IceNetwork season renewal notice :-(

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Lara, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

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    Not everyone lives somewhere that getting DirectTV or any other dish is an option. My apartment complex does not allow satellite dishes. Frankly after this power play, I don't believe I would get Universal Sports if I could.

    Lovely, both Universal Sports, and their parent company NBC, seem to not care there are people without cable, etc., who are very willing to pay for the streams.

    Hopefully the youtube user who put up the Russian videos so quickly last season will be doing the same this season.

    And I was looking forward to working from home again this fall, and getting to watch the Grand Prix live. :(
  2. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    The Icenetwork's charging $40 is literally financially unsustainable as a business enterprise and I've been wondering how they have managed to keep that price for years. They should have increased their price incrementally every year, but they didn't. Now all of a sudden, they no longer can do GP live and they still charge the same. That's basically the same as a substantial price increase, perhaps to keep themselves from running in red again.

    The thing is, had IN started off charging $40 and slowly gone up year after year, people might find this rather reasonable. I mean, $40 for nationals, and on-demand regionals, and sectionals, plus a couple of international events live, is not bad. I paid Wheatdesigns more for less (Broadmoor Open itself was $20 or $30 for just 1 event).

    It's like my local bus system. For years, they charged three times less than buses in other cities. All of a sudden, their price went up twofold and people complained endless, though it is still cheaper than buses in other cities. It's the amount of increase people didn't get used to.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  3. HisWeirness

    HisWeirness Yay, new board!

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    The ISU should revoke Universal Sports' rights to the online coverage. I wonder if UniSports making the online coverage unavailable to most Americans breaks part of the contract.

    It's a piss-off. :blah:

    Hopefully we'll figure out a way to watch GP coverage in other countries (if there is even anyone else that is going to show the GP live).

    Not happy about icenetwork's pricing, but there is no other way to watch Nationals live so I guess I am stuck.
  4. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    NBC has it's own sports channel now. US is still independent. They just signed an exclusive contract with DirectTV and Dish and some cable companies. I guess they got a lot of money for the deal.

    We can hope for European coverage, but last season, many of those sources didn't show any skating.

    BR, your sentiment is good, but unfortunately, there aren't enough figure skating fans to cause them to make accomodations. Especially since there no American "stars". And sorry dance fans, but Charlie and Meryl don't count.

    I have US, but I'm not holding my breath they'll actually show skating this season.
  5. PinkFeathers

    PinkFeathers Active Member

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    It's really too much to hope for the ISU to sell the streams themselves, right? Their coverage of WTT was amazing.
  6. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    See that's the thing. It isn't going to help them to dump figure skating fans in the trash, there aren't enough of us to demand US on our cable providers (if we have them, I don't), people have tried. I realize this is not just about figure skating, but maybe if they realized they wouldn't lose anything by having online fs for pay but would actually pocket some change, they would alter the policy for it.

    I know foolish wishes. It won't happen. But it does sound like Universal Sports will not survive very long. And I doubt any other provider would be so desperate as this. Hopefully Universal Sports will crash, burn, and cease to exist before we miss too much figure skating.
  7. Casey2

    Casey2 Member

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    Maybe this is just me, but I don't mind seeing the GP events one week later since for many years I couldn't see most of them at all, or any skating really. (OK, I'm old, but remember ABC wide world of sports showing only one or two skaters?)
  8. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Yes.

    In the early 90s, I remember only Skate America being shown on broadcast TV at a time when I didn't have cable and few people did. Even when ESPN showed some other fall competitions, it was limited coverage and inconsistent. And if we got more than 2 hours even from SA, part of it was delayed at least a week.

    Or Fox showing 1 1/2 hours of each Grand Prix Champions Series event -- all disciplines -- and then spending a big chunk of that time interviewing Michelle Kwan in weeks that she wasn't competing.

    Or all networks covering only pro and pro-am competitions in the fall and nothing of the Grand Prix except Skate America.

    Or Lifetime showing all the pairs and dance from the GPs and spending more time on fluff than on skating.

    Even with the best years of the ESPN2 and Lifetime (after they realized skating fans want to watch skating) coverage, it was still less than everyone and much of it was delayed up to a week or more.

    I have never been able to watch all skaters at a single GP event on US television, the same weekend it took place, except maybe for a year or two a few years ago when Universal Sports was available to me.

    Any coverage we can get online or on cable is welcome. Universal's current contract seems to be a step back from what they made available a few years ago and an obstacle to those who want real-time online coverage.

    But that coverage was never the norm. The fact that it was available for a year or two was a treat for American skating fans who could access it. But we're not a large enough group to drive their policy.
  9. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    i'm getting old. i think maybe it is good that my days of getting up in the middle of the night to watch a ladies lp from asia are done.

    and $40 is much cheaper than attending anything, and unless you can get that dish whatever, it's the only game in town
  10. Jun Y

    Jun Y Well-Known Member

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    I agree that Universal Sports may be dead very soon. It seems kind of bizarre that NBC cannot make a deal with cables to carry it, when NBC/Universal is now owned by Comcast. By then ISU may be forced to take up a cheaper deal with Ice Network or something. I don't mind paying more for subscription if they carry Grand Prix live.
  11. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Active Member

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    The thing is, coverage was once much more minimal, and the extent of (legal) coverage that existed in the last few years was a pretty huge leap from the past decades. It may now return to what it used to be. But those earlier years also came in an era without the existence of streaming internet. When developments go backwards instead of remaining consistent or moving forward, it's regression and I don't think it's an issue to find it objectionable, and problematic for the sport in general.
  12. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    I think Universal Sports is just following the NBC example. In order to watch the live streaming of the Olympics on the NBC site you have to have an account with a cable/satellite company. Universal sports got the contract with the IOC when the networks didn't want it.

    I have posted this before. There is a protest thread on the Comcast forums concerning Universal Sports and its lack of availability. It is here - Still no HD Universal Sports. If you are a Comcast subscriber you have access to this board and can post your feelings. Since it is a Comcast/Xfinity board, they do read it - and occasionally post there.
  13. Simone411

    Simone411 aka IceSkate98

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    I received the e-mail from USFSA yesterday. It mentioned something about getting a one time only special code and the offer is valid through midnight ET on October 22, 2012.

    What I don't like is the fact that IN auto-renews your subscription. I called them yesterday regarding that fact and told them not to auto-renew. I don't know if I want to renew, and I'd rather renew when I'm ready - not the other way around.

    I remember when ABC, ESPN, A&E, used to show the Grand Prix, Skate America, The Europeans, Nationals, Worlds, Stars On Ice, etc. The good ole days are gone.
  14. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    Automatic renewal is now the norm for many online/electronic subscriptions I manage at work.
  15. Simone411

    Simone411 aka IceSkate98

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    That may be with some electronic subscriptions, but this is part of the other e-mail I received from IN:

    It seems we had a choice when we purchaed the subscription whether to opt-in for auto renewal. I never opted in last year for auto renewal, but for some reason, that's exactly what happened.
  16. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    That's what happened with all my other electronic subscriptions too. It's kind of like that one cell phone option that they charged you for because you didn't opt out. :lol: :wall:
  17. Simone411

    Simone411 aka IceSkate98

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    Yeah, you definitely have a point. :lol:
  18. Visaliakid

    Visaliakid Well-Known Member

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    I think we should petition NBC to move it's figure skating coverage to NBC Sports Network. Comcast provides this channel and it is certainly going to out last UniversalSports.com

    I will have to go back to the old days of searching the web for live coverage of GP events from foreign sources.
  19. CoyoteChris

    CoyoteChris New Member

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    Feel the love. The next time you meet somebody who says they do marketing for a living, kick them just as hard as you can in the shins....like lawyers, its 90 percent of them that make the other 10 percent look bad.
    BTW, all news letters and updates to us USFSA Friends of Figure Skating folk have stopped near as I can tell. And no more nice spirral bound media guide for us high roller donners, either...you can get it on-line, which doesnt do alot for me at events. My inside contacts at the USFSA world headquarters say they still dont care much about fans still there, so my contribution is going down...way down...this year....the magazine and the calander are nice....
  20. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

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    The contract with the IOC for Grand prix (-Skate America) is with Universal Sports, not NBC>
  21. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    This!

    I remember when we got 2 to 3 hours a year on ABC - if you totaled it up!
    We only got that due to Dick Button's presence.
    His production company supplied footage.

    He, bless him, lobbied for increasing coverage over the years.
  22. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    I've never used the Russkie TV before, but I probably will this year.

    As for not getting coverage in the past, well, there's a lot of things people didn't have in the past that we expect now. There was no internet, there were less channels, and less ability for feedback between execs and fans. Now, however, there IS the internet. There ARE enough channels, and we DO have the mechanisms for instant feedback to networks.

    What TV executives don't seem to get now--whatever sport you're a fan of--if they don't show it, somewhere, somebody is, and you lose possible advertising revenue everytime someone decides they'd rather watch a grainy Raisport, CCTV, or justintv feed live than wait a week to see a better picture taped. True fans of any sport get resourceful, and we will find a way to see it, and it's amazing to me that sports execs are too blind to understand this.
  23. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    Well i'm hoping that there will be some live feed from somewhere showing the GP live because my cable company doesn't have US on it's lineup and i live in an apartment building so i doubt i could get a satellite dish. Not that i really want a dish to begin with.
  24. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    Just a word of caution about the Russian feed; I've used them the previous two years to watch Russian nationals and Europeans. Last year they only showed parts of Euros. They do not show all the GP events. Hopefully some of the Russian posters will provide information about what is scheduled this season.

    If you want to watch any US nationals apart from the last two groups that will be shown on NBC, you will have to purchase IN. That's the only game in town. Same with SKAM's coverage. It's still cheaper than attending an event so I'll do it. And get a Russian subscription to cover Russian nats and maybe Europeans.
  25. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    Universal Sports did show Euros last season and their coverage of SA, US Nats and Worlds was pretty darn extensive. Why would they not show anything this coming season?

    And NBC continues to show the same 2 hours of GP every week.
  26. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    Back in my day, you could buy a loaf of bread for a nickel and a soda pop for a penny! #crotchetyvoice :p
  27. TanithandBenFan

    TanithandBenFan U.S. Ice Dance Junkie

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    With no coverage of pairs or dance (except D/W if they win an event). :( SA had great dance coverage last year, but that was the only GP event where we saw anything other than men and ladiezzzzz.
  28. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    You can buy Russian tv access for 10 dollars a month or so (or maybe it was 15?).
  29. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    They are changing their marketing format. If that still includes figure skating remains to be seen. I'm not certain adventure sports includes figure skating. It certainly was not listed on the email I received from them regarding the change that online viewing is now only available if you have a cable or satellite provider that picked up US as an option. I hope they do as I do have them with my provider, but we'll just have to wait and see what they decide to do with their new formatting.
  30. RobinA

    RobinA New Member

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    Yes, you are right. I switched to Comcast expanded so I could get US when the networks stopped covering much skating. That was good for a couple years, but then Comcast dropped US. I tried IN once when it had everything, but the picture was lousy, so I decided it was not worth the money. Last year for the first time in decades I didn't watch Worlds. Looks like I won't be watching much of anything this year. I'm not chasing figure skating around throwing dollars at media conglomerates so I can see not much skating. This fan-since-1968 is saying, The hell with it. I'll still go to events. I'll be at Nationals in Boston and won't know a single skater.

    Maybe I will start watching gymnastics again. That's still on TV, and I hear our team is doing pretty well. USA Gymnastics may want to use their success to try to expand their fan base even further by increasingly MAKING THE SPORT AVAILABLE TO INTERESTED PEOPLE.
  31. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    So move the only non-cable coverage to cable? that would suck.

    The argument about the limited coverage we used to get 15+ years ago is ridiculous. Technology is completely different now - of course we happily watched events weeks after they happened - there were no other options then! Plus, results weren't accessible everywhere instantly.

    it's true that IN can't help that the rights for immediate broadcast went to someone else, but charging the same price for significantly decreased service and pretending it's just a great as it was the last several years is pretty infuriating.
  32. PinkFeathers

    PinkFeathers Active Member

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    IceNetwork says that NBC Universal did not sell them the rights.

    They are keeping it to themselves, and frankly do not care if you can't access it. They are doing this, in part it seems, to get the public angry enough to call up and demand access. We know about how well that will go. It's just not going to work. A cable company is not going to listen to the complaints from a handful of skating fans. They likewise are not going to raise prices on their customers just to carry a channel that nobody outside of a few die-hard Olympic sports fans will watch, just to deal with the stupid fees US wants to charge. I hope the 12 people that see live coverage enjoy it.

    That said, IN needs to lower the price if they're only offering a few events.

    To all of the 'omg we only got 3 hours of coverage in my day!!' folks... That's nice, but at one time we all also connected to the net with 14.4k modem. Going backwards is not the answer. Restricting online access is not the answer.
  33. Lara

    Lara Well-Known Member

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    ? There's no word yet on NBC's main network completely dropping skating. We can still hope to get the GP singles freeskates televised in addition to Nats and Worlds (albeit badly edited and tape delayed). Ice dance and pairs fans lose out of course. :(

    But gymnastics will never get better coverage even with the Fab Five win. It's pretty stuck with the American Cup, Visa Championships and Worlds, with maybe something like Pacific Rim in addition. The US doesn't compete internationally too much so there's no interest in anything else. Plus, the men especially got the worst Olympic coverage I can ever recall in London.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  34. aka_gerbil

    aka_gerbil Rooting for the Underdogs

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    Those of us who live in a land where college football rules also miss out on singles. Most of the time, we don't get any coverage at all because there is football to be aired. (Heck, we don't even get to see dance and pairs from US Nationals around here due to college basketball.)
  35. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    I don't get that argument either, although I suppose one could make the argument that figure skating is so unpopular we should be happy if we see anything anywhere. I'm not quite ready to concede that yet. Get US out of the middle and have NBC for TV and IN for online and well, that's what we had back in the day (okay not so far back) and it worked out.

    The problem here is that US is trying to survive when its not viable and at the moment its holding online figure skating coverage hostage to that.

    I'm basically figuring that can't last very long. But I am concerned about IN surviving. I actually value their coverage of US regionals and sectionals.

    Online really is the future. We aren't going back to a few hours on TV and nothing else. It may take some time to sort out but TV is the thing going the way of the dinosaurs, not online. And the whole thing about the internet is that it allows a lot more flexibility, a lot more opportunity to provide for niche audiences like us, to show events live even when they are at 3 a.m. US time etc.

    It'll get worked out, but it may be unpleasant for this season.
  36. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    What an incredibly stupid move. I can't believe that they can't figure out a reasonable way to charge people for the coverage they want to pay for, and are instead going to drive customers to using strange foreign feeds.

    I don't want Dish. I only get the minimal basic minus cable. Outside of a handful of broadcast skating events and some of the summer Olympics my TV hardly gets turned on. I can go a month without turning it on. All I want to do is to be able to see the US and major international skating events on my computer, and I'm willing to pay to do so. Rather stupid that I'll end up paying for some Russian feed or watching Turkish TV because these idiots can't figure out a system that works. Just ridiculous.
  37. vexlak

    vexlak New Member

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    I remember trying to access US nationals via Ice Network only to have frozen frames due to a "low bandwidth" because everyone was watching at the same time. They should assure that everyone can watch such major event live especially when they promote it that way. The good part is that they eventually post the videos of US regional, sectional (several weeks later however :wall:) and nationals for non live view. Anything else (worlds or GP) are additional pay.
    I watched worlds through free stream and it was with no problems. Contrary to Europe, there are very few options in the US.
  38. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to ask one of my sisters for their info. They both have DirecTV. I'm not sure if they both have a package that includes US Sports. Both of my sisters couldn't care less about figure skating so I think they might be willing to me their info so I can watch skating online.

    I don't know if I see myself giving IN $40.00 while none of the GP events except SkAm are live. I love to watch Nationals live but again I'm not sure if I want to give IN $40.00 just for live access to US events only.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  39. Pikachuusb

    Pikachuusb Active Member

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    Yeah I'm torn I want to see skating, but I'm not getting Dish & I don't know if the depleted coverage is worth 40 bucks
  40. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Well-Known Member

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    The same thing happened to me. When I initially signed up three seasons ago, I opted not to auto-renew but IN auto-renewed anyway. It seems that you have to actually call IN and tell that you don't want to auto-renew.