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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

NBC Explains That It's OK to Broadcast the Rio Olympics On a Delay, Since Women Don't Care About Sports

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You know who really knows a lot about women? NBC. Hooo boy, does NBC have women pegged.

Most of you probably fell asleep at some point during the painfully prolonged Olympics opening ceremony on Friday night, but according to the network, we have only ourselves and our highly predictable viewing habits to blame.

NBC paid $1.2 billion for the privilege of airing the 2016 Rio Olympics in the U.S., and decided to use that power to show Friday’s festivities on an hour-long tape delay. Fine. But the delay will also be in effect with several of the games’ marquee events, like swimming and gymnastics, in order to push them into prime time slots when more viewers are likely to be watching.


Doesn’t broadcasting sporting events on a delay somewhat defeat the purpose? After all, social media will be awash with spoilers the instant the winning landing is stuck. Luckily, according to NBC Olympics Chief Marketing Officer John Miller, women are the Olympics’ target audience, and we don’t care about results! From the New York Daily News:

“The people who watch the Olympics are not particularly sports fans. More women watch the Games than men, and for the women, they’re less interested in the result and more interested in the journey.”

“It’s sort of like the ultimate reality show and mini-series wrapped into one. And to tell the truth, it has been the complaint of a few sports writers. It has not been the complaint of the vast viewing public.”

In case you missed that, here is a short (but very complete) list of things that women like, according to NBC.

1. Reality shows

2. Mini-series

3. The Journey

4. Not sports

Too bad the joke is on Miller, since even womenfolk are losing interest in the event: A Gallup poll shows that in 2012, 63 percent of women expressed a “great deal” or “fair amount” of interest in watching the London Games. This year, only 47 percent said the same about Rio.


Frankly, the chief appeal of the Olympics for me is gleefully charting all the stuff that goes wrong.