NBC Forced to Give Advertisers Free Airtime after Awful Ratings from 'Woke' Olympics
The opening ceremonies saw the lowest viewership since 1988
Establishment network NBC is giving advertisers who purchased airtime during the Tokyo Olympics free commercials due to abysmal ratings of this year's Olympic Games.
The rating tanked when woke athletes protesting the U.S. flag and national anthem saw a massive backlash from viewers who decided to switch off.
NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua claimed the network would still make money but did not give any further details.
NBC’s primetime coverage of the Tokyo Olympics averaged 14.7 million viewers, a 49% drop compared to the equivalent night from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and 53% less than the 2012 London Olympics
The opening ceremonies saw the lowest viewership since 1988.
Brian Steinberg, Variety senior TV editor, wrote the drop had spurred "advertiser anxiety," which was made worse when legendary American gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from team competition.
He noted a media buying executive who said the early viewership numbers "clearly are not what NBC, our agency, or our clients were looking for" from an expensive investment.
"When you look at the numbers, it's hard to be pleased with them," Andy Billings, director of the sports communications program at the University of Alabama, told the AP.
"It's probably NBC's worst-case scenario, but it's probably a worst-case scenario that they would have been able to predict months ago."
Viewership was far behind the Rio coverage by roughly half on various nights of this year’s competition.
Meanwhile, 'woke' protests from American athletes condemning the U.S. or national anthem have repelled new viewers and alienated Republican spectators.
The Monmouth University Polling Institute in New Jersey published a poll that found fewer Americans were interested in watching the games, a massive 43% of respondents said they had little interest in watching compared to just 16% who did.
"The Olympic spirit is a bit dampened this year," Murray said.
"The delay from last year and lack of spectators have taken the edge off the typical anticipation and excitement for this event."
"But the emergence of Black Lives Matter in the sports world has also led to a backlash among some Americans."
Last month, NBC Universal came up with a list of non-woke explanations for the rating collapse.
The network's CEO Jeff Shell attributed record-low viewer ratings to a host of factors as he sought to square the poor viewer response against his company's expectations.
“We had a little bit of bad luck… there was a drumbeat of negativity… we got moved a year… no spectators,” Shell pleaded, Reuters reported.