The Tokyo Olympic Games just concluded on Sunday, and among all of the record-breaking performances in numerous events, one in particular stands out- the ratings, or lack thereof, which many are attributing to the alleged overwhelming “wokeness” of this year’s event turning off viewers in droves.
The ratings for the Tokyo Games – described as a “worst-case scenario” for NBC, the network airing them – were a huge drop down from the 2016 Rio Olympics, the 2012 London Olympics, and many other preceding games, only pulling in roughly half the viewers when compared to those events.
While the final ratings numbers have yet to be released, they’re anticipated to show a whopping overall drop of approximately 49 percent compared to the Rio Games and 53 percent less than the London Games, with primetime viewership expected to have taken an even greater hit.
Of course, part of the explanation for this ratings crash could be attributed to the fact that people have more viewing options than ever – including cable, streaming, and the internet – or the fact that the pandemic resulted in a ban on spectators, and the subsequent silent, empty stadiums caused the normally exciting atmosphere of the Olympics to take a huge hit.
However, many are speculating that politics and social justice messaging played as large a role – if not larger – in the Olympic ratings mess that NBC currently has on its hands, with viewers all-but ignoring the games as backlash against so-called “woke” athletes protesting the U.S. flag and national anthem while competing to represent their country on a national stage.
The participation of several transgendered athletes in this year’s games was extremely divisive as well; some felt that their inclusion was unfair to biological female athletes, while others championed the development as a major step forward for LGBTQ+ rights.
Advertisers who had paid billions of dollars to NBC were understandably up in arms over the lack of viewers for this year’s Olympics. Ratings were so low, reports say, that NBC is giving extra commercials to advertisers who were aghast at the low numbers the air time they purchased delivered.