Why is it that NBC pays millions of dollars to broadcast the Winter Olympics? Obviously, they do it because millions of people will watch those same Olympics, enabling NBC to sell millions of dollars in advertising. So perhaps the real question is why millions of people will watch the games.
Why is it that every four years, people will get excited about watching sports that they don’t care a lick about for the following three years and eleven months? Who cares about downhill skiing, ski jumping, speed skating, and, of course, curling if there aren’t five rings and national anthems in the background? Even figure skating, which enjoys a fair following throughout the years, achieves far more attention when there’s an Olympiad–whatever that means–in the picture.
I don’t have an answer to this little ditty, and I haven’t been drawn in to these Olympics sufficiently to have learned anything new. Perhaps you have an answer.