Figure Skating Back On Eurosport

La Rhumba

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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

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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!
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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!!
 
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litenkyckling

Final Flight
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!
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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!
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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

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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

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... 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!​
 
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CaroLiza_fan

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Sorry guys, I completely forgot that I hadn’t posted the Eurosport schedule for the NHK Trophy.

But, better 10 minutes before it starts than never!

CaroLiza_fan


British Eurosport (All times GMT)

Friday 27th November 2020
PLAY 06:10 – 08:00 Ladies Short LIVE
PLAY 08:14 – 08:55 Short Dance LIVE
PLAY 10:00 – 11:35 Men’s Short LIVE

Saturday 28th November 2020
PLAY 06:20 – 08:20 Ladies Free LIVE
PLAY 08:40 – 09:45 Free Dance LIVE
PLAY 10:30 – 12:35 Men’s Free LIVE

Sunday 29th November 2020
PLAY 05:10 – 07:05 Gala Exhibition LIVE
 

La Rhumba

Supporting All British Skaters!
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Joined
Aug 9, 2006
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!​

Absolutely! Jordan is such a great guy too. I didn't realise he had so many Instagram followers (as I'm mostly on Twitter) but great to hear he is doing so well, and have always appreciated his unique work, now transferred to Dancing on Ice for 2 seasons and Battle of the Blades for 1. I had to laugh when Phillip Schofield host of DOI said "we discovered Jordan on Instagram", as if the competitive Skating world hadn't known of him for years!

Still debating what to do??????? Apparently monthly subs to ES are now £6.99, (so will probably buy the deal).
 

CaroLiza_fan

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Still debating what to do??????? Apparently monthly subs to ES are now £6.99, (so will probably buy the deal).

As you know, I watch other sports that are shown on Eurosport, so I benefit a lot by having the Player. But, if I was just getting it for figure skating, I wouldn't subscribe yet.

It's looking nearly certain that Euros won't happen, because the venue is currently being used for COVID patients. And I very much doubt if Worlds will happen either. Yes, there are vaccines on the way, but it will take time for them to be administered. And I can't imagine any government in their right mind allowing an event where athletes and their teams are coming from countries all over the world to go ahead unless everybody had been vaccinated. And no government in their right mind would risk the backlash if althletes and their teams were allowed to jump the queue to get the vaccine ahead of people who were more vulnerable to catching the virus.

So, if I were you, I would hold off getting a Eurosport Player subscription until next year. And make do with the ISU YouTube channel with a VPN in the meantime.

By the way, today was the day I was due to recontract my broadband with BT. And because the 2020 motorbike racing season is over, and we can't be sure when the 2021 MotoGP season will start until nearer the time, I took the opportunity to cancel BT Sport. There's no point paying £20 a month for the next 4 months when I know we won't be watching anything on it until the end of March at the earliest.

I am so glad that BT gave us an 18 month contract the last time. Because if we had been given the usual 12 or 24 month contracts, we wouldn't have been able to do this.

Some things just work out.

CaroLiza_fan
 

CaroLiza_fan

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

Still debating what to do??????? Apparently monthly subs to ES are now £6.99, (so will probably buy the deal).

Just quoting you guys as there was some pretty big news, and I thought you two in particular would want to know.

In short, I don't think we will be seeing any updates to the Eurosport Player in the near future. Because the boss of Eurosport announced on Thursday that the Eurosport Player will be closing down during 2021.

As I suspected would happen, the Eurosport content is being migrated over to the new Discovery+ service. Here are a couple of stories about it:

https://www.digitaltveurope.com/202...ink-rights-acquisition-with-discovery-launch/
https://www.sportspromedia.com/news...rts-player-tv-rights-strategy-andrew-georgiou

I have no idea how they are going to do it. Are they going to migrate us over to Discovery+ automatically to see out our current subscription period? Are the going to cancel our Eurosport Player subscriptions, give us a refund, and tell us to sign up for Discovery+ ourselves?

And what about the cost? At the moment, Eurosport Player costs £7 for a month or £40 for a year. Meanwhile, Discovery+ currently costs £5 for a month or £30 for a year. However, that annual price is an introductory offer. After January, it will be £50 for a year. Will they do a special offer for Eurosport Player subscribers?

Unless they raise the prices, it looks like Discovery+ will be much better value for money than the Eurosport Player. Gaining access to content from 14 additional channels for just £10 more than we are currently paying for just Eurosport.

According to those stories, the Netherlands will be in the first batch of countries where the Eurosport Player closes. So, if you are still subscribed when the time comes, could you let us know how it happens, @Winnie_20?

There was no mention in the stories as to when it will happen in the British Isles. But, since Discovery+ has already been launched here, I suspect that it will not be long.

Because of the extra months we were given for free to make up for there being no sport during the first lockdown, my annual subscription now runs until the end of February. So, I hope we know what is happening by then.

It's the end of an era.

CaroLiza_fan
 
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Winnie_20

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
... wow. That’s quite a story. Thanks for the headsup!
I am totally not interested in docus, behind the scenes, interviews with athletes etc, so am very bla about that part. I just want live sports, at the very least FS and Olys!

I have never heard of Dplay, but it’s supposed to exist already here? Hmmm...
Edit; okay, found it. Nothing there I would pay money for to watch, lol.

My Player annual subscription was renewed a month ago, so I guess we’ll find out what happens, when it happens!

edit: https://corporate.discovery.com/dis...ainment-in-the-world-debuting-january-4-2021/

Some mentions of the UK, but nothing specific about the Player, I think.
 
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CaroLiza_fan

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edit: https://corporate.discovery.com/dis...ainment-in-the-world-debuting-january-4-2021/

Some mentions of the UK, but nothing specific about the Player, I think.

Thank you for the link to the press release on the Discovery Corporate website. I had been looking on the Eurosport Corporate website for a press release, but it has no mention of the changes yet. (I did find the press release about the skating coverage while I was there, though).

Although the press release you found talks mostly about the upcoming American version, it does give a few hints at what is happening in Europe.

I have never heard of Dplay, but it’s supposed to exist already here? Hmmm...
Edit; okay, found it. Nothing there I would pay money for to watch, lol.

I just had a look at the websites for the other versions of dplay, and I see that most of them already have content from Eurosport included. But, the thing I found most interesting was the differences in the channel selection for each country. I knew Discovery owned TVN in Poland, but I didn't realise that they also owned channel networks in other countries. As the channels in the British Isles are the same or equivalent to the channels in America, I thought that would be the case in all countries that Discovery operated in. But, evidently not.

This has been a real eye opener. So, thank you, @Winnie_20, for talking about what was on the Dutch version, as that is what prompted me to go investigating.

:thank:

I can totally understand why Discovery wants to bring all their online offerings under the one umbrella. But, the process could have been a lot simpler and smoother than the way they are doing it in the British Isles.

They started out with a free service (dplay) and a subscription service (Eurosport Player). And they will end up with a single service with a free level and a subscription level.

To me, all that needed to be done was to add all the content from the documentary channels to the existing subscription service (i.e. the Eurosport Player), and then bring the two services together under the Discovery+ brand. And voila! You have the end product with very little (if any) disruption caused.

What they have actually done in the British Isles is to take the existing free service (i.e. dplay), added a subscription level, rebranded it and started selling it to the public. And then, a few months later, they will merge the Eurosport Player into it. This way of doing it is going to be so messy, because there will be people out there that will have subscriptions to both Discovery+ and Eurosport Player. And if they just transfer the subscriptions over from Eurosport Player, sorting out the people that will now have multiple accounts will be complicated.

The only explanation I can think of for doing it like this is that the decision to merge the Eurosport Player into Discovery+ was made after they transformed the UK & Ireland version of dplay. Because it doesn't make sense otherwise to do it this complicated way. (Mind you, it could be worse. They could be approaching it the way that Comcast are doing with NBC Sports Gold and Peacock).

I just hope that when the transformation of dplay into Discovery+ happens in other countries that they take the simpler approach.

We will just have to wait and see.

CaroLiza_fan
 
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Winnie_20

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Joined
Feb 24, 2013
To be honest, it all sounds rather complicated to me, especially with different subscription levels.
I guess I'll just sit back and relax and see what happens with my Eurosport Player subscription. As long as I can watch the upcoming FS events (whatever they might be) and the Olympics (Summer and Winter), I'm good.
Oh, actually, I rather like watching via the Player app on my appleTV, so at the very least I hope they provide a decent replacement app. :popcorn:
 

La Rhumba

Supporting All British Skaters!
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Just quoting you guys as there was some pretty big news, and I thought you two in particular would want to know.

In short, I don't think we will be seeing any updates to the Eurosport Player in the near future. Because the boss of Eurosport announced on Thursday that the Eurosport Player will be closing down during 2021.
Have just seen your post and am shocked at the ever changing ways we have to get around to watch our favourite sport!

Before reading your previous post I ended up buying the ES subscription for £20 as it was the final day of the offer and I thought at that time that Worlds would take place and if the GP resumes next season then I would get the value of it. Now it doesn't look like even Worlds will go ahead? But at least I am in the system of Eurosport, so if any changes are imminent they will presumably contact me with an offer to switch to Discovery? Thanks for the updates, as always.
 
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