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Maofan7
03-28-2013, 09:50 PM
New article (http://fskating.com/2013/03/figure-skating-television-and-economics.html) entitled 'Figure Skating, Television and Economics'. Reads:-


[The] Figure skating season is coming to [an] end and once again we should [consider] one sad fact – [the] very low percentage of TV broadcasts on the major sports channels.

Unfortunately, there are lots of doubts when it comes to [the] ISU['s] effectiveness. Half-empty stands, [the] strange results of competitions, and [the] very controversial judging system...That is why there is absolutely no sense [in the] main sports channels...increase[ing] the number of skating broadcasts. They are much more willing to cooperate with [those] sports that [are] worth invest[ing] in.

According to the Topend Sports website, figure skating, unfortunately, [is] not included in the top ten, nor [even the] top twenty most popular sports.

However, we should not be too pessimistic. The market economy is a very flexible mechanism, which is constantly looking for new opportunities for its growth. And usually it finds them. The main thing is to create the necessary conditions and [that] depends on the [ISU].

So, what does the ISU need to do to make figure skating a more attractive proposition for TV broadcasters?

spikydurian
03-28-2013, 09:54 PM
Bash someone's knees! :P Create super Queens like Kwan and Yuna.
Way to go Gracie Gold and Ashley.

danceronice
03-28-2013, 10:01 PM
For the *US* TV market? Either a major female star, or better yet a rivalry. I'm talking Michelle vs. Tara, not Ashely vs. Gracie--something with serious contrast. Though now we might do better with a genuine 'bad girl' vs. 'good girl' storyline and given what sells on TV it might be better if this time the 'bad girl' won....

caseyedwards
03-28-2013, 10:02 PM
The isu can't do anything if the winners have no appeal and can't headline their own stuff like boitano and friends and katarina Witt and friends. Unless the isu dropping the cop could mean more personality on the ice and not cop straightjacket

Eislauffan
03-28-2013, 10:35 PM
This writer, Vladislav Luchianov, doesn't even come to skating events. He is just an armchair journalist, so what does he really know?
I know that the stands were not "half empty" at most events I attended this season (which were quite a lot, believe me). Strange results? Please. I'm not going even into that. (The discussion about results apparently is something that makes figure skating so fascinating to many people) Controversial judging system? Come on, it has been in place for ten years now and there was enough controversy around 6.0 .

The attendance at Skate America is always quite poor, that is correct. Luchianov is probably just talking about the U.S. market, which is one of many. I agree with the poster above, what the USA need is a big skating star, a new Michelle Kwan. Someone who not only is winning big time but also has the glamour. Unfortunately the media in the USA seem to be fixated on that female skating star. There are Meryl Davis/Charlie White, two-time World Champions, gold medal contenders for the Olympic Games, but sorry, they are ice dancers. If at least they were a couple off the ice and would create some stories.... The U.S. media is not willing to sell them as stars or they don't think they can sell them.

iarispiralllyof
03-28-2013, 10:48 PM
nothing short of gracie winning the olympic gold and a second "whack heard around the world"

Ziggy
03-28-2013, 10:51 PM
We are in year 2013 now. TV is slowly being phased out by on-demand services and the internet.

Screw TV coverage. ISU needs to get their heads out of the sand, face reality and really start pushing the social media angle and open up access through the use of internet (which would be very simple to do - simply have a clause in the TV contracts allowing ISU to broadcast online the parts which do not get aired - Ice Network has been doing that for US Nats).

Eislauffan
03-28-2013, 10:57 PM
Good point, Ziggy. The ISU is working on the social media and internet coverage (WTT will be broadcasted again for free and will be visible for most viewers outside Japan and Korea), but it still can be more. With the ISU council people being elderly it took some time, but they are getting there. Hopefully the ISU will be able to broadcast more on their channel in the future.

Aussie Willy
03-28-2013, 11:01 PM
We are in year 2013 now. TV is slowly being phased out by on-demand services and the internet.

Screw TV coverage. ISU needs to get their heads out of the sand, face reality and really start pushing the social media angle and open up access through the use of internet (which would be very simple to do - simply have a clause in the TV contracts allowing ISU to broadcast online the parts which do not get aired - Ice Network has been doing that for US Nats).
Exactly. The ISU live stream is great and I know that it is not accessible to those with a broadcaster. This year they didn't charge to watch the live stream which for my mind is silly if they are wanting to recoup their costs and not that difficult to probably organise nor really expensive to undertake. I have no problem paying for events but they didn't even show Euros this year. And I totally agree with Ziggy about people being able to see the ISU stream for the sections that are not shown by broadcasters. And I am sure people would be happy to pay for that as well.

What do Ice Network charge for their subscription? I can't access it because I am outside the US but that is another opportunity that the USFSA are missing out on as well.

Ziggy
03-28-2013, 11:03 PM
Yes I imagine that the fact that most senior ISU officials are older means they are not very social media and internet savvy. And I think that the public relations/communications aspect is something that ISU could really improve on. Viewers and media are not going to come to you. You have to work really hard to attract them.

Skittl1321
03-28-2013, 11:04 PM
What do Ice Network charge for their subscription? I can't access it because I am outside the US but that is another opportunity that the USFSA are missing out on as well.

It is about $40. Unfortunately this year they couldn't get live broadcast rights to international events, so the coverage sucked.

Ziggy
03-28-2013, 11:07 PM
What do Ice Network charge for their subscription? I can't access it because I am outside the US but that is another opportunity that the USFSA are missing out on as well.

If you buy a subscription but your IP is based outside of the US, then you can't watch anything other than national events.

That is because of broadcasting rights. Courtesy of intellectual property laws which are completely out of touch with reality and did not register that an invention called 'the internet' has completely changed the landscape. And that is a wider issue at the heart of the 'piracy' battles.

joeperryfan
03-28-2013, 11:39 PM
Unfortunately the media in the USA seem to be fixated on that female skating star. There are Meryl Davis/Charlie White, two-time World Champions, gold medal contenders for the Olympic Games, but sorry, they are ice dancers. If at least they were a couple off the ice and would create some stories.... The U.S. media is not willing to sell them as stars or they don't think they can sell them.

I couldn't have said it better, it's totally baffling how the U.S. media has ignored D/W, Charlie has teen idol written all over him, in fact both of them fit a profile that would sell well in Disney-like markets. I also think that partners don't necessarily have to be marketed together all the time, but that rarely seems to happen and when it does it's not even very well handled so I'd better not go there. I don't know if this is just my lack of attention, but it seems to me that six or seven years ago there were more attempts at promoting the US skaters, maybe it's the impact of social media, but the very few articles I see outside of skating publications are very canned in format and just don't seem like they'd make anyone want to seek out a way to watch that skater one day. I wonder if the disappearance of COI could have had an impact, I also wonder what happened to all the agents, there's IMG and Fireworks, but what happened to the ones who worked with Tom Collins?

Aussie Willy
03-29-2013, 12:05 AM
That is because of broadcasting rights. Courtesy of intellectual property laws which are completely out of touch with reality and did not register that an invention called 'the internet' has completely changed the landscape. And that is a wider issue at the heart of the 'piracy' battles.

So true. The Olympics does the same but to a more extreme degree.

GarrAarghHrumph
03-29-2013, 12:14 AM
To get more coverage in the US on tv, the ISU should stop charging broadcasters a fee to transmit the event, or at least lower the cost.