I don't think that has to be the case. We don't change the format of any other Olympic sport, or any sport, for the sake of the cameras. We don't wait for the final ends of curling games to make sure TV can show all the finals in one evening. We don't play 2 periods of hockey, and then come back for the final period 6 hours later for the sake of TV. Good negotiators will make sure their sport is protected first. Usually the broadcasters compete to have the rights to broadcast a sport. CTV/TSN won the rights over CBC. I'm pretty sure CBC would have been happy to keep the rights. The problem is that clearly Skate Canada did a lousy job negotiating. This is not a beauty contest or reality TV. This is sport, and should be treated as such.
Originally Posted by xzchief
I also don't think curling is that terribly more popular than figure skating. Curling has been the butt of a lot of jokes over the years as not being a real sport, and really just a social activity that provides an excuse for drinking. There are the hard core fans of the sport, but probably many more that will surf channels and watch because they happen upon it. Depends what else is on TV. If you put skating on TV with good commentary, I'm pretty sure the ratings would be stronger than you're suggesting. Especially with some good promotion. I think skating still is considered by most as one of the marquis events of the Olympic games. I'd say it's more similar to gymnastics in the US. Definitely better than curling. I think curling got a nice bump this year with the introduction of Ron Burgundy. Maybe skating should take a page from that book, and find something that hooks the general public's attention, and then take the opportunity to showcase the sport and athleticism of skating as well as the entertainment/art. There are a lot of sports out there. For me, I think it's not that skating is losing attention so much as there are many more options on which to focus.