I think these words from Dick Button about skating sum up my feelings much better:
"Ultimately, there will be a moment or a performance that will arise and will lift your heart, and that's what counts," Button said. "In this world, if your heart gets lifted, even for a brief time, it's well worth it."
Is figure skating just a sport like baseball, soccer, hockey and the others - or is there a special and unique quality about it?
I hope skating will always retain the qualities that have made it so special. I can always watch baseball or soccer for typical sporting entertainment.
Here is a little fluff about Dick - with Janet looking so adorable it should be illegal
Last edited by janetfan; 05-16-2010 at 09:50 AM.
It is really hard, however, to work work this into a scoring system. My favorite pairs team is Best and Young. Something about them, they make my heart sing. They might have made the top ten at Nationals last year -- I don't remember.Originally Posted by janetfan
On another thread there was a discussion about the lack of interpretation of the rules - and the pcs.
How are some fans supposed to acknowledge the superiotiy of a system that can't follow it's own rules?
As to special moments the scoring system does not create them or eliminate them.
I for one had a special moment watching Joannie skate her SP in Vancouver. That wasn't about 6.0 or CoP. But what if Joannie was a speed skater under similar circumstances. Had she crossed the finish line with a top time we would think she is a brave competitor. Those who know her might have been effected - but there was something about seeing this courageous girl not just compete - but also PERFORM under such heartbreaking circumstances.
Olympia touched on this - how skating used to know how to present a better product and seemingly have blown it.
I appreciate Pogue's comments and pov. But can't there be a happy medium? Perhaps some want skating to be a sport and only a sport. I always loved skating because at it's best it was so much more.
Society and culture go through trends. Change is inevitable. But when we see something we love no longer worthy of being broadcast on TV it must say something.
Does it suggest the new system has failed to capture the same size audience the former system did?
Some will deny this - but I think it speaks volumes and ISU should be addressing it before they find themselves in an even smaller niche.
ETA: I don't mean to sound so glum or negative. And there are good signs too. This year, US Natls broke all previous attendance records. The broadcast ratings of the Ladies SP at Natls was up 43% from the previous year (thankyou Sasha!). Of course ratings are always higher in an Olympic season.
Joe pointed out we are seeing much less of the Intl events. Maybe they will always be of greater interest to diehard fans. MM pointed out that casual US fans have never had as much interest in the GP and Worlds.
Last edited by janetfan; 05-16-2010 at 10:51 AM.
Last edited by Layfan; 05-16-2010 at 01:19 PM.
Maybe I'm just a cheap date, but, this season, watching Joannie, Daisuke, Virtue/Moir, Shen/Zhao, Pang/Tong, Savchenko/Szolkowy, Dube/Davison, Abbott, Takahashi, Amodio.......
There really isn't much American interest in figure skating on TV. There was at one time, but let us not go back to that. I presume the die hard LIVE fans will continue to be at US competitions come hell or high water, and relatives of competing skaters will be there as will former competitive skaters. A full house? nothing really to grab attention at US Nats. Worlds will have the full house just about for every discipline. Europeans and Japanese will fill it up. For the Worlds TV there will be the die hard American fans of FS . Anyone know if a network or a subsidiary is going to show FS? I could resort to icenetwork but that organization didn't show much beyond Sectionals last season.
But if skating has such great skaters right now, and as you say the best scoring system ever - why can't it sell on N. American TV as well as it did in the past?
That is the question and not who our favorites are. We all have favorites, no?
It was suggested that including more info about the scores would help fans in the arena and could be shown and explained by the announcers to the fans watching on TV.
That sounds like a good idea for the serious fan. I have to wonder if more casual fans who enjoy skating but don't get the rules would benefit so much from that. It might even drive more away.
I say that thinking of the way Scott has called skating since the new system came in.
I think he is more than aware of what it is about skating that appeals to the average fan. It is not excessive UR and edge calls. Scott seems to understand that a fall is not only obvious for all to see but typically more disruptive to a program. The average fan can understand that but it is becoming more obvious with each passing year they not only don't get the calls from the tech panel they don't care about them either. Thus the diminished broadcasts because with poor ratings the sponsors won't buy time.
I was so upset watching the Olympics patiently waiting for the Ladies to come on. It was really disappointing when they didn't show Laura and Akiko's LP. I am sure most other fans were upset about missing so many of their favorites too and in all of the disciplines.
NBC decided they would do better showing snowboarding and moguls or whatever was being shown besides skating.
This was not bad luck or a fluke. It was a carefully calculated decision made by NBC to follow the interest = follow the money.
I have to wonder if the average fan even thinks of skating as a real sport.
My concern for the casual fan feels important because I think the sport needs them.
Without them and without the ratings boost they provide, skating will have limited broadcasting potential in the future.
I don't think that is a good sign or makes a strong case for how healthy a sport is.
I think Laura winning the bronze in Torino was a step in the right direction. The CoP actually seemed to work and follow it's own rules.
But Laura's bronze was vigoroulsy debated and disputed her at GS. If so many of us had such mixed feelings how in the world would a casual fan have any idea at all as to whether Laura, Miki or Cynthia deserved the bronze.
There seems to be no doubt the scoring system is a turn-off and too complex for casual fans to understand or bother investing much time in.
And that is why they are not watching as much as they used to and why skating has fewer and fewer broadcasts each season in N. America. There are too many other things to watch and until the ISU is willing to address this skating will continue to slide downhill in some of it's biggest traditional markets.
Last edited by janetfan; 05-17-2010 at 06:23 AM.
I wonder just why it is that the framers of the CoP have decided that falls are not as bad as URs. Perhaps if they made changes to the code that eased up on URs in comparison to falls, maybe skaters' victories would be more understandable? Who knows.
It's interesting to observe the change in commentators, in this country at least, since the advent of the CoP. Everyone talks about points. "Now [skater] does a spiral, and that change of position will really rack up the points." It sounds so cold. It's certainly not the kind of narrative that draws in audiences, and it has the effect of making the skaters seem rather like moving calculators. I find it off-putting, though I understand that the commentators are trying to educate fans.
The casual fan who is watching a championship, will look disdainfully at any kind of FALL regardless if the skater gets up and continues. The casual fan will not understand an UR who continues the program. This will not change regardless of any amendment to the regulations. The question is How much will that affect the casual fan in returning to see another championship? IMO, only the joy in seeing good presentations will bring them back, and seeing only one good performance, is not enough.
signed by Joesitz, Keeper of the Flow in figure skating.