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Thread: The Kwan Factor: NBC - IceNetwork.com - 2008 U.S. Nationals

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    The burr up Speedy's Butt! visaliakid's Avatar
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    The Kwan Factor: NBC - IceNetwork.com - 2008 U.S. Nationals

    Many fans find it much more than coincidence that Michelle Kwan has been contracted to be a judge on NBC's production of this year's Miss Universe Pageant that is scheduled to air Monday night at 9 p.m. EDT.

    With Phil Hersh's last report strongly suggesting NBC was hoping to sign on Michelle as a commentator for it's coverage of the National Championships in January, many including this writer are convinced she'll be in the booth when the blades hit the ice in the Twin Cities.

    Considering the power of her draw among skating fans this move makes sense both dollar-wise and skate-wise. If we take this to the next level... how then to best capitalize on the move? How to make Kwan's participation the most profitable for NBC, IceNetwork.com and the USFSA?

    Born out of an online chat with a friend and fellow skating fan, are these thoughts...

    NBC and U.S. Figure Skating are looking to maximize the impact from their joint venture right out of the gate. Why not use Michelle's ability to draw fans and their dollars by putting together a tease as a part of the coverage promotion on NBC, IceNetwork.com and U.S. Figure Skating and their affiliates. Include brief clips of her readiness performance (done for U.S. Figure Skating officials at EWIP) prior to gaining entry to U.S. Olympic Team in early 2006. Produce a promotional series with Kwan as the centerpiece, teasing both her role as commentator (if in fact she is signed on the NBC team); and her Olympic program never seen competitively.

    Here's the kicker! Tease it as "See the entire program only on IceNetwork.com" (Webcast it there only after the coverage of the Ladies event commences.) The effect of this serves to heighten viewers to NBC coverage of Nationals, and maximizes the potential for increased subscriptions to IceNetwork.com prior to start of nationals.

    ‘The Kwan Olympic Program never competed’...what an electric jolt that would be to skating fans on the internet. IceNetwork.com would of course encrypt the video to prevent it from being dubbed and put on YouTube or Google or downloaded by fans.

    Additionally, U.S. Figure Skating should sign Kwan to do a bi-monthly or monthly skating show or promotion on IceNetwork.com. It could begin with behind the scenes at Skate America and Nationals.

    Bottom line is, Kwan = $$$ which is good news for NBC, U.S. Figure Skating and IceNetwork.com. What better opportunity to frame the upcoming coverage for all three entities!

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Sign up for the Ice Skating Network and see Michelle's 2006 Olympic LP! I love it! Send the check to Kwan/Disney, Inc.

    PS -- No wait, that's another company. I mean, send the check to Kwan/USFS/NBC.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    visaliakid - Your theory is plausable. Keep us posted on any further factual developments which may take place, please.

    It's incredible that so much has happened to La Kwan after 1998! She has to be crying all the way to the bank.

    I hope she does something besides take a bow tomorrow night after her name is called as a judge. Maybe something like what qualities were you looking for in this contest?

    Joe

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    The burr up Speedy's Butt! visaliakid's Avatar
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    Well of course it is all predicated on the thought that U.S. Figure Skating either sanctioned or insured that East West Ice Palace videotaped Kwan's performance (one would assume they would have done so, for legal reasons); and that permissions could be received to actually use the footage (Kwan camp or USFS or both) on NBC and IceNetwork.com.

    U.S. Figure Skating got an email with said suggestions... and hopefully they will consider them.

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    I agree that MK's role should be promoting the event, but I think her involvement should end there. This could be one negative about NBC's coverage; at least I don't remember ESPN/ABC making a huge deal about Kwan not competing at Nats or Worlds. They focused on the competition at hand, and the one time they did put Kwan on they had her comment on what she thought of the young up and comers (which she had absolutely nothing insightful to say). With NBC it might all be about Kwan and Cohen, who likely will also be a no-show at 2008 Nats. I hope they focus on covering the competition at hand. Also, ESPN had some nice backstage tidbits.

    They can put Kwan's performance online (if they taped it). Putting it on TV would make no sense at all. Well, ok, maybe if they were desperate for viewers. But I would like to see less gimmicks and more coverage of the event. NBC is usually good about this in their coverage of major sports (an notable exception is getting singer Pink to do the theme for SNF). Note that I'm not talking about fluff here; I'm talking about trying too hard to reign in casual fans instead of sticking to your core audience. (Think of ABC using the Pussycat Dolls- a pop group- as their NBA theme song. I mean, huh?!)

    JMHO

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    whatever the gimmic, i doubt that michelle will do any commenating on Figure Skating. I think that she wants to move on with her life and have her name stand for somthing else besides 9-time national champion, 5 time world champ, 2 time olympic medalist. I think that she wants to go to college and stop thinking of skating all tha time. I doubt that she needs the money.

    P.S. even if she does sign with NBC, i highly doubt that there is any such tape for her doing her program in it's entirety.

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    Using MK in any way in their figureskating coverage is a blatant "gimmick", IMO. You're using a former ratings draw (popular figure) to bring attention to an event completely unrelated to that person. ABC/ESPN didn't need to use her for their FS coverage. NBC doesn't need to, either.

    But as far as promotion goes, there's plenty to hype in the current crop of skaters skating right now. The only problem is no one in the general public knows their names. Well, maybe they'll be able to recall Johnny Weir from the Olympics, and Belbin/Agosto in ice dancing.

    ETA: I think we really need to wait until the schedule is out and the broadcast team and telecast details are finalized. Will there be a studio show before the event? Will the medal ceremonies be shown? What about the short programs? And will there be "promotional" events (like Marshalls events, etc.) put on TV to hype the US Nats? It all depends on those things.

    Fans are reading WAAAAAYYYY too much into the Kwan/NBC connection. Had skating stayed on ABC, I think she still would have been invited to be a judge. She is just one of those sports figures that would draw attention to the EVENT, and that's the bottom line.
    Last edited by R.D.; 05-27-2007 at 05:23 PM.

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    The burr up Speedy's Butt! visaliakid's Avatar
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    I find it most humorous that any mention of the word Kwan to some, brings out some vociferous posting...

    BTW, I believe the chances are good there is a tape of her test performance. The question I have is who has control of it? Kwan camp or U.S. Figure Skating? My bet is U.S. Figure Skating.

    Whether or not Michelle actually winds up commentating is a decision we will not be a part of... but the fact is... keeping skating on TV will require NBC to make enough profit to keep it viable. If you have any smarts, you use the strongest promotional tool you can to help insure you make that money. Whether some of you like it or not, the Kwan name and her participation in the presentation of their coverage would be the strongest possible marketing strategy U.S. Figure Skating could utilize to both keep skating on TV and bring maximum subscriptions to Ice Network. Just MHO!

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    well, NBC's not paying any rights fee, right? Are they going to cover the costs of the broadcast, or will USFS take care of that?

    Of course using MK is a good strategy, given that she agrees to it. I still maintain that they relegate her only to promotion of the event, as to not take away from the competitors actually competing at the event. She's too fresh off the ice to not have an impact one way or another, having not even officially made a retirement statement yet. But given her judgement call at the Olympics, I don't think she's enough of an "attention hog" to want to take away from their telecast.

    Last time I checked, just because Kwan was at an event didn't necessarily mean ratings went through the roof. I mean, the ratings for Nationals were on a downward spiral even though Kwan kept winning and winning. She skated at that first Marshall's event and I seriously doubt the rating approached 2.0 for that. On the other hand, the ladies' FS event at Torino did just fine in the ratings without Kwan skating there or even present at the arena.

    Use her, don't abuse her. Personally I could do without the gimmicks, but if it helps them, more power to them.
    Last edited by R.D.; 05-27-2007 at 06:31 PM.

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    Use her, don't abuse her. Personally I could do without the gimmicks, but if it helps them, more power to them.
    That is kind of sweet sounding, protecting the Kween like that.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    Using MK in any way in their figureskating coverage is a blatant "gimmick", IMO. You're using a former ratings draw (popular figure) to bring attention to an event completely unrelated to that person. ABC/ESPN didn't need to use her for their FS coverage.
    No, but they used popular old-time skating sweetheart Peggy Fleming. And NBC used the ever-popular and char-ice-matic Scott Hamilton.

    So now we've got the ever-popular Kween of the ice available for some TV face time. What's the big deal?

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    Custom Title demarinis5's Avatar
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    Never thought I would hear Kwan and gimmick used in the same sentence. This thread should be renamed to "The NBC Conspiracy-Starring the Kwan Factor"
    lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    No, but they used popular old-time skating sweetheart Peggy Fleming. And NBC used the ever-popular and char-ice-matic Scott Hamilton.

    So now we've got the ever-popular Kween of the ice available for some TV face time. What's the big deal?
    But they didn't snag them up while they were still technically amateur, did they? Remember, Kwan hasn't officially retired yet. She's still dear to that competition ice. Not to mention her popularity would currently overshadow whatever she's covering. If they want her to do commentary (g## forbid) I'd say wait until during or after the 2010 Games, then pick her up. Of course, this is assuming she doesn't compete ever again.

    I like Scott's enthusiasm and I hope they keep him on board for Nats.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Is it the gimmicks or the name Kwan which would be a bother?

    I mean who cares about a dumb beauty contest?

    Joe

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post



    Last time I checked, just because Kwan was at an event didn't necessarily mean ratings went through the roof. I mean, the ratings for Nationals were on a downward spiral even though Kwan kept winning and winning. She skated at that first Marshall's event and I seriously doubt the rating approached 2.0 for that. On the other hand, the ladies' FS event at Torino did just fine in the ratings without Kwan skating there or even present at the arena.
    agree Look at the 2007 nationals. The house was packed, they sold more tickets than they had in years and niether Sasha nor Michelle were in the house. Michelle isn't as much a crowd drawer as some people make her out to be.

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