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Thread: Popularity of skating

  1. #1
    Jennifer Lyon
    Guest

    Popularity of skating


    In 1994, I remember reading that figure skating received the second-highest
    TV ratings of all sports. Does anyone have any recent statistics on
    skating's popularity? The reason I ask is because soon I will be trying to
    sell my skating novel to agents and editors. Although the book is accessible
    to a general readership (in other words, there's a lot more to the story
    than school figures, triple jumps, and medal ceremonies), my primary
    audience will be skating fans. Therefore, I need some stats as to how many
    people are currently watching this sport.

    Thanks to anyone who can help me out! :-)




  2. #2
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    Jen Ly - I think back in '94, the media was going bananas with the Nancy/Tonya thing in pages off the sport pages. It got curiosity going among the non-fans of figure skating. Interest was at its peak - for the Sport? or for the alleged criminal acts by young ladies?. This curosity continued with an upsurge in Pro skating competitions on Sunday afternoons. However, interest declined since none of the competitions had any prestige, except for fans who loved watching their favs do crazy things on ice. By 2000, the Pro comps went the way of bad sitcoms. (TV producers are relentless in dealing with non-revenue producing shows.)

    However, some of those curious in '94 actually went on to watch the sport at the Olympics and figure skating added some new fans based on their interest in the sport.

    It appears to me that the stats for amateur figure skating championships still attract enough viewers to warrant time on TV. (I do believe that Pro competitions have to reinvent themselves.)

    I would love to find out the stats for Nats, Worlds, GPs and Olympics.

    Does figure skating surpass Oly Hockey or Oly Gymnastics?

    Joe

  3. #3
    Kzarah
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    Try reading Frozen Assets. According to the book, we are on a decline in popularity. The American audience is where the money is. Accually a new scoring system was suposed to have been in the works before the judging scandle. It was being changed so that non skating audiences could understand the scoring. It was feared that the lack of understanding of the scoring system could decrease the ratings for figure skating. If you do read the book, wait until you see what ABC is paying Michelle Kwan to compete in competitions.
    Daniel and Little Lulu

  4. #4
    tharrtell
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    Daniel and/or Little Lulu,

    I'd love to read Frozen Assets - but don't have time (maybe post o-chem leisure reading); however, you piqued my curiosity - just how much does ABC pay Michelle to skate in competitions?

    tharrtell

  5. #5
    Kzarah
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    tharrtell
    I believe that the dollar amount is $200 million for 10 years. Maybe this is why she has no intention of turning pro.
    Daniel and Little Lulu

  6. #6
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    Kzarah - From what you say, it appears that Figure Skating is losing it's popularity. I'm not surprised. The dumb approach to Pro competitions killed the interest in what should have been more popular then the amateur competitions . The Sunday TV afternoon competitions of Golf, Basketball, Auto Racing are all taken seriously. The Figure Skating competions came across as entertainment - not sport. It seemed like it didn't matter who won or what team won as long as one act was more giddy than the previous. Golf sportsmen are playing for a living - no silliness here!

    As for Frozen Assets, I can believe MK is making a fortune in order to keep, at least, the amateur skating alive. She is the first name in Figure Skating. We, imo, actually owe her homage for keeping the sport alive.

    OK, I'll get a copy.

    Joe

  7. #7
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    Good heavens! 200 million dollars? That's almost as much as some baseball players make! You go, girl!!!

    I wonder if Murk Lund actually knows this or if he is just guessing. Do you mean that Michelle is contractually committed to keep on competing until she's 33?

    Mathman

  8. #8
    Kzarah
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    Joe,
    Actually, I believe it was Dick Buttons who got the pro competitions started. There were a number of pro competitions through out the year. But, no one had to qualify, they were invited to compete. It was the same skaters at every competition with the same numbers at each. High scores were give to all the skaters, regarless of their content or how they skated. The general public got bored. Were the 6.0 point system was difficult to understand by the same token, all the high scores given to skaters was equally hard to understand.
    Mathman444,
    It seems as though the contract was signed a few years ago, so, she would not need to compete until she is thiry three. As far as the $200 million. It may be exagerated but maybe not. There is a lot of money to be made by networks for figure skating competitions. So, maybe it is true. If it is not $200 million, I sure it is very high. So michelle Does not really need to turn pro.
    Daniel and Little Lulu

  9. #9
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    Kzarah - Dick should have taken more interest in what he was establishing. Is there an umbrella organization which handles Pro skating? If so they could rewrite their rules of play. Make it more a sport and less of an entertainment. I believe there is already entertainment embodied in all sports. No need for silliness except in Ice Shows.

    MK with all that dough! Wow. One doesn't need an Oly gold but must be able to break all attendance records.

    Joe


  10. #10
    Excidra2001
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    Everyone here knows that I have a lot of respect for Michelle, but I really don't think that she is the skater who keeps amature skating "alive". Maybe she does in America to a certain extent.She didn't compete(nothing wrong with it) as much as the other top ladie last season and people still tuned to skating on TV and the same thing will happen next season. Wouldn't it be naive if people stopped watching the sport on TV because Michelle is not competing anymore? Skating was popular before Michelle became a top competitior and skating will remain popular(like i'm going to listen to Christine Brennen) when Michelle decides to hang her skates.

    As for Michelle receiving 200 million for a 10 year contract, i'll probably agree that she does receive money from ABC but 200 million, you got to be kidding me. Shaq is currently receiving 107 million for a 7 year contract with the LA Lakers, do you really expect me to believe that a figure skater makes more money then NBA's top gun? Sorry to sound a little skeptical here but NBA is far more popular then figure skating in America and around the world.
    Plus, if Michelle was receiving that much money from ABC, plus her endorsement deals and prize monies, don't you think she would've been in Forb's "Most powerful woman" list. Oprah's assets are about 500 million and she has made that list everytime.

    *Don't take my post the wrong way*

  11. #11
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    Re: Popularity of skating


    Excidra, believe it or not many fans becames a FS fan because of Michelle. I for one and several of my friends and even friends's friends. I did watch FS occasionally if there is one happened to be on when I turn on TV. But never schedule time around to follow the events. And never bothered to learn what type of jump, edges, etc. It was from Michelle (94 or 95) that I start following the events. Then after the SLC so many controversy talking about her skating that I start studying the technique side of figure skating; part of which is to convince myself that Michelle is still the one to beat. And during the process I start to appreciate good skaters like Irina, Fummie, etc. Many of my friends became FS fans like that.



  12. #12
    Jayjen35
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    Hello!, I was just lurking and saw this question. I read an article a few months ago that said that interest in figureskating is declining, and that interest in Pro figureskating is non-exsistant! The Tonya and Nancy frenzy is over, but I think that a lot of people stuck around after that. In comparison it might look a kind of sparce, but compared to other sports events I think figureskating holds its own.

    As for pro skating, I think the decline there has to do with the utter lack of any sort of real competition. The skaters (other than maybe three or four) don't seem motivated to improve their skating at all, nor do they, other than those few, work to grow artistically. Which is very unfortuante because that artistic growth was a big part of what the pros were <em>supposed</em> to be about. Instead all we saw were the same type of "<em>crowd pleasing</em>" programs which only bore people now, and skaters who seemed just as bored with themselves as the audience was with them. Many people have said that a wave of retiring amatures would save the pros, but its going to take a lot more than that! I mean how many times can we applaude when Candelloro rips his shirt off!?

  13. #13
    Ladskater
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    Jennifer:

    As long as there is ice and ice skates available figure skating - or skating at least will never go out of vogue at least not here in Canada - and we have plenty of ice! There will always be an audience for your book. Don't worry.

    Ladskater

  14. #14
    heyang
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    IMG currently controls non-amateur skating on TV. That's why we see the same pro skaters on all the shows since IMG invites the skaters they represent. Unfortunately, the Professional Skating Union never got control before pro skating declined.

    BTW, World Pro competition lost its cache after Dick Button sold it. The story is recounted in Lund's Frozen Assets. I'm sure he's regretting that decision.

  15. #15
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: Popularity of skating


    Thanks for posting, Jayjen. About professional skating, I have been wondering about that, too -- what form would a professional competition have to take to be a "real" competition. If we mean, how many triple jumps can you squeeze into a four-minute program, that's eligible skating, and in any case the pros can't keep up with the quadmeisters, etc.

    A contest of "artistic-ness?" How would it be judged? Would it be like two ballet companies going at it in a battle of the tutus? In pro-ams they have to put restrictions on the number of tricks allowed in order to give the old geezers a chance. Would this be like the senior circuit in golf, where the course is watered down to keep the score's respectably low?

    Maybe this is the natural course of events in this sport. After your eligible career you join a tour or do TV specials. I don't know about Philippe Cadelloro's shirt, but I never get tired of seeing Brian Orser or Dorothy Hamill perform.

    Mathman

    PS. Come to think of it, I did see Dorothy Hamill competing in a pro-am team competition last year. She did the most gorgeous single Axel you ever saw. Got scores in the 5.7-5.8 range for technical, 5.9s for presentation -- about the same as Michelle, as I recall. I assume the sponsors told the judges, look, chumps, Dorothy don't skate for no 5.4.

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