jaylee wrote in another thread:
I'll mention one thing that was very useful to me when I started really paying attention in the mid-1990s and going out of my way to track down videotapes of non-US broadcasts: Judges explaining the judging process on TV.
CBC used to have little segments of five minutes or less called The Judges Seat in which a judge would give a little presentation about what judges look for with regard to a specific topic, with video examples from both top skaters and lower-ranked skaters. I only got to see a few of them -- the one I remember best was about how judges evaluated step sequences. Of course the criteria were applicable to the 6.0 judging system in use at the time. There was probably another segment explaining each of the criteria listed for the Presentation mark, beyond the simple list available in the rulebook. Another was analyzing little details about how several of the top dance teams performed one of the compulsories at that competition.
I don't think there were any written rules to explain these fine points in more detail. At least not anything published in a form that could be purchased or accessed online (once that was an option) by the general public. There must have been discussions and probably written notes used in judging training, but the details of the training probably varied from one country to another.
So having a judge give even a general explanation to the TV audience was very educational even at the fairly general level that could fit in a few minutes of broadcast time.
It certainly interested me. I would have wanted more detail, but for most viewers an overview would be plenty. And TV broadcast time is too expensive to spend on material of limited interest.
The Internet, now with the capability for online video streaming, and to a lesser degree specialty cable channels make it easier for networks to offer additional performances or ancillary material that won't fit in a convenient broadcast slot. Just a few seconds of air time to direct viewers to a website or secondary channel can let viewers know there's more material available from that network if they care to seek it out.
So what could networks do more of? What else could they do that they haven't tried yet?
And do they really have the motivation to do it, other than perhaps during the Olympics? Is a Canadian network more likely than a US one to assume that the viewers care about how the sport really works and how judges really think?
Would more useful information come directly from the federations? And could they use TV broadcasts to let viewers know where to find it if they're interested?
As a fan, what kind of resources would you like to have access to in order to help you understand what you're seeing during skating competitions and how it's being judged? Would you want different kinds of information now than when you first started following the sport?