“NBC has had some challenges,” said Durbin, who is also the Director of the USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media and Society. “One thing that’s pretty clear from the coverage is that they’re seeking to hit a much younger demographic.”
NBC gave snowboarding events a lot of coverage and filled evening programming with highlight reels. But, Durbin added, this resulted in lower ratings for their television coverage because young people use the internet and NBC apps on their phones to look up events that interest them.
“They’ve seen the highlights before primetime shows up,” said Durbin.
Durbin also mentioned that while most Olympic Games provide a “tremendous net gain” for the host country, Russia’s was comparatively lower as a result of conflict in Ukraine, as well as the situation involving Russian band, Pussy Riot.
But NBC remained positive in their coverage, “making Sochi look pristine in this Olympics,” said Durbin.