TV - More Cause for Concern

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Mont, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Mont

    Mont New Member

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    Lest we think that figure skating is recovering in Canada, here is a harsh dose of reality. Here are the TV ratings for Skate Canada International. This is in an Olympic year with three Canadian world medalists competing!

    Fri Oct 25: Skate Canada — 228,000 TSN
    Sat Oct 26: Skate Canada — 666,000 CTV

    The break down of those numbers aren't easily accessed publicly but no matter how you cut it these are bad numbers. Especially when you consider they likely skew older. The disconnect to the casual fan is really bad. And TV numbers matter for visibility and sponsorship, and for that matter, staying on TV. One can only imagine where these numbers will be next year, especially if high profile skaters (a bit of an oxymoron apparently) retire.

    The inaction of the federations and ISU is killing this sport.
  2. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming you got the numbers from the following site:

    http://canadiansportsfan.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/you-like-ratings-we-have-ratings/

    If you look at the ratings of other sports, figure skating is really not doing that poorly. It's doing better than a lot of sports, like curling, NBA (ha!), soccer, etc. CTV's ratings were on par with several regular ol' CFL games. Not bad.

    Also, figure skating attracts different demographic--i.e., women, a demographic that may not otherwise watch TSN, TSN2, RDS, or RDS2. For those networks' long-term growth, that may be why they want to have figure skating.
  3. Mont

    Mont New Member

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    You can't compare to TSN figures, only to CTV. For an evening on CTV, that's not good. Comparing to sports or other time slots is not that relevant either. Its to what else could be on. I would imagine that in prime time, anything under 1,000,000 is weak.

    I don't really buy the female demographic argument because I bet its also older (like me). Its what sells advertising and older demographics don't.
  4. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    You can certainly compare how FS does on TSN with how other sports do on TSN or Sporsnet. And FS does not come off particularly poorly. You can compare how FS airs on CTV or CBC with how other sports do on CTV or CBC. And again, FS does not come off particularly poorly.

    I have no clue what CTV normally airs on Saturday evenings--I'm assuming reruns of other shows like the main US networks. How do they do ratings-wise? I'm sure constant reruns of Big Bang Theory does very well for CTV, but a rerun of BBT does better than most shows on TV, anyways. Not something figure skating should be worried about.
  5. unchat123

    unchat123 New Member

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    On Saturday evenings CTV normally airs W5 (investigative reporting) and American drama series (Castle, whatnot, I don't know - I don't watch this kind of television). CTV shows BBT reruns every weekday night - that I do watch.

    I watched Skate Canada on CTV this year and let me tell you, it was a whole-day affair. IIRC it was on from 2pm (possibly earlier) to 6pm, then 7-10pm. I wonder how many viewers only partially tuned in.
  6. ltnskater

    ltnskater New Member

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    Hmm... interesting! I call myself a fan, and used to be crazy about catching each and every competition, grand prix event on cable and recording everything and rewatching them over and over again. Nowadays, I barely have time to even watch the grand prix, I'll youtube a few notable skaters that I want to see, and that is pretty much it until Worlds or Olympics! :S
  7. nlyoung

    nlyoung Active Member

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    Or you could look at it as 1.9% of the population tuning in :)
  8. Mont

    Mont New Member

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    Or you could say comparing main network to main network it got crushed by Hockey Night in Canada. The bottom line is there is lots of press about how it used to draw over a million consistently on the CTV network and could compete with HNIC but it is in a steady decline. This is simply fact and not one that is a good one. So take issue with me if you want but if something isn't done to stop the decline, a huge issue is coming. And soon.
  9. unchat123

    unchat123 New Member

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    Do you have the source for FS rivaling HNIC?
  10. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    It was a broadcast of a Grand Prix event, not a broadcast of a national or world championship or the Olympics. (And a poorly promoted broadcast at that.) I would be very surprised if ANY Skate Canada broadcast ever had ratings comparable to Hockey Night in Canada.

    I don't deny that figure skating broadcasts are drawing in fewer viewers, and that's a problem, but I don't think these numbers demonstrate the problem.
  11. Corianna

    Corianna Active Member

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    Obsessed fans are watching live on line.
  12. unchat123

    unchat123 New Member

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    I wonder: does watching CBC coverage of a sporting event (streaming live or watching later on their website) count toward their total audience numbers?
  13. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Whenever I've seen ratings that include broadcast and Internet viewing, the two kinds are always presented separately. And I don't know if Internet views can be given the same sort of estimates for audience demographics that broadcast views are given (e.g. X percent of the audience in a certain age group, or Y percent of the audience having a certain household income).
  14. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

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    These ratings don't sound troublesome at all for a GP event. This isn't Worlds. And it's beating out a ton of different sports. Not to mention that the internet has made watching skating on TV fairly obsolete to many fans.
  15. Mont

    Mont New Member

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    Completely disagree. First, HNIC was close to 2,000,000 on CBC. Second, maybe beating other sports in gross numbers but in terms of age brackets of interest to advertisers, I really doubt it. And I couldn't find all of the ratings for worlds but the one's I could find weren't any better. Lastly, I don't believe internet viewings are that high and there have been studies that on good properties, it does not take a bite out of TV ratings. There numbers are not good news.
  16. unchat123

    unchat123 New Member

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    Is anybody actually surprised that figure skating audiences are nowhere as big as HNIC? Seriously. It's not a fair comparison by any means. And I would still like to see evidence to your earlier contention that FS at one point did rival HNIC.
  17. Corianna

    Corianna Active Member

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    I cannot believe that anything rivals HNIC - or that anything ever did. I have often felt that I am in only Canadian who has no interest in it.
  18. unchat123

    unchat123 New Member

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    Make that two!
  19. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Sources, please.
  20. Mont

    Mont New Member

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  21. Jeschke

    Jeschke Well-Known Member

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    eurosport - cause for concern :D

    german eurosport speakers mentioned during the grand prix, that there will be no live feed rom european championships in budapest.
    every evening there will be a summary 'hour' of the day, starting 11pm. ouch.
  22. spikydurian

    spikydurian New Member

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    Why is there a doom and gloom view of figure skating? If we think figure skating can compete with soccer, basketball, baseball and the likes of team and highly masculine sports, we are hallucinating. If you think it is bad in Canada (which I personally don't think so judging from the local news), it is non-existent in Australia. As far as I am concern, being a f.s. fan, my ability to access live streaming is a joy.
  23. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    From the article:

    And current Skate Canada ratings:

    And the problem is...

    So, it's no longer competing with hockey--although if you were a Canucks fan back in the late 90's, no doubt people would think Shae and Elvis were more entertaining. Oh no's.
  24. leapfrogonice

    leapfrogonice Active Member

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    It IS disappointing how skating popularity has taken such a downturn in Canada. I seem to recall such rabid audiences in the 90s during their Nationals and Worlds in the Kurt v. Elvis era.
  25. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Active Member

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    There is no way that at this point in time figure skating could ever rival Hockey Night in Canada. Just because we all know it can't (literally EVERYONE I know watches HNIC), doesn't mean that skating is dead and that no one is watching. That's like comparing Kevin Reynolds to Patrick Chan. We all know one is more popular, but that doesn't mean the other doesn't have significant merits of his own. The quit if you're not on top mentality has to stop. Skating is holding its own, just as Kevin Reynolds is in my arbitrary example.

    It is relevant in Canada... I can tell because I have more and more non-skaters talking to me about skating, Tessa and Scott, Patrick Chan, results etc. I see more and more posts about skating results on the facebook walls of non-skaters/casual fans. And it's on the news and radio after every event, and it's still in the newspapers quite a bit. None of these things would happen in a sport that no one is watching.

    I wish this doom and gloom attitude would go away. The judging system is better for skaters, worse for casual fans. The popularity will not rival the 90's, but it doesn't have to.
    manhn and (deleted member) like this.
  26. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    sorry, duplicate post
  27. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    This is where live streaming really does come into it's own. This year's Australian Nationals will be streamed live, probably via Youtube. Without it no-one except those who are there would see it because the TV stations are not going to run it. The advantage of doing it this way it cost very little to run a live stream so is pretty cost effective way of doing it. It has the advantage of providing great accessibility to see events. I think there probably needs to be a greater focus on doing it in more creative ways so that you still have a good revenue stream.
  28. Mont

    Mont New Member

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    I guess none. As long as declining interest and therefore tv revenue and sponsorship is of no concern to you. Or that it remains on a major network in the future. Oh and all of which means money for development. Then no problem at all.
  29. Mont

    Mont New Member

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    Oh and the taped Grand Prix events were the other Grand Prixs, not skate Canada. No Skate Canada International program was drawing that kind of low number. Doubt the other Grand Prixs are drawing that now. You have to actualy read the article. You can try to argue all you want but face it, ratings have tanked and this is not good news.
  30. Peter_K

    Peter_K Active Member

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    The first thing I was taught ages ago when I was in college aspiring to a career in the broadcast industry:

    The numbers themselves are meaningless unless you put them into context. If the advertising is reaching its target audience, smaller numbers are probably better than huge numbers of viewers with misdirected advertising.

    No doubt the raw numbers are smaller than they were almost 15 years ago, but the broadcast industry itself has changed as well. With more choice, PVRs, internet, the numbers will never be as high as they were. But if you're just going to go by the numbers, I'd say getting 600K on a Saturday night isn't doing too badly.
  31. Mont

    Mont New Member

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    Agree and disagree. First, from a financial perspective, I'm sure its not reaching its target market, that is, a market you can sell to ie. 18 - 35 years old. Why, because they are the ones less set in their ways in terms of purchasing of good and services and therefore desirable to advertisers. Older people are much less likely to change financial institutions etc. There is lots of press on this and a problem that is shared by some other sports such as curling. Second, raw numbers in prime time have not declined significantly for other shows and sports. And lastly, I'd say 600K in prime time on a saturday night on the main CTV network is not very good. Can probably draw that for a rerun of one of their other programs. Plus another factor is that it must cost CTV to produce FS events. I've been to events and seen the TV trailers. That can't be cheap.
  32. Peter_K

    Peter_K Active Member

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    I think we're more on the same wavelength more than you may realize.

    First off, a lot of ad agencies still think in terms of total viewers without digging into demographic data. If you take a look at the top 30 tv shows from BBM the week of Skate Canada:

    http://www.bbm.ca/_documents/top_30...2013-14/2013-14_10_21_TV_ME_NationalTop30.pdf

    The bottom-rated programs don't even come close.

    One of the nice things about the new guard at the helm of Skate Canada is that they come from a marketing background. This is starting to show in that they have snagged Canadian Tire as a title Sponsor. Can you think of a better company that appeals to virtually every gender, income, and age group? Kraft foods is also dipping their toes in the water as well. Now, contrast that with previous sponsors. Frying pans, hand lotion, jewellery and hair-bands have a much more niche-market appeal. (although I became a fan a Cetaphil skin lotion because it works for me and _doesn't_ make me smell like a girl. :))

    As for CTV's television production costs, once again, it's a matter of putting things into perspective. In this case, this counts toward CTV's commitment to the CRTC in terms of production of original and probably local programming. Just be aware that not every decision to produce programming is because is generates a profit.

    Personally, I'm a tad disappointed in CTV's coverage and it's kind of depressing to think that in order to see _all_ the skaters, I had to go and download the Eurosport coverage from a torrent site. :(
  33. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    But the commentators are so much better!

    CTV has been pretty good with showing all the skaters the previous two Skate Canada's--it's Nationals that sucks.

    It'll be interesting how CBC does with Worlds now that BOLD is kaput.
  34. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    Wow Canadian skating commentary must really suck! :scream:
  35. Mont

    Mont New Member

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    [
    Perhaps. But no matter how you cut it, its no where near any of those programs. And actually, in the case of figure skating, I'm worried about what will happen IF they dig into the numbers.

    I hope so. However, I would point out that Canadian Tire was onboard before the new CEO so I wouldn't be so quick to reach the conclusion that the new guard snagged Canadian Tire. As for the effectiveness of that sponsorship, time will tell. I have been disappointed so far as when I've been in my local Canadian Tire as I have seen absolutely no presence for Skate Canada and I've been looking. So its great IF they activate on it but if its just a defensive sponsorship to protect their skating position (hockey equipment etc), then it won't do much for Skate Canada.

    Oh I am aware of this. Maybe some of what you say is the case but I am very skeptical that it will remain on the main network if its losing money.
  36. Peter_K

    Peter_K Active Member

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    Yeah, but CTV actually didn't show _all_ the skaters at SC. If I recall correctly, they only showed the final flight of the Men's Free and spent the entire previous hour showing recaps and fluff pieces. :mad:

    Ok. I'll admit I'm spoiled with what we had with the coverage on Bold. But those days are gone.

    I've always believed that commentators are like Scotch. They can be an acquired taste. :)

    Funny thing is, when you see it live or watch a raw feed, you can't help but feel that something is missing.

    --Peter
  37. vocal

    vocal New Member

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    So true. I request that the British commentators cover figure skating events in Germany, too. The German ones are ok but the British commentators are stars among the Spanisch, Italian, Russian etc. commentators who don't stop talking.

    A shame that German Eurosport won't cover Europeans. Hopefully there will be reliable skating fans from UK or Japan (??) who upload everything to youtube. Thanks to those guys!! Very much appreciated.
  38. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I just really wish that cbc.ca would offer live stream and archive it, as they did when BOLD was covering FS. They know we can't get the stream Americans get, but don't seem to care about offering us a similar option. This bothers me much more than the decline in ratings for FS.

    I can pretty much never watch live stream due to time issues. So I'm stuck with the vids that are posted and CBCs generally scant coverage.
  39. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    If German Eurosport isn't going to cover Europeans, the chances of British Eurosport covering it are even less. I'd say your best bet would be Japan.
  40. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    First there were no figure skating books at that library book sale. And now this. The zombie apocalypse is here. :fragile:
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.