CultureFriday 02.04.22

Why There’s No Love for Beijing’s Winter Olympics

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The Winter Olympics start this Friday, February 4th in Beijing, but you’d be forgiven for not knowing that. LZ and Will talk about the lack of buzz that typically accompanies the world’s most unifying sports competition. Prime time viewership for last year’s Summer Games in Tokyo suffered a 42% drop compared to the previous iteration in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Overall, 150 million Americans watched the Tokyo Games, compared to 198 million four years prior. Will and LZ argue that NBC — which will be streaming, broadcasting, and covering the Games for American viewers — should be worried about a similar decline for the event’s snowier iteration this month. Is the pandemic to blame, or China’s ongoing genocide against its Uyghur minority in the country’s west, which has drawn diplomatic boycotts of the Games from geopolitical rivals? Will and LZ argue there’s a bigger, simpler factor at play: a lack of recognizable superstars on Team USA.

Watch The Long Game with LZ & Leitch Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 12:30pm EST and 5:15pm EST at

The Long Game