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Thread: 2008 USFS Governing Council Info and Update thread

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    The burr up Speedy's Butt! visaliakid's Avatar
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    2008 USFS Governing Council Info and Update thread

    This year's USFS Governing Council gets under way on Wednesday April 30 and runs through Saturday, May 3, 2008 in Denver, CO. I have started this thread with the intent that anyone (fans, officials, or delegate attendees) can offer up information, comments and reactions to what decisions come from this year's gathering.

    USFS GC official website: http://www.usfigureskating.org/Story.asp?id=39906

    Janet Lynn Solomon will be the keynote speaker at the Athlete Advisory Committee (AAC) Alumni Dinner during this year's Governing Council. The five-time U.S. champion (1969-73) will deliver her message, “Skating Through Time,” on May 2 at 7 p.m.

    U.S.F.S. Media Director Mickey Brown posted to me the following:
    "All coverage of Governing Council will appear on usfigureskating.org, with reports of key decisions that are made and photos. There will also likely be video of the kick-off speech as well as Lynn's speech (if i can gain access to the AAC dinner)."
    One item of interest from the Officer and Representatives Report references IceNetwork (posted by Ramsey Baker, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications)

    "Icenetwork.com officially launched in the fall of 2007 with live coverage of the JGP in Lake Placid. The broadband network has provided live coverage of the JGP, Skate America, Junior Championships, U.S. Championships, Synchronized Skating Championships and the World Junior Championships. Since the full launch in late August of 2007, more than 750,000 unique visitors have accessed icenetwork.com, making more than 1.5 million visits to the site and accessing nearly 24 million pages of content. Icenetwork.com users have viewed 4.1 million video clips and have watched nearly 150,000 hours of video content (all figures as of 2/29). Subscriptions to the site continue to grow, eclipsing last year’s figures by more than 300% (as of 2/29)."

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    It's a very long document which one has to search for topics of interest.

    Thanks Pete, for excerpting the para on IceNetwork. Apparently, it's working well, but nothing about it's course for the future. This report I imagine is just about the past and not intended to refer to plans ahead.

    I would love to read something on the origins of IceNetwork. How it came about?; Who are the people running it? and what are it's goals. Is it a profit making organization? How did it get involved with the USFS?

    I'm impressed with the number of people who have signed up with it and the number will increase in years to come. I believe this is the best for ice skating fans since it is apparent that no commerical networks want to take it on, and cable network failed.

    Joe

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    The burr up Speedy's Butt! visaliakid's Avatar
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    You are correct, Joe, that the section on IceNetwork is basicly a report on the current status of USFS's new entity. It will be interesting to learn more on the first two years of operation from information that is gleaned from the annual conference.

    I love your suggestion that a background story on how IceNetwork came about be written. It would be a fascinating read. Either that or a video documentary might be considered, for historical purposes. It might be something to be considered after say the first five years of growth on the web.

    Another thought is the potential for IceNetwork to eventually expand it's offerings becoming a duel TV-Web entity offering viewers it's product on a cable TV channel, fulfilling the vision of a failed attempt for an all figure skating cable channel several years back.

    On another subject, President Ron Hershberger notes in his report to the GC, that at the June ISU Congress
    "one of the topics for discussion will be the effect and application of ISU Communication 1481, having to do with “conflicts of interest.” I also believe that there will be a Bylaws amendment proposed at our Governing Council dealing with the implications of ISU Communication 1481.

    I strongly suspect that there will be some revisions to Communication 1481 at the ISU Congress. Many of the small federations simply cannot meet with strict application of Communication 1481 as it is presently written. I believe that we should take a position with respect to Communication 1481 that will permit our officials to continue to function in their ISU capacities without having to forgo positions in US Figure Skating where they can also be of great assistance."
    ISU Communications 1481: Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

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    The burr up Speedy's Butt! visaliakid's Avatar
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    Governing Council Election Update:
    There were no contested positions. The only correction to the Nominating Committee Slate, which can be found here, is the new collegiate program committee chair is Gerald Miele, not Edna Chang-Grant.

    2008-09 U.S Figure Skating's Compulsory Dances Announced: here!

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    Joey Votto Fangirl KwanFan1212's Avatar
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    I love watching the waltzes so I'm looking forward to seeing the Vienese Waltz for the senior dancers in Cleveland next season!

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    Here's the page where Governing Council news and updates are being posted: http://www.usfigureskating.org/Story.asp?id=41437

    Photos and video(s) are being posted at the bottom of this page: http://www.usfigureskating.org/Story.asp?id=39906

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    Without reading in detail - not much new or earthshaking. Pretty much business as usual.

    Glad IceNetwork is a success. Had hoped to hear progress re: it's getting rights to ISU/Grand Prix events next season as rumor has it they were trying to do. Would rather broadcast, but would be grateful at this point for anything.

    Had also hoped for more news re: broadcast decisions and how/if they were going to get the events to the public or if they were even looking for a host network as long as they have NBC for national events. (SA, Cleveland Nationals and LA Worlds).

    Or is that not something they do at this meeting? Enlighten please. I haven't paid much attention in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I would love to read something on the origins of IceNetwork. How it came about?; Who are the people running it? and what are it's goals. Is it a profit making organization? How did it get involved with the USFS?

    Joe
    IceNetwork is a limited liability corporation formed by the USFSA. It is operated jointly by USFSA and Major League Baseball Advanced Media. MLB-AM is the media arm of U.S. pro baseball. In addition to handling electronic media for pro baseball, it also contracts to provide technology and know-how to netcast a variety of limited-audience sports.

    In some cases, MLB-AM provides the camera work and the whole 9 yards. In other cases, they use broadcast or cable feed. Say there is a broadcast or cablecast put on by a provider that doesn't do netcasting or doesn't feel it's worth the extra cost for a particular sport.

    At the risk of being repetitious, the sole owner of the actual media from the competitions (the images and sounds) is USFSA. IceNetwork is a wholly owned subsidiary of USFSA, or more specifically the netcasting entity of USFSA. Without USFSA, IceNetwork does not exist.

    MLB-AM is a service provider. There are others (ESPN360 comes to mind), but MLB-AM does good work. Of course I might be biased. My best friend from college works for the company that provides a lot of the hardware to MLB-AM.

    Perhaps I'm just dense, but the purpose seems apparent. IceNetwork provides a way for fans to watch competitions even when traditional media are not interesting in broadcast or cablecast rights.

    I don't know if it's incorporated as a nonprofit. USFSA, via IceNetwork, provides a service. It costs them money to do so. Thus a fee is charged to the subscriber. It could be a moneymaker (as used to be the case with selling TV rights), or it could be a break-even proposition. I doubt they'd be crowing about it so much if it were in the red, though.

    Incidentally ... USFSA cannot netcast media unless it owns the copyright or has some kind of contractual arrangement with the owner. If ISU owns rights, Speedy is free to do his own thing.

    Also, there is TV. I believe all cable and broadcast contracts are over and done. But should there be others in the future, ESPN surely would insist on being the net provider for any competition it puts on cable since it has the capability through ESPN360. NBC has the contract for the 2010 Winter Olympics. If they have netcasting ability, which I imagine they do, the contract may well give them control of netcasting.

    Susan

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