The television ratings for the Beijing Olympics have hit a record low as people around the world are boycotting the Genocide Games.
Friday’s Opening Ceremony drew just 16 million viewers for NBC across TV and streaming — a record low, and 43% lower than viewership for 2018’s Winter Games in South Korea, according to Yahoo Sports.
NBC is facing a cataclysmic loss of audience for the 2022 Winter Olympics as viewership tanked for Friday’s Opening Ceremony, averaging just 16 million.
It is a record low for the Opening Ceremony (20.1 million for 1988 in Calgary was the previous record) and a whopping 43 percent below the 2018 Games in South Korea that notched 28.3 million viewers despite also dealing with a less than advantageous Asian time zone for American audiences.
It comes on the heels of Thursday’s ratings disaster that saw just 7.7 million people tune in, dramatically below same-night audiences of 2018 (16 million) and 2014 from Russia (20.02 million).
Sara Fischer at Axios places part of the blame on empty stadiums due to incredibly strict COVID protocols, since having fans in the stands makes the Olympic Games more fun to watch live.
But Yahoo says genocide is to blame and the blatant propaganda of having a persecuted minority light the Olympic flame.
The host country, China, is a serious problem.
Numerous countries, including the United States, are staging a “diplomatic boycott” of these Games due to what they say is China’s active campaign of genocide against the Uyghurs, a minority ethic group of mostly Muslims in the far northwest part of the country.
China denies the charge but has also banned United Nations human rights officials from entering the region.
It ended with China using cross country skier Dinigeer Yilamujiang, who the state run media said has Uyghur heritage, as one of the cauldron lighters. It was a clear counter to the claims of genocide — see, look at this smiling, celebrated Uyghur.
It was a disturbing and dispiriting moment, a young athlete and an iconic moment in every Olympics used as a propaganda prop to cover up a campaign of slavery, torture, forced abortions and internment in reeducation camps. It did nothing to build good feelings toward the competition.
As such, rather than a celebration, this feels, and looks, like a grind of hardship, isolation and suspicion.
But human rights activist Patrick Mahoney of the Stanton Public Policy Center says people are turning off the Olympics because of China’s horrific human rights record — including genocide, torture, and forced abortions.
“Today in China, Uyghurs are living in concentration and forced labor camps while facing genocide. Hong Kong democracy leaders are sitting in prison with no bail, Christian churches are bulldozed, political and religious dissidents are daily being brutalized and persecuted,” Mahoney explained. “In light of these facts, there can be no sports neutrality in the face of genocide and these horrific human rights abuses.”
“The world cannot be silent or indifferent as the Chinese government crushes human rights and freedom. It would be unconscionable for us to remain apathetic,” he said.
Mahoney wants people to “take to heart the powerful words of Dr. Martin Luther King when he said, ‘The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.'”