Hi Merrywidow. The way I look at it, advertising revenue and audience ratings go hand in hand. If lots of people watched, companies would want to advertise on the show. So I do not think that a letter-writing campaign is necessarily either foolsh or selfish, as long as it is directed toward increasing the audience for figure skating programming.
I think Doggygirl's letter is a good model (except I would stop after point #1 -- TV execs, like everyone else, have short attention spans, LOL.) ESPN is contractually committed to showing the Grand Prix events, in some form or other, and Worlds. I see no reason why they would not welcome suggstions as to how they might make their programming more attractive to viewers.
To me, the number one problem with attracting an audience is that they show the events two weeks after the fact. I am a enthusiastic fan of the sport, but I didn't bother to watch any of the GP events last year. Why not? I already knew who won and, indeed, I had already seen tapes of many of the performances on the Internet. I was more interested in checking in with Golden Skate to see what was happening with this week's event, than in watching an old rehash of last week's competiton.
So I am not 100% convinced that it is a waste of time to try to convince the TV people that there is a certain core audience out there which they are in danger of losing altogether. At the same time, especially in an Olympic year, there may be opportunities to attract a somewhat wider viewership with more timely and better advertised coverage.
Revenue follows ratings. That's the one thing the TV people do know.
Last edited by Mathman; 08-20-2005 at 03:06 PM.
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But the thing is that their attempts at trying to get the casual viewer isn't working. By dumbing it down, they are actually losing the audience they already have. I would agree with you if the ratings for the coverage are very high, but they were very disappointing for ESPN. Yes, a part of it was because not everyone has cable, but a lot of it had to do with American skating fans not bothering to tune in because they chose to get their coverage elsewhere.
Originally Posted by merrywidow
I understand they have to do things for the new viewer, and I think they should. However, I feel that they could it better and they don't have to sacrifice quality to do it. Plus I'm sure a lot of my suggestions would be appreciated by new and old viewers alike. I mean...better quality audio...more competitors and less repetitive overlong fluff...showing it closer to the competition....those new viewers would be scared away!
Mathman explained it better than I could.
Anyway, the fact is that tv is free, but that doesn't mean we have to just settle for whatever they give us. People are always looking for ways to keep their viewership happy and gain new viewers, so why not tell them what their viewership wants? I'm sure they appreciated it a lot more than just leaving them scratching their heads as to why they're losing ratings.
Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 08-20-2005 at 02:44 PM.
I always thought it was also a good thing for sponsors to know what the public wanted. It certainly doesn't hurt to write the networks, but writing the people who pay the bills might be a good idea, too. We know that if you write a company and tell them you will stop using their product if they continue to sponsor things, it gets their attrention; why wouldn't they pay attention if you wrote and told them you purchased their product because of their support of an event and then added suggestions about how you think they could make it better?
Originally Posted by Mathman
Great idea! I just wrote to Campbell's Soup
Originally Posted by NansXOXOX
(select drop-down menu item "promotion feedback"), thanked them for sponsoring the St. Paul show, and (truthfully) mentioned that I just bought a cart-load of soup to do my little bit.
I also believe that the poor ratings for Worlds on ESPN last year were partly its own fault. ESPN did not do a good job in advertising Worlds. Many of the casual viewers (i.e., people like my mother, who would have watched Worlds if she knew where to find it), had no idea that the event had been switched to ESPN. My mom asked me sometime in late April or early May when Worlds was going to be on and I had to tell her that she missed it by more than a month! ESPN made no effort to let the viewers know where to find the event. Promotional advertising on ABC, ABC Family, Lifetime, Oxygen, HGTV, TLC and like channels would probably also go a long way towards boosting their ratings.
Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa
The ads they did show did not clearly indicate that it was FS World Championships. What does a falling leaf or a pat of butter in a frying pan have to do with the most important championship competition of the year for FS?
Originally Posted by ragsy
I've written to Disson Entertainment in the past about skating coverage. I felt compelled to write when I end up watching Patti Labelle's tonsils more than the skating. I reminded them that the main attraction is the skating - not the vocalists (except perhaps when the singer/band is featured in the title - i.e. Bocelli, Kenny Loggins, etc). The name of the show is Katerina Witt & Friends - screams skating to me, not singers. Anyway, I suggested that they put the visual of the singer in a small box in the corner to satisfy the appearance requirements and let us see skating from head to Toe on the main part of the screen.
After World's, there was an All-Access show on ESPN. Part of it featured the production work involved in filming skating events. The directors attend the practices to be able to anticipate the best camera angles, etc, and time the movements to the second to anticipate when to change the camera angle. ESPN and ABC are the same corporation. I think they have better coverage than NBC and CBS because of their long history if the USFSA.
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I actually thought the commercials were very well done from an artistic viewpoint. I could see how they failed as advertisements, though. People woul take a glance then stop paying attention not knowing what the commercial was about.. Commercials, especially ones for tv programs need to be obnoxious, loud, and repeat the air times.
Originally Posted by mpal2
I agree that they were artsy and nice when you look at it from that point of view. But like you said, it's a tv commercial not art.
I think the All Access show had some fan value but I would have preferred to see more competitions. It's interesting to watch how the judges have little interest in the close competitions in the lesser groups of six. In fact more often than not, there is a breakthru from some of them that gets little credit.
I wouldn't mind an All Access show where all the fluff is and not on the competitions.
I agree. Put all the fluff in the All Access show and bring us the real competition- as many performances as possible, with less talk.
Originally Posted by Joesitz