NBC has loaded prime time with the scantily clad sports like swimming and beach volleyball
Like a number of conservatives, I vowed not to watch the Summer Olympics on NBC because of the politics, American flag dissing, dumbass rules that barred an American runner athlete for smoking a joint but allow a trans man to compete with women in weightlifting, plus the rampant hype, commercialization and exploitation of children, whom I believe should not be allowed to compete given the Larry Nassir scandal
But I am staying with family in Northern Virginia this week, and so the games were on TV, and I caught a glimpse of NBC’s coverage between Facebook posts on my laptop.
I noticed this – much of the prime time coverage was of the scantily clad sports – namely, swimming, diving, beach volleyball and gymnastics. Hardly much coverage to track and field and soccer.
My fears of Olympic voyeurism were confirmed when I learned the Norwegian women’s handball team was fined for not wearing bikinis Talk about a sexist rule, but no rule that you have to stand for your national anthem?
The online mag, Slate, reported the excessive coverage of swimming and gymnastics, was because “swimming and gymnastics have a structural advantage relative to track in that regard. Whereas the top track stars compete in one, maybe two events over an entire Olympics, the top gymnasts and swimmers each Olympics compete in multiple events spread out over multiple nights. This means that NBC can produce teasers and create suspense over the course of a week, encouraging viewers to familiarize themselves with and get invested in those top swimmers and gymnasts.”
Same with beach volleyball, bud? That was on every night. Female beach volleyball, with sweating women with sun lotion that made their skin glisten. The amount of prime time “Alix & April” got for their quest for the Gold medal in beach volleyball was unbelievable!
The key word in Slate’s analysis is “tease.”
So, my hunch is NBC, worried about the bad ratings for this COVID-delayed 2020 games, focused on the scantily clad sports for that reason – sex sells, particularly in this day with people switching channels back and forth and passively looking at their social media feeds
Sad to say, but the news media is all about glitz and glamor and sexploitation.
And NBC confirmed this for me, by running this article following the 2016 Rio Olympics by Rain Dove, described as an “androgynous” athlete.
In the article, “Sexploitation in Athletic Uniform,” Dove shows off pictures wearing both male and female athletic apparel, writing: “I think some [uniforms] are designed for the actual sport and some are designed specifically to sell the sport,” Dove said. “People want to watch women [athletes] not because of their skills but because of their bodies.” .
According to this survey, more men than women watch women’s sports, by about 5 percentage points But the Olympics do draw a significant female viewership, more than other sports on TV.
In addition, this year’s games have more female than male athletes, plus 160 who are openly LGBTQ
But to bar women from playing because they are not in bikinis says something, which is why these games are not worth the time to give “fake news” NBC a ratings boost. Congrats to the USA team for winning the most medals so far.