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Report says NBC Olympic coverage of athletes close to gender equity

FILE - This Feb. 20, 2014 file photo shows members of Team Canada celebrating after defeating the United States during sudden death overtime women's hockey final action at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. A report says female athletes got almost as much screen time as men during the Winter Olympics on NBC. The report from the University of Alabama says male athletes were featured 45 percent of the time on NBC’s prime-time telecasts, compared to 41 percent for women. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

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FILE - This Feb. 20, 2014 file photo shows members of Team Canada celebrating after defeating the United States during sudden death overtime women's hockey final action at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. A report says female athletes got almost as much screen time as men during the Winter Olympics on NBC. The report from the University of Alabama says male athletes were featured 45 percent of the time on NBC’s prime-time telecasts, compared to 41 percent for women. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - A report says female athletes got almost as much screen time as men during the Winter Olympics on NBC.

The report from the University of Alabama says male athletes were featured 45 per cent of the time on NBC's prime-time telecasts, compared to 41 per cent for women. The remainder was for mixed events, like ice dancing. Since 1994, the average gender gap has been 20 per cent, with men getting more attention.

Alabama professor Andrew Billings, author of a book on how TV covers the Olympics, said Wednesday that Sochi's coverage represented progress for women's sports.

Figure skating skewed the math: NBC televised five and a half hours of women's figure skating, and two hours and 42 minutes of men's figure skating.

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