Tag Archives: Beijing Olympics

NBC Exec Admits to Terrible Ratings as Americans Dump Genocide Games: ‘For Us, It’s Been Difficult’

C. Douglas Golden, The Western Journal
February 14th, 2022 

A highly politicized Olympic Games in a despotic country with a genocide problem on its hands with sparse crowds due to a pandemic that started in said country, which continues to be opaque about the virus’ origins: What could go wrong?

A lot, at least for NBC. The network, which is handling the U.S. coverage of the Beijing Winter Olympics, has seen a massive drop in viewership when compared with the 2018 Winter Games.

Even with streaming numbers, network executives are now admitting that “it’s been difficult” and that it’s looking toward future Olympics to salvage its $7.75 billion investment in exclusive broadcast rights through 2032, The Hollywood Reporter reported Friday.

The Western Journal has been chronicling the disaster that the Beijing Games have become long before the repressive propaganda-fest even began. We’ve steadfastly maintained the Games should have never taken place — and, furthermore, that the United States ought to have responded with a full-on boycott. We’ll continue to fight the enemies of freedom, including the Chinese Communist Party. You can help our fight by subscribing.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, NBC Sports chairman Pete Bevacqua acknowledged the ratings had been rough.

“For us, it’s been difficult. There’s no way around this,” Bevacqua said.

“The fact that we’ve been able to bring these Games to life during a pandemic with only a six-month window between the two [Olympics], the ratings are — of course, we always want to have the ratings better — but the ratings for these Games, as I said, are about where we thought they’d be,” he said.

Bevacqua’s expectations were apparently pretty low.

On Sunday, the Daily Mail reported that viewership sat at 13.2 million viewers a day for NBC. That’s well under the 23 million a day that tuned in at this stage during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

While Bevacqua said the media giant had “made real drastic improvements on what we’ve done with Peacock,” NBC’s streaming service, there were plenty of reasons he gave for the dismal numbers.

“It’s no secret that athletes in masks, venues without spectators, so much of the passion and excitement, those great moments of Olympic athletes hugging their family and friends and spouses and partners, so much of that magic is just out of necessity not present,” he said.

“Look at the difference in NFL ratings in ’21 compared to ’20. I think one of the main differences is because in ’20, we didn’t have the passionate NFL fan base in those stadiums adding to the atmosphere. We did our best out of necessity. But this year, those fans were back and the ratings showed that,” he said.

However, Molly Solomon, executive producer of NBC’s Olympics coverage, also acknowledged the political situation wasn’t ideal.

“Going in, we promised ourselves, and we thought it was essential for the viewers, to provide perspective on China’s complicated relationship with the rest of the world,” Solomon said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

This included the host country’s choice of an Uyghur athlete to light the Olympic torch during the opening ceremony.

“Imagine in the moments when we found out that the cauldron lighter was from Xinjiang, and kudos to Mike Tirico and Savannah Guthrie, to frame that moment, to connect it to all the other perspective we had provided throughout that ceremony,” Solomon said.

“That’s real-time television, a live opening ceremony, and I thought they did an extraordinary job of presenting that moment,” she said.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Daniel Feinberg didn’t agree, it’s worth noting. In a Feb. 4 commentary, he said NBC had decided to “say the bare minimum to keep your audience somewhat informed” about “an unsettling display of Chinese nationalism and high-tech propaganda, this time featuring straight-up genocide denial broadcast around the globe.”

Which apparently hasn’t sat well with viewers.

Bevacqua acknowledged as much without really acknowledging it. Without talking about “China’s complicated relationship with the rest of the world,” he said he was looking forward to getting on with Olympiads that are held in the rest of the world that isn’t China.

“Why I’m energized is I think about where we’re going,” he said before mentioning 2024 Summer Olympics host Paris, 2026 Winter Olympics host Milan, Italy, and 2028 Summer Olympics host Los Angeles.

“And, knock on wood, not just for the Olympics, but for the sake of all of us, hopefully this pandemic is well beyond us by then, we have those spectators back in these venues bursting at the seams, we have those passionate family and friends and athletes without masks hugging each other and celebrating these Olympic achievements,” Bevacqua continued.

“We have our eye on that normalized future coming back into focus as we work our way through this pandemic, so that’s why we’re hopeful.”

Oh, yes, the pandemic — the one that started in Wuhan, China. The country’s leadership has been profoundly opaque when it comes to allowing investigators to look at the origins of that pandemic, caused by a coronavirus closely related to those found in bats. Just coincidentally, there happened to be a lot of research into bat coronaviruses at a research facility there called the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

This, we’ve been told, is nothing but a strange coincidence. If you watch the Games, expect to hear it mentioned even less than you hear Uyghur genocide, human rights violations and nationalist propaganda being mentioned.

Also, don’t expect to hear the threat China poses to global security — particularly involving Taiwan — being mentioned.

Just relax and focus on the skiing. Leave the big thinky-think issues to another day.

Come to think of it, maybe the energy of ignoring the bedrock evil behind this Olympiad is one of the reasons viewers would simply rather tune out the genocide Games. Not masks, not empty stands, not even dystopian venues. And thus, stay away they have — in droves.

Let’s hope the International Olympics Committee learns a lesson from this debacle.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Olympic Corruption?: Controversy Erupts After Disqualifications Hand China Two Speedskating Gold Medals

Abby Liebing, The Western Journal
February 7th, 2022

China has won two gold medals in Olympic speedskating. But there are questions surrounding these triumphs since both medals seem to have been made possible, at least in part, by judges declaring penalties for other competitors.

On Saturday, in the semifinal heat of the mixed team relay of speedskating, the U.S. finished second, just one spot ahead of China. Finishing second would have given the U.S. a berth in the final, USA Today reported.

But upon a review of the video footage, a judge ruled that the U.S. had committed an infraction. This disqualified the U.S. and elevated to second place the Chinese team, which then went on to claim a gold medal in the final.

“Apparently one of our teammates crossed the blue line, and that made the Chinese team miss their exchange or something like that,” said Maame Biney, who skated in the first heat but was not on the ice for the semifinal, according to USA Today.

“It was an interesting call, for sure. But it is what it is,” she said.

In a separate speedskating event, on Monday, China once again benefited from a penalty call.

China took the gold in the men’s 1,000-meter speedskating race, even though Chinese skater Ren Ziwei was not the first to cross the finish line, Yahoo News reported.

Shaolin Sandor Liu of Hungary was the first competitor to finish, with Ren a close second, in a chaotic ending.

However, Liur received a yellow card and two lane-violation penalties once the video of the race was reviewed, according to Yahoo News. This robbed him of the gold, which went to Ren.

The yellow card and penalties resulted from what appeared to be Liu bumping into Ren, who then grabbed Liu as they came to the finish line.

Second place went to Li Wenlong, another Chinese competitor, Reuters reported.

Liu’s brother, Liu Shaoang, won third place, according to Reuters.

“The race today was tough. It was full of twists and turns. I don’t think there is any question or doubt. Everyone earned it,” Li said.

However, these significant penalties have been called out by spectators, especially since they ultimately resulted in two gold medals for China.

In the 1,000-meter race, some tweeted that Liu clearly committed fouls, but others pointed out that these calls in favor of China are suspicious.

Another Olympic speed skater even went so far as to question the fairness of the judging after the relay race where U.S. team was disqualified.

South Korean short-track speedskater Kwak Yoon-gy told reporters the Chinese win was suspect, according to the South Korean Yonhap News Agency. He thought the Chinese skater, the U.S. skater, and a skater from the Russian Olympic Committee would be disciplined.

“I was watching that race unfold. I figured China, ROC and the U.S. would get penalized. The Dutch skaters who were watching it with me said the same thing,” he said, according to Yonhap.

“But as the review dragged on, I figured China was going to be allowed to progress. And when the call was finally made, I found it difficult to accept it,” Kwak said. “If it had been any other country than China in that situation, I wondered if that team would still have been allowed to reach the final like that?”

Many viewers have also expressed suspicion over China’s triumphs.

“The Olympic Short Track Speed Skating officiating has been terrible,” wrote Spencer Swoboda, the podcaster of “Spencer Speaks Sports.” “Very suspicious based on who has benefitted from the reviews.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Nobody Cares: Olympics Opening Ceremony Hits The Trees, Dies

Putin snoozing, ratings cratering, and a token Uyghur to insult the intelligence of anyone still watching with at least two brain cells – this year’s 2022 Winter Olympics is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

Viewership for Friday’s Opening Ceremony was a dismal 16 million, as NBC faces what Yahoo!sports‘ Dan Wetzel called a “cataclysmic loss” of audience – a record low exceeding the previous record of 20.1 million viewers for 1988’s Calgary games. It was 43% below the 2018 games’ opening ceremony in South Korea which had 28.3 million viewers.

It comes on the heels of Thursday’s ratings disaster that saw just 7.7 million people tune in, dramatically below same-night audiences of 2018 (16 million) and 2014 from Russia (20.02 million).

NBC said the 16 million is a “total audience delivery” and includes all of its networks and streaming. The television-only average audience was below 14 million for the day, per the preliminary data released by the network. -Yahoo!

As Deadline noted, just “8.7 million tuned in on NBC in primetime [to] see the pre-taped Mike Tirico and Savannah Guthrie-led coverage of the propaganda-heavy spectacle put on by Chinese President Xi Jinping and filmmaker Zhang Yimou.”

The Opening Ceremony was so boring that Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to ‘rest his eyes’ during the Ukrainian team’s entrance.

As Yahoo notes, however, ratings do tend to increase over the first week. That said, several countries are currently staging a “diplomatic boycott” of the Games over China’s treatment of Uyghurs, an ethnic minority group of Muslims who live in the northwest of the country.

While denying any abuse, China continues to deny the United Nations from sending human rights officials to observe the region.

Anti-Covid measures are also putting a damper on enthusiasm, making life inside its “closed loop” a ‘near joyless experience for the athletes,’ according to the report.

It didn’t help that China used cross country skier Dinigeer Yilamujiang – who China’s state run media claimed has Uyghur heritage – was paraded out as one of the cauldron lighters during the Opening Ceremony, drawing sharp rebuke.

It was a disturbing and dispiriting moment, a young athlete and an iconic moment in every Olympics used as a propaganda prop to cover up a campaign of slavery, torture, forced abortions and internment in reeducation camps. It did nothing to build good feelings toward the competition.

As such, rather than a celebration, this feels, and looks, like a grind of hardship, isolation and suspicion. -Yahoo!

The hashtag #GenocideGames began trending in recent days.

UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said it was a stunt designed “by the Chinese to distract us from the real issue here… that Uyghurs are being tortured, and Uyghurs are the victims of human rights violations.”

Adding to China’s woes, US-born figure skater Zhu Yi, competing for china, fell hard during her first combination attempt on Saturday, and later stumbled on a triple loop attempt – resulting in the hashtag #ZhuYiFellOver, which had over 230 million views by Sunday afternoon before it was taken down by Chinese social media website, Weibo. 

According to the report, China’s restrictions on the event has turned into a nightmare for NBC – which is paying $7.75 billion to the OIC to broadcast the Olympics through 2032.

NBC is doing almost all it can but its reporters and crews are stuck in the “closed loop.” That eliminates live shots with mountains or historic buildings as backdrops as well as stories about the culture, architecture and people of China that can make the Olympics about more than just sport.

Host Mike Tirico broadcast from a set designed like a mountain chalet, but that could have been in Breckenridge, not Beijing. And Tirico, the face of the broadcast, will be leaving in the coming days to anchor NBC’s coverage of the Super Bowl, which due to the lengthening of the NFL season has spilled into the Olympic calendar and further siphoned off interest and outside media coverage.

Meanwhile, most of NBC’s play-by-play broadcasters are calling the Games remotely from studios in Connecticut rather than risk China’s COVID policies. Yahoo!

As Just the News notes, a recent Morning Consult poll of 2,000 American adults found that 65% have a lack of interest in the events, 57% said they have no interest in athletes, and 40% said it was because China was hosting.