As the Paralympic Games came to a close last week, attention was brought to NBC Sports Network’s rather limited coverage of the event. In all, NBC broadcasted a mere total of 5.5 hours of the games. It is not realistic to expect full coverage of the Paralympics simply due to the relatively smaller profit margins from 2 weeks of Paralympics broadcasting versus 2 weeks of NBC’s usual prime time programs, which are evidently preferred by their viewers. But still, complaints arose towards NBC’s under coverage of the games, as some critics believe that the Paralympics might not be popular among viewers simply because they have yet to be exposed to it.
The main ethical issue here is that the possible airing times of the Paralympics is mostly a concern of NBC’s prioritizing their personal benefits (and neglecting others’ values of the importance of the Paralympic games). NBC can either guarantee habitual profits by airing prime time shows with high popularity, or it can take the risk of increasing Paralympic coverage in hopes that their viewers will get hooked and ratings will increase. By opting for the safer option, NBC may lose an opportunity for popular broadcasting/higher ratings (which could potentially increase profits) and risks the threat of losing critical business partners due to lack of satisfaction from the limited broadcasts.
Source: NBC Wasn’t Alone in Passing on the Paralympics — Bloomberg Businessweek