadline reported that a “paltry 8.7 million” tuned in on NBC’s primetime coverage of the Beijing opening ceremony. Hosts covered by Mike Tirico and Savannah Guthrie covered the pre-taped event.

Deadline described the spectacle as a “propaganda-heavy spectacle put on by Chinese President Xi Jinping and filmmaker Zhang Yimou.”

The advertising demographic of adults aged 18-49 were noticeably missing from their TV sets. The opening ceremony managed to attract a 1.2 rating, which means a 68% drop from its previous 3.7 in 2018.

According to Sports Media Watch, the rating in adults 18-34 was 0.7. This is 73% lower compared to 2018’s 2.6. 

Disaster Sponsorship for NBCUniversal

The disaster in the rating game is looking pretty bad for NBCUniversal. The network paid the International Olympic Committee $7.75 billion for broadcast rights between 2021 to 2032.

The deal covers six Olympics and gives NBC rights to all media platforms. Previously, NBC paid $4.4 billion for the right to cover the Olympics between 2011 and 2020. 

A week before the Beijing Olympics, a Morning Consult asked 2,000 American adults about the Winter Games. 65% said they won’t watch the Beijing Olympics due to a lack of interest in the events, 57% also said they don’t have any interest in the athletes.

Additionally, 40% of Americans said they’re not watching the game because China is the host. Broken into political groups, 57% of Democrats said they planned to watch some of the Beijing Olympics. Meanwhile, only 40% of Republicans and 35% of independents plan to do the same.

In fact, many conservatives are avoiding the Beijing Olympics altogether over human rights. On Twitter, the hashtag #GenocideGames has trended in recent days. This is in reference to the Chinese Communist Party's alleged abuse of Uyghurs. 

Watch the Behind the Line video reporting that 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics setting record-low ratings for NBC:

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