The overarching story of the 2022 Winter Olympics has been NBC’s declining ratings for the Beijing Games. Beginning with a record-low audience for the opening ceremony, the audience for NBC’s coverage has been among the lowest numbers for any Olympics telecasts.
But NBC’s plan all along was to tie the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl LVI together in a sports bonanza for viewers. And the hope among executives was that a Super Bowl lead-in on Sunday would give a boost to the remainder of the Beijing Games.
That strategy appears to have paid off. Despite many fans dismay at NBC abruptly breaking away from Super Bowl post-game coverage to the women’s monobob, a majority of viewers appeared to stay with the network.
According to Sports Media Watch, Sunday night’s Olympics coverage drew the best ratings of the Winter Games thus far. The primetime telecase averaged a 9.8 rating and 21.28 million viewers after Super Bowl LVI. That number was higher than any single night of last year’s Tokyo Summer Olympics coverage.
But Sports Business Journal‘s John Ourand believes Olympics ratings will be on the upswing for future Games. Appearing Tuesday morning on 106.7 The Fan’s The Sports Junkies, Ourand pointed to Paris, Italy, then Los Angeles as locations far more beneficial to NBC and viewers.
“NBC knew, they had Tokyo last year, Beijing this year, they knew this was going to be tough,” said Ourand. “The next one is going to be in Paris; it’s going to be huge. Then there’s a Winter one in Italy, and then they come to L.A., which is going to be really big. So I’m not one that’s going to bury the Olympics at all… It’s going to bounce back in a big way.”
As Ourand pointed out. the 2024 Summer Olympics take place in Paris followed by the 2026 Winter Games in Italy. Both locations have a six-hour time difference from the U.S. Eastern time zone, compared to the 13-hour gap in Beijing, which should be a significant improvement for TV audiences. Then the 2028 Summer Games will be played in Los Angeles, which figures to be a huge event for NBC.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at email@example.com.
Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement
Former 94WIP host and Philadelphia Daily News and NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Ray Didinger retired earlier this year, but he told Angelo Cataldi he’s remained busy even though he stepped away from his media career.
“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run. Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”
Didinger hosted shows from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays for 94WIP. In total, he spent more than 50 years covering the NFL before retiring in May.
After Cataldi asked for Didinger’s opinion on the 2022 Eagles, he asked the now-retired reporter if he was still using his yellow notepad. Didinger admitted he does still use the notepad, and Cataldi chastised his former colleague after he said he would retire the notepad. Cataldi joked when he retires after the Eagles season concludes, he hopes to lose co-hosts Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes’ phone numbers.
Didinger will be the subject of an NFL Films feature about his longtime career covering the league. The program will air on FS1 on Friday at 12:30 AM.
Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week
“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.
“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.
“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.
They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.
Boomer & Gio: NFL RedZone Botched Transition From Seahawks/Raiders
“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS!”
Josh Jacobs scored a tremendous 86-yard touchdown run in overtime as the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Seattle Seahawks Sunday. Unfortunately, many didn’t get to see it live as NFL RedZone cut away from the game due to NFL broadcasting rules. WFAN morning show Boomer & Gio believe the coverage was botched by the channel and host Scott Hanson.
“The RedZone is who I have issue with,” Gregg Giannotti said. “Scott Hanson — who I have trusted for many years — tells me and the rest of the country to go over to your local CBS and watch the rest of this overtime. ‘International customers stay here. If you’re in America, go over to your local CBS.’ So I go over to my local CBS and there’s some guy wiping off dinosaur eggs with a brush.”
“I’m so confused with the TV rules — and I’ve been in it for 22 years. I’m just very confused,” Boomer Esiason added.
After a discussion about what the rules actually are for television broadcasters and the NFL, the show concluded NFL RedZone couldn’t air portions of just a single game that was still underway.
“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS,” Giannotti said.
Esiason asked for the show to get in touch with Mike North, the NFL’s Vice President of Broadcasting, joking that they needed to know who to blame for the blunder.
“Somebody dropped the ball over there, that’s for sure,” Giannotti concluded.