Figure Skating Back On Eurosport

La Rhumba

Supporting All British Skaters!
Medalist
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
yeah I got it wrong it was Simon not Chris. Simon works for Eurosport but I’m not sure he’s based in France. I think Eurosport have offices in London.
They do, but only for Admin purposes. British commentators go to France to provide commentary in studios there. Simon Reed has been quite senior in Management for Eurosport for many years, his 2 main sports are Tennis and Skating, and I really enjoyed his commentary for Rostelecom, he was technically astute and overall thoughtful and interesting. Personally I think he's much better minus Chris Howarth.
 

DSQ

Record Breaker
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Country
United-Kingdom
I really liked the banter between two commentators. I like Chris but I hope from next season if he is not back they at least bring another skater on just so the commentary is more lively.

I know I’m in the minority but I find solo commentators a bit dry. Though I am very glad Simon is back!

I didn’t know that they all had to travel to France. I know that for the Olympics it seemed like they were in Korea though since they spoke about viewing the practices that weren’t broadcast. Perhaps Eurosport do get that footage beamed to France?
 

La Rhumba

Supporting All British Skaters!
Medalist
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
I didn’t know that they all had to travel to France. I know that for the Olympics it seemed like they were in Korea though since they spoke about viewing the practices that weren’t broadcast. Perhaps Eurosport do get that footage beamed to France?
They could well have been in Korea. In the past the Commentators used to go to Europeans and Worlds, and we'd get British skaters coming into the commentary box for a live interview and a bit of commentary themselves after they had skated, which I've got on video tape somewhere. Having grown up with the great Alan Weeks commentating alone on BBC, then ITV who had 2 or sometimes 3 commentators, it's nice when they add information you don't know. But with Nicky Slater not being a part of the Skating community since moving to Canada and often not knowing the rules anymore, and Chris Howarth only seeming to know about US skaters since moving to Chicago, they would often be educating themselves talking to eachother on Eurosport. I appreciate the casual viewer is just watching and enjoying, but for fans who follow the season from beginning to end, it would often be annoying. Chris, Simon & Nicky all had their hey day in the early 90s onwards when they were top dogs and written about in novels (by a German author) - good grief that's 30 years ago!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: DSQ

litenkyckling

Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2018
For me I think Simon needs someone with a little more expertise like Chris provides. There were a couple of moments where it seemed like he wasn't totally up to speed - which is fine but I think that having someone more linked to the sport makes for more interesting and knowledgeable commentary. For example when he kept saying "Trusova has been a revelation these last 12 months" - come one she's a two-time junior world champion? Or when he didn't know why Allison Reed was upset - I feel like someone like Chris would've instantly made the connection to her brother there. Just my thoughts but I find them much stronger together than apart!
 

CaroLiza_fan

EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA
Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Country
Northern-Ireland
Thanks for all the updates and information about this topic. So typical of an upstart commercial company buying up rights, disrupting a sport's viewers, and then backs out of a deal, selling it on to another supplier involving different subscriptions!

I'd hardly call Infront an upstart. The company in it's current form has been around since 2003, but was formed from companies that were over 30 years old.

Infront is not a broadcaster; it is a marketing and promotions company. They have had a lot of success promoting ski sports and acting as the broker for the FIS in selling the broadcasting rights. And no doubt the ISU saw this and thought "we'll have a bit of that!" Unfortunately, the ISU failed to take into consideration that ice skating is no-where near as popular as ski sports, and were left up the creek without a paddle when most of the existing broadcasters were not willing to pay the price that the rights were being sold for.

But, the fact that the deals are now being done is probably an indication that the ISU have lowered their prices.

I successfully watched and enjoyed ALL of Rostelecom Cup live (as it's the only GP in the European timezone this season) on my Opera VPN installed on my tablet. Then lo and behold I tried to watch today's Gala and I am geo-blocked????? I tried watching Russian Channel 1 coverage on Youtube, again I am Geo-blocked. So either Opera VPN isn't working anymore, or they've cottoned on to this and made extra security restrictions?

Erm, I think the problem might be at your end. Because it is still working for me on my desktop PC.

So, before you take out another subscription for the Eurosport Player, it would be worth experimenting.

My goodness - the broadcast is 3h 43m long!!! :jaw:

They do, but only for Admin purposes. British commentators go to France to provide commentary in studios there. Simon Reed has been quite senior in Management for Eurosport for many years, his 2 main sports are Tennis and Skating, and I really enjoyed his commentary for Rostelecom, he was technically astute and overall thoughtful and interesting. Personally I think he's much better minus Chris Howarth.

I know that for many many years it was the case that they went over to Paris to do the commentary. But, I think that for the past few years the commentary has been done from the UK. They have a studio in London, and there are definitely commentary booths there too because there have been programmes I have watched where somebody has gone straight from doing commentary to doing analysis in the studio. So, it would be a lot more cost effective for the British Eurosport commentators to commentate from there than for them to travel back and forth to Paris.

Plus, I remember a few years ago Chemmy Alcott putting up this picture of her commentating on the Alpine Skiing with Matt Chilton for Eurosport:


Somehow, I don't think she would have been travelling to Paris!

I really liked the banter between two commentators. I like Chris but I hope from next season if he is not back they at least bring another skater on just so the commentary is more lively.

I know I’m in the minority but I find solo commentators a bit dry. Though I am very glad Simon is back!

I didn’t know that they all had to travel to France. I know that for the Olympics it seemed like they were in Korea though since they spoke about viewing the practices that weren’t broadcast. Perhaps Eurosport do get that footage beamed to France?

I'm with you, DSQ. I always think that 2 commentators is the optimum. 1 is too few because you only get one opinion, and they might have their own biases. 3 is too many because they are fighting to get their speak in. But, 2 is perfect, because you get different opinions and viewpoints. And they can bounce off each other.

For me, the best commentary teams are where one of them is a journalist (e.g. Simon), and the other is a former participant (e.g. Chris or Nicky). Because you get to hear views from both sides - from somebody who watches it, and somebody who does it.

Personally, I was never a fan of Chris or Nicky commentating solo. If we had to have a solo commentator, I always preferred it to be Simon. So, I am glad that the ISU went with Simon this season. But, I do miss the chemistry and banter we get when Simon and Chris are working together. I would love it if the ISU re-united them for whatever competitions they have in 2021. But, given how vocal those fans were who disapproved of some of the things Chris came out with last season, I don't think it will happen.

It will be interesting to see what Eurosport does about commentary when the skating returns to the linear channels. I suspect they will do the same with the figure skating as they do with the biathlon. For their livestream, the IBU superimposes the British Eurosport commentary (from Mike Dixon and Patrick Winterton) onto the World Feed pictures. It does get a bit confusing at times because Mike and Patrick are commentating on what Eurosport are showing. So, if Eurosport are showing recorded pictures, what the commentators are saying doesn't actually relate to what you are seeing on the World Feed.

A complication is that Eurosport inserts adverts during the biathlon races. So what Mike and Patrick do is to stop speaking when the break comes on. Sometimes the silence is just a momentary pause for a few seconds, and they start talking again for the duration of the adverts, and then pause again when the break is ending, and resume commentary when Eurosport starts showing the race again. Other times, they stay silent for the duration of the break.

I hope the ISU take a similar approach. Because it would be so surreal to have part of our beloved British Eurosport team commentating on the ISU World Feed, but not hearing them on Eurosport.

CaroLiza_fan
 

pesto

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 30, 2016
I agree, I like an experienced broadcaster, like Simon, paired with an expert.

Simon is quite good - he has a fair degree of knowledge, but less technical than those who spent time in the sport, and I think he is disadvantaged by the generalised cock-up last year, when he didn't get to commentate, and thus follow proceedings, which is why he is less up-to-speed than usual. Then, we don't get to see the skaters in more than one GP this year, so no real chance to brush up.

He's still a factor of magnitude more on-the-ball than SBS man, who I think has a pleasant voice and manner, but whose complete lack of knowledge was grating.

This year, especially, it's good to hear a familiar voice in the loneliness.
 

Winnie_20

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
I’m just annoyed there is no way to turn the commentary off. Surely with a livestream, that should be easy to arrange!
 

CaroLiza_fan

EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA
Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Country
Northern-Ireland
I’m just annoyed there is no way to turn the commentary off. Surely with a livestream, that should be easy to arrange!

Oh, that would be my dream, being able to select from different soundtracks. Just like we used to be able to do with Eurosport International back in the days of analogue satellite.

We could have:

  • Ambient sound
  • Direct music
  • English commentary
  • French commentary
  • German commentary
  • Dutch commentary
  • Italian commentary
  • Spanish commentary
  • etc.

And we know that it can be done on the Eurosport Player, because they did it for the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Unfortunately, it seems that YouTube does not have ability to have multiple soundtracks on the one video. 😞

CaroLiza_fan
 

La Rhumba

Supporting All British Skaters!
Medalist
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Infront is not a broadcaster; it is a marketing and promotions company. They have had a lot of success promoting ski sports and acting as the broker for the FIS in selling the broadcasting rights. And no doubt the ISU saw this and thought "we'll have a bit of that!" Unfortunately, the ISU failed to take into consideration that ice skating is no-where near as popular as ski sports, and were left up the creek without a paddle when most of the existing broadcasters were not willing to pay the price that the rights were being sold for.
Although I'm in denial, and still think to myself that Skating is as popular as it was once, it's just not broadcast widely anymore, and many folk have lost touch with the sport, and have to seek out methods of watching rather than just switching on their national TV as used to be the case. I have to admit I was hugely shocked when I realised that the most successful FS vlog on Youtube, TSL, only has 20K subscribers, while the most successful Megxit channel has 60K, and then there's at least another 10 channels with thousands of subscribers also on the same topic. The general public has lost interest in FS as a sport, season to season (apart from every 4 years at the Olympics broadcast on BBC) and in the UK, to many viewers, Skating = DOI once a year on ITV with Torvill & Dean giving exhibitions (if we're lucky).
 

La Rhumba

Supporting All British Skaters!
Medalist
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Erm, I think the problem might be at your end. Because it is still working for me on my desktop PC.

So, before you take out another subscription for the Eurosport Player, it would be worth experimenting.
Opera VPN Update: Tried again last night on my tablet, and the Rostelecom Gala worked this time, so must've been a temporary glitch. The Eurosport Black Friday deal is open till 30th November, if anyone else was interested in subscribing for half price. As Junior Worlds is now cancelled, and it's not definite that Europeans, 4CC or Worlds will go ahead, I'm not sure whether to bother subscribing. I'll see how I get on watching NHK on VPN first.
 

DSQ

Record Breaker
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Country
United-Kingdom
I think it’s likely Euros won’t happen but they’ll have to work something out for worlds or the World Standing points will be a farce.
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
... the most successful FS vlog on Youtube, TSL, only has 20K subscribers ...

FWIW, On Ice Perspectives has 55.6K subscribers on YouTube.
And 234K followers on Instagram.

I'm not saying that On Ice Perspectives falls into the category of vlog, but the popularity of OIP's figure-skating content is noteworthy (and well-deserved).
Jordan's videography is something special. And when he conducts interviews from time to time, he does a very good job.

ETA (on Nov 26):​

I appreciate also that Jordan is committed to offering free live streaming of skating. During the pandemic, he has provided free live streams from three rinks so far.​
(In addition to working with IAM on its September Iive stream that was available for a fee.)​

Plus I am thankful to Jordan for being supportive of all skaters!​
 
Last edited:
Top