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On Her Turf Is The First NBC Show Providing Dedicated Coverage To Women’s Olympic Sports

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at July 24, 2021

This summer NBC is shining the spotlight on the women of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. On Her Turf is the first NBC Olympics show dedicated exclusively to covering women’s sports at the Games. Taking the reigns of the groundbreaking online program are hosts Lindsay Czarniak, Olympian in track and bobsled Lolo Jones, and NFL Network reporter MJ Acosta-Ruiz. The trio will record the show at NBC Sports’ studios in Stamford, Connecticut and it will be posted every day at around 7 p.m.

Czarniak is an Emmy Award-winning sportscaster known for anchoring ESPN’s Sportscenter and her work as FOX Sports’ NASCAR studio host and NFL sideline reporter. This will be her third Olympics having covered the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, and the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing for NBC. Czarniak is excited about this new opportunity and particularly highlighting the women of the Games.

“To have a show that is focused on the women athletes right now to me is just very meaningful and such a great opportunity too because I feel like women’s sports are having a moment,” she said. “Women are not afraid to speak up — that’s so important. And to be able to have a platform and a program that is based on that is awesome.”

NBC’s Olympic Games coverage is traditionally a masterclass in storytelling as they go beyond the medal-winning performances to capture the compelling human interest stories that evoke emotion about even the most obscure athletes. Expect some of those features from On Her Turf, as well as competition highlights, and panel discussions. And there is no shortage of material to mine content from. The U.S. women’s basketball team is attempting to win their seventh straight gold medal, which would make Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi the first basketball players – male or female – to win five Olympic gold medals. Allyson Felix could break or tie Carl Lewis’ record for most medals won by an American track & field athlete, male or female. And the U.S. women’s soccer team is seeking to become the first women’s team ever to take Olympic gold after winning the World Cup.

But there has also been some controversy. Gymnast Simone Biles became the first woman to perform the Yurchenko double pike in competition earlier this year but was awarded a low score which many believe may be an attempt to discourage other gymnasts from attempting the dangerous move. Will she be scored appropriately at the Games? Hammer thrower Gwen Berry has also been vocal about challenging IOC rules restricting protests at the Olympics. Czarniak says that the show will not shy away from these discussions.

“When you’re talking about these issues you want to be balanced, you want to be smart and fair about it,” Czarniak said. “And I think that Lolo will bring one perspective. She’ll bring her side of things that are her reality. And I’m curious to hear from other people that are there in Tokyo, to hear from the reporters and also the athletes. So we plan to dig in and as long as we’re being fair and respectful, I think that there’s not a limit to how far we can go.”

On Her Turf is part of an overall plan by NBCUniversal to present 7,000 hours of programming surrounding the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Typically, female athletes receive only 4% of sports media coverage despite making up 40% of all participants in sports. NBC has been moving towards tangible change in equitable gender representation during Olympic coverage for years. At the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, men’s coverage dominated by an almost 2:1 ratio. That gap lessened considerably by 2014 when coverage was equally split. The Summer Games have shown greater parity with men initially receiving approximately 5% more airtime. But that changed at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London where women won 56.3% of the U.S. medals and surpassed the men in airtime.

With the U.S. women expected to have another great showing, Czarniak and crew are looking forward to serving the loyal fanbase of the brand who are looking for stories and examples of strong female athletes.

“You just want to make sure that when you’re given an opportunity to have a platform like this to talk about these things, that you’re doing it justice, and that you are representing the women who are being bold and open and that you’re making sure to cover all sides,” Czarniak said, adding, “which I know that we will do and we’ll find a great way to do it.”

Stream On Her Turf for free on Peacock starting July 24th at 7 p.m. ET Monday to Saturday and Sundays at 6 p.m. ET.


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