The first major Olympic event was nearly empty because of the American time zone demands

Scott Davis
olympics figure skating

Felipe Dana/AP


  • The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, created complications when it comes to time zones.
  • NBC pays billions to broadcast the games in primetime, forcing the events to take place early in the morning in South Korea.
  • Already we're seeing that big events have very small crowds due to the time complications.


With the Winter Olympics taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the time difference has created a bit of a complication for all parties.

On Thursday, with the games kicking off, NBC broadcast the figure skating team competition in its first primetime broadcast.

While the programming began at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, in Pyeongchang, it was actually 10am on Friday.

As Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Tribune noted, the demands of NBC to show events in primetime creates a bit of a scheduling conflict.

Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/961771103176871936?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Here's what happens when NBC pays billions for Olympic TV rights and then demands that events be live in East Coast prime time (10 am here). pic.twitter.com/CBlOBfT2Hm

Others also noted the crowd size for one of the games' most popular sports.

Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/961769178561634304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Five minutes from start of first Olympic figure skating event. @emptyseatsgalore. 10 am start for US television may be hard on spectators pic.twitter.com/DNE3WjveFY

So while Americans will get to see the biggest events at convenient times, those events might be lacking somewhat in crowd noise.

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