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Thread: World's 2009 - Los Angeles

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    World's 2009 - Los Angeles

    Has anyone read the latest issue of International Figure Skating Magazine? There is an article about the contract between the USFS and NBC. It's pretty much what we've been talking about but it only concerns national skating including the cheesefests.

    Apparently, NBC can not cover the Worlds without a contract with the ISU I believe 2008 Worlds will be covered by ESPN as their last committment to their contract. What's with Los Angeles?

    Cinquanta wanted to yank the Worlds out of Los Angeles but changed his mind when the ISU reaffirmed its decision to hold the 2009 Worlds there.

    My question is if anyone will televise this all-important competition before the Olys?

    Joe

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I'm sure someone will get it. Possibly CBS? They haven't had it in a while, but they don't seem to be interested much anymore in figure skating....

    we've got some (not a lot but some) time to go before they get here... I can't see it not being covered in any way at all...

    I've decided not to go to the event... can't afford it with some other plans that we have around the same time (priorities and all that now that I'm becoming more and more *the* adult lol) so hopefully a network picks it up.

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    I'm sure that, soon enough, $peedy will be looking around for a new contract -- and he is undoubtedly hoping for something to happen next season that will put him in a more favorable position. So, if anything happens to Johnny (or Evan), and circum-
    stances seem to point to Evan (or Johnny) being involved -- you know who probably really did it!

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    There is an article about the contract between the USFS and NBC. It's pretty much what we've been talking about but it only concerns national skating including the cheesefests.
    Any pro-ams scheduled for this year? I haven't heard of any.

    I think the only skating CBS has right now is Ice Wars. But I don't see them really interested in ISU events unless they plan to bid for rights to the 2014 Games.

    Maybe ESPN will seek a 1-yr. extension of the deal to cover '09 Worlds in the US. Or, if they drop it completely, the only network that could benefit from it is NBC (they're the Olympic network, they have the 2009 Nats which would decide the 2009 US World team). The only other network possibility is FOX- and I'm not sure where they would stand on skating.

    For cable TV, there's Turner Sports (TBS/TNT). Also USA could work out (but that would require a deal with the NBC folks anyway).

    I think it will either be on NBC or ESPN (or possibly both...?) Also, don't cross your fingers for a whole lot of coverage. Also, maybe ratings for USFS events next year on NBC might play a factor in interest. If the interest and ratings are still there, I think the Worlds will find its way to SOME network.

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    yeah CBS is a pipe dream for me...

    if anything NBC Universal is the best bet for skating to get on TV... be it cable (USA/MSNBC/Whereever else) or network...

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    I'll try defying gravity, you can't pull me down zephyrskates's Avatar
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    i do agree with you on NBC bidding for 2009 worlds, it's in LA for pete's sake i just will not and cannot imagine no coverage of the world championships on US soil that will decide who will get to go to the oylmpics.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I think Cinquanta will try to obtain as favorable a deal for the ISU as possible, to "allow" the networks to cover 2009 Worlds. He already threatened (not very seriously, IMO) to switch venues if USFS could not guarentee an adaquate television package.

    He also ragged on Canadian TV in conection with some pre-Olympic events in speed skating that the Canadian Olympic committee wanted to hold in Vancouver to test out their Olympic facilities. I guess it was eventually smoothed over, but the threat was that the ISU wouldn't schedule the events for Vancouver unless they got some kind of financial concession from the Canadian TV networks.

    Maybe Cinquata will take the stand, we won't let you broadcast Worlds unless you also broadcast the Grand Prix that year.

    I can't blame him for trying. That's his job, after all, to secure the best financial deals he can for the organization.

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    Maybe Cinquata will take the stand, we won't let you broadcast Worlds unless you also broadcast the Grand Prix that year.
    And that's the problem. He needs to be more flexible and innovative IMO. He should be aware that the TV landscape is completely different than it was even 5 years ago. Go for digital and mobile rights as well. If he tries to tack on the GP events along with Worlds, that's that much bigger commitment to the TV networks.

    I'm pretty sure at least one TV network would be interested in taking on FS, but it's ultimately up to Cinquanta to make the package appealing enough. Forcing unwanted events in a package of desirable events dilutes that appeal.

    Recommended package (disclaimer: I'm not familiar with the TV business so this is just a "consumer suggestion"): A combo of digital rights and TV rights to the World Championships, European Championships and Four Continents Championships. It could be a single-year contract with a small rights fee, or, as a last resort, do revenue-sharing. I think it would be a good idea to pitch to whichever network is televising the Winter Olympics, and go with 4-year packages to each network.

    Again- if the network is not interested in the GPs, HUGE mistake to tack them on. I still think that the ISU should have made sure there would be a US TV feed BEFORE scheduling the event.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    Any pro-ams scheduled for this year? I haven't heard of any.
    I doubt it and NBC wouldn't be interested anyway. Too many nonOlympians involved.

    Maybe ESPN will seek a 1-yr. extension of the deal to cover '09 Worlds in the US. Or, if they drop it completely, the only network that could benefit from it is NBC (they're the Olympic network, they have the 2009 Nats which would decide the 2009 US World team). The only other network possibility is FOX- and I'm not sure where they would stand on skating.
    I believe, the ISU will have something to say about that. ESPN would have said something at quitting time. So too, would NBC at the time of the new contract was drawn up. If one can imagine the logistics in setting up TV cameras, crew, booth, and travel and shipments, it's quite a job. That's why NBC wont go near
    the GPs. Let's face it, ABC/ESPN was not breaking even with the undertaking regardless of whose fault it was. NBC has just selected those venues which could be profit making for them.

    I think it will either be on NBC or ESPN (or possibly both...?) Also, don't cross your fingers for a whole lot of coverage. Also, maybe ratings for USFS events next year on NBC might play a factor in interest. If the interest and ratings are still there, I think the Worlds will find its way to SOME network.
    Nothing wrong with speculation but that's all it is. What a shame it would be to have the Worlds in America and no showing on TV. Ifs, and Maybes, are also speculating. Coverage imo, of course, from day one, is a wait and see.

    However, please read the entire article, it does go into coverage for Nats which includes Saturday and Sunday. The two hour SA will be Ladies and Pairs Live; Maybe with a tape of Mens and Pairs. Nothing about USA cable network.

    The possible commentators will be Uncle Dick, Scott, Tom and La Kwan.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 07-07-2007 at 09:52 PM.

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    USA was brought in because it is a 'relative' of the NBC network... in 09 (which is two years away still) they could very well move it to cable if and when the time comes. This could be NBC's trial period year and if the ratings suck this season, they might not go for anything but the actual olympic coverage and maybe the national stuff (After all NBC has to appeal to the AMERICAN masses as they are an AMERICAN network... which I don't see anything wrong with doing considering it's all a business)

    IFS is not the all knowing... they're speculating right a long with the rest of us. I personally take a lot of what they speak of with a grain of salt anymore... I've not been impressed with the 'new look/feel'

    Personally I'm not overly worried. What happens happens... it's up to the ISU and USFSA to find a way to get the networks interested.

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    I believe NBC is contracted to show USFS events up until 2010: the fact that they signed on for only three years, and will broadcast only 10 hours, tells me that that's their trial period: to see if showcasing national skating can boost their Olympic promotion. I don't think they could simply shift to cable at least until after 2010. If it's successful, I can see them renewing AND adding more coverage for the future.

    To get high TV ratings, you need to bring in the masses. And in order to bring in the masses, you need some kind of draw as well as good promotion. Skating, IMO has really suffered from lack of promotion in non-Olympic years and I think that has contributed to the ratings decline. Why couldn't ABC advertise Nats outside of other skating events? Why not put a plug in or two during Desperate Housewives or something? I never quite understood that. I notice NBC advertises events like Sunday Night Football and Wimbledon during their primetime shows. FOX had a plug for Saturday Baseball during American Idol one night.

    But it's gonna be tough to get skating back on the map. Better promotion can only do so much, but it'll be a good start. Typically, when a sporting event switches networks, the first year of coverage on the new network tends to see lower ratings than the previous year, and I imagine (or hope) that NBC has that in mind for '08. But '08 Nats ratings would have to be compared to '06, not '07 since '06 was the last year of primetime coverage. People will be looking for the event on ABC (especially since they've had it forever) and it's up to NBC to let these folks know (assuming they also watch NBC shows) that the event has switched hands. ESPN made a huge mistake by not advertising the '05 Worlds (their first year of exclusive international coverage) on ABC and ESPN outside of other skating programs, and the result was a HUGE decline in ratings. And there they are, scratching their heads wondering what happened? These guys don't have a clue...and it's not only skating, it's just about any sport they broadcast outside of football, baseball or NASCAR.

    We'll see. Especially without Kwan or Cohen I don't see the Nats getting incredibly high ratings, even with good promotion/whatnot. To the real casual fan it would be Kimmie who? Maybe Emily "Hughes" will ring a bell. Or maybe they'll go the ice dance route and do Belbin/Agosto.
    Last edited by R.D.; 07-08-2007 at 12:32 AM.

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    I don't know why we are looking for blame. We should be looking for constructive ways to promote figure skating. Once the Sport began to show silly competitions on Sunday afternoons which bored everyone but the silly fans who liked them, and which were slowly wiped away from NBC and CBS, plus the SLC scandal which put the nail in the coffin, the sport had no place to go but down. It's time to move it up. Let's see how NBC will work on that. There is no other taker.

    Unfortunately, NBC's goal is to get the revenue making Ladies event in the Olys to what it used to be, and they will not be overly interested in international events until 2010.

    I think the OIC would also like the entire games to be pushed up a notch. Downhill skiing did not get the play it used to.

    Joe

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    well this silly fan enjoyed the more relaxed and more fun pro competitions that were just "so silly" that they were entertaining.

    that is the number one job of the tv after all.

    That being said, it's really up to the sport to make it interesting. Sadly, when skating got the most over the top ratings it was after a major cat fight. We couldn't find a day that didn't have some type of skating deal on the TV. It was GREAT... yeah there were goofy programs, but a lot of them still had amazing skaters and programs (hello, Kurt Browning was in most of them! LOL) IMHO even the Rock and Roll competition and the Too Hot To Skate were better than a lot of the cheesy stuff they came up with with teh StarSkates and even some of the Disson programs...

    but that's the pro side of the sport... as for competition, they're going to have to find a way to market an otherwise more dull end of the sport (from the silly and casual fan perspective.) There're only so many renditions of Swan Lake a person can handle.

    There's no show lighting, very little if any playing to the camera/audience, and it just has a serious tone about it. And for whatever reason skating is not looked at by the average American viewer as something worth watching in a serious format. They'd rather have it entertain them...

    So be ready to see Tanith Belbin EVERYWHERE (we did for the Olys after all)... she's probably the most marketable figure skater in the US right now... so I wouldn't be at all surprised if she took a top billing in all of NBC's programming. Even more so than she did on ABC.

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    The reality for any sport outside the NFL is that there has to be either a player or a team that captures folks' interest, or else ratings will sag.

    Maybe we give the NBC network more credit than it should have. As Joe says, it's not up to them nor is it in their interest to revive skating. However, they ARE picking up a sport that has arguably hit rock bottom and therefore has nowhere to go but up.

    As for Tanith, Mr. Ebersol said himself that the most compelling story is "happening right now in ice dance", so I agree with Toni here. Someone needs to bring the viewers back and she could be one of them. Kwan or Cohen could do that for the Ladies but they are out.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Look - If the silly fans want the Sunday afternoon silly 'entertainments' back, far be it from me to stop it. Just trying to make a point, that the ratings didn't hold up after the Tonya/Nancy debacle cooled down.

    I know some people think it was high culture, but it's all about ratings, my dear. When they go down, so does the Sport. And in these cases, ratings dropped off the Nielsen list significantly. Obviously it was not entertaining for most people.

    But more people do watch serious competitions even if the numbers dropped, and it's not about entertainment when someone you want to win is in competition. And there are those silly exhibitions after the big competitions to amuse those who don't take competitive skating seriously and for others just so anti-climatic.

    Cheer up my friends, Two cheesefests coming up and several Holiday shows which actually show your favorite speaking holiday greetings to you. What else could one want?

    Joe

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