2022 Winter Olympics Recorded Smallest Audience in Modern History

The ratings for the 2022 Winter Olympics confirmed that the Chinese-hosted games had the smallest audience in the history of the Olympics.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the ratings on NBCUniversal, the main host of the games, averaged only 11.4 million over the course of the 16-day games. The previous Winter Olympics, held in South Korea in 2018, had an average of 19.8 million viewers, thus marking a 42 percent drop in viewership from four years ago.

The Beijing Olympics also had significantly less viewers than the most recent Olympics event, the Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan in 2020; the Tokyo games averaged about 15.5 million viewers, 26 percent higher than the Beijing games.

Despite the disastrous ratings, NBCUniversal’s Chairman of Television and Streaming, Mark Lazarus, released a statement declaring that “NBCUniversal’s presentation of the Beijing Olympics dominated across all platforms and once again showed that nothing captivates Americans for 18 consecutive days and nights like the Olympic Games.”

The 2022 Winter Olympics were marred with controversy even before the games began, primarily due to the location in the capital city of Communist China. Many critics denounced the decision to let an authoritarian regime like China – guilty of many human rights violations and mass censorship, both within its borders and around the world – host such a prestigious global event. There were widespread calls to boycott the games and its advertisers; the poor ratings seem to confirm that these boycott efforts were largely successful.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 04: (L-R) Kate Hartman, Chief Communications Officer, Sarah Hirshland, CEO of United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, Rick Adams, Chief of Sport Performance and NGB Services, United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, Susanne Lyons, Chair of United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and Dr. Jonathan Finnoff, Chief Medical Officer attend the USOPC Leadership press conference ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Main Media Centre on February 04, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)