The Ice Channel is a cool idea in the making

The Ice Channel is coming, hopefully by the fall, according to promoters of the unique project.

Michael Rosenberg, who has represented 10 Olympic champion skaters among a host of others during his career, is the visionary behind the project.

Michael Rosenberg
The demographics fit exactly what corporate America and television is looking for, according to Rosenberg. While the highest ratings guarantee 30 million viewers, the lowest, according to Rosenberg represents at least 2-3 million.

The Ice Channel’s format will be 24-hour programming. Coaching clinics, soap operas that are ice skating themed, a cooking show, judges forums and of course plenty of skating will be featured.

Skater biographies, competitions ranging from regionals and sectionals in the U.S. to events held worldwide not televised will be available for live competitions on The Ice Channel.

The start-up costs are expected to be over $50 million.

The IOC, ISU and U.S. Figure Skating Association must reach agreement on fees for live programming. There are vaults of tapes since the first televised and filmed events that must be negotiated with rights holders. A studio location and show hosts must also be found.

The USFSA has expressed great interest in its role in which a daily show of figure skating and coaching clinics will be part of the programming.

The philosophy is to showcase the historical aspect of figure skating, too. Movies, performances from some of the greatest skaters in the world – Scott Hamilton, Michelle Kwan, Peggy Fleming, Jayne Torville and Christopher Dean and Sonja Henie are among many personalities that will be featured. And don’t forget the complete saga of the Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding incident that vaulted figure skating to its highest interest ever.

Rosenberg and former CBS Sports vice president Jay Rosenstein, are counting on the demographics to make a success of The Ice Channel. They refer to an ESPN poll that showed the loyal base of figure skating in America combined with over a million active skaters at rinks in the United States.

The poll shows figure skating is the No. 1 spectator sport among women and their teenage daughters. Sixty-three percent of the household incomes are $50,000 plus and two-thirds of skating fans attended college.

© 2003 BussFair