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A look at gender representation and changing viewership in the 2018 Olympics




Lindsey Vonn of the United States and Team USA walk in the Parade of Athletes during the Closing Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 25, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
Lindsey Vonn of the United States and Team USA walk in the Parade of Athletes during the Closing Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 25, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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After record-setting performances, impressive comebacks and dramatically close competitions, the 2018 Winter Olympics came to a close Sunday night.

The Olympic Games are arguably the only weeks of a year when the amount of time spent covering female athletes rivals the amount of time spent covering male athletes (although critics say some of that coverage is sexist). In fact, Pyeongchang was the first Winter Games that NBC televised more minutes of women’s competitions than men’s.

And viewers tuned in for those female athletes – the U.S. women’s hockey team’s overtime victory over defending champion Canada may be the most-watched NBC Sports Network program to air during the midnight hour.

Still, despite all of the drama and excitement, NBC’s ratings dropped halfway through the Olympics – and the growing number of ways viewers can follow the games online may be a reason why.

How did you follow this year’s Winter Games? Did you stick to traditional television viewing, rely on online streaming or just watch the highlights on social media? And how did you feel about this year’s coverage of female athletes?

Call us at 866-893-5722.

Guests:

Rick Burton, professor of Sport Management in Syracuse University’s David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics; Burton served as the chief marketing officer for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, where he directed the USOC’s partnerships for International Olympic Committee (IOC) and USOC sponsorship  

Jeff Fellenzer, associate professor of professional practice at the University of Southern California, where he teaches sports business media and technology

Maureen Smith, professor in the department of kinesiology and health science at California State University, Sacramento; she was a lead or co-author of many of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s reports on the Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the most recent, “Women in the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games: An Analysis of Participation, Leadership, and Media Coverage” (2017)



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