That's what cheesefests were for.
Originally Posted by Mathman
Seriously, if you're going to design a competition format primarily around what keeps casual audiences interested, then you're not going to meet the needs of the majority of competitors, and you're also not going to meet the needs of serious fans.
So the made-for-TV events should probably designed to appeal to casual audiences, and keep the championships designed to work best for the skaters and the internal values of the sport. What format is best for each is open to debate, so let's debate it.
The problem is that casual audiences tend to be most interested if an important championship is at stake. But important championships require that many skaters get to participate -- not all of them will be medalworthy, but they have to compete in order to sort out which ones are, this week. Important championships require measuring skills that are important to the skaters even if they're boring or invisible to casual audiences.
Do important championships require more than one competition phase? Maybe, maybe not. Pair skating only ever had one phase up to the 1960s. In the US, juvenile competitions, and intermediate pairs, only have one phase. At higher levels, could the long programs be structured to measure everything important that's currently measured in short programs, and then some?
Bona Fide Member
Why not? Think of the Super Bowl. Good television, and the players don't complain that their needs are not met
Originally Posted by gkelly
The way football works, you get to watch two teams go at it against each other for a couple of hours. The final round (Superbowl) is only those two teams. If it were the only game that were ever televised, you bet the other teams would feel their needs are not met, and neither would the serious football fans.
Originally Posted by Mathman
Not to mention that NFL football is a professional sport in which the athletes are being paid reliable -- and in some cases enormous -- salaries to give the public what it wants.
In skating the competitors perform one at a time for only a couple of minutes at a time. It's therefore more efficient to have a moderately large number -- let's say 18-36 -- skaters perform in the same competition in the same place on the same day. And there are four disciplines. So competitions take several days and last too long to fit into a neat 2-3 hour timeslot.
And most of the competitors are paying to participate, not making a profit.
To achieve what you're looking for, maybe the ISU should hold its large championships as always but called them qualifiers. Then invite the top 6 in each discipline to a long-program-only superfinal in which only the results on that day determined results, and call that the championship. It would fit nicely into a weekend broadcast for the casual fans, who would not be subjected to the tedium of watching many mediocre skaters.
Except serious fans of skating would get shortchanged if they didn't have access to watching mid- and lower-ranked skaters they have come to enjoy. Even casual fans would get shortchanged if they want to see their national champions, who didn't make the top 6, compete in the world championship or other international championship. And the majority of skaters and federations would be shortchanged by being excluded from the exclusive "championship" event.
Wicked Yankee Girl