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  1. #1

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    Who should replace Cinquanta & Dore when they retire?

    Ottavio Cinquanta & David Dore are now both in their seventies. So, who should replace them at the top of the ISU hierarchy when they retire?

    Figure skating's central problem at the moment is as set out in the following articles - decline in audiences, TV coverage, shows, and tournaments:-

    Washington Post article

    Montreal Gazette article

    The issue of whether COP should be replaced has been addressed in another thread. But, I feel the sports problems go far deeper than just the marking system. So, what do Cinquanta & Dore's replacements need to do therefore to turn around the decline?

    Snooker, like figure skating is now, was only a few years ago a sport in decline. Audiences and TV coverage were falling away and the number of tournaments was dropping year on year. Indeed, matters reached a point where its governing body decided that they either turned things around quickly or the sport would reach a tipping point beyond which recovery would simply not be possible. So what did they do? They appointed a man called Barry Hearn (who had been one of the people responsible for creating the original boom in the game back in the late 1970's/early 1980's), and sure enough within a few years he has completely turned the situation around. Audiences and TV coverage are up and so are the number of tournaments. Moreover, as fans of Eurosport will know, in many ways the increased TV coverage of snooker on Eurosport has been partly at the expense of figure skating.

    Its my opinion that unless the ISU takes decisive action soon to address the decline in audiences, TV coverage, shows, tournaments, etc, then it is likely to reach a tipping point beyond which recovery is simply not possible. Hence, the retirement of Cinquanta & Dore will present the ISU with a real opportunity to find new leadership to take the decisive action that is required to address the sports decline. Whoever it is, it needs to be somebody like Barry Hearn, somebody with the know how, the entrepreneurial spirit, the drive, the connections, the charisma, etc, to turn the sports fortunes around and get it back on track. That is, the road to recovery in my view begins with new leadership.
    Last edited by Maofan7; 02-17-2012 at 03:08 PM.

  2. #2

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    The ISU needs new blood from the for-profit world since, in actuality, 'amateur' skating has become pro. I'm thinking someone like Scott Hamilton who knows the ins and outs of linking the eligible and for-profit skating worlds. I'm sure that there are European equivalents...Ilya Averbuch, for starters. Scott or Ilya could guide any policy and rule changes with an eye to greater marketing. Cinquanta and Dore, while very aware of marketing, both came from the earlier genteel 'amateur' world; the ISU doesn't need a continuation of their mindset.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    Its my opinion that unless the ISU takes decisive action soon to address the decline in audiences, TV coverage, shows, tournaments, etc, then it is likely to reach a tipping point beyond which recovery is simply not possible.
    I think the future is here now. They have been taking decisive action for years... The gps, wtt, etc... And they all seem to fail. Even gifts that are not their doing ( the olys being in very fs friendly countries instead of being rewarded to developing countries as was the habit in the 60s 70s and 80s) haven't saved it. Even things that have nothing to do with them like fs based reality tv shows, all seem to fail.

    Whomever is hero is, I think one thing he or she needs to work on is repairing the damaged frenimies relationship between eligable and non eligable skating. Stealing pro skating's audience only to promptly lose it 5 minutes later was one of $peedy's epic failures. But whomever this hero is, they better be amazing, because this ship has been sinking for over a decade.

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    Maria Teresa Samaranch would be my choice.

  5. #5

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    Has figure skating declined in popularity worldwide, or just in the U.S.? I realize the U.S. was a major market for awhile, but it seems as if figure skating is gaining in popularity in Japan and other parts of Asia. The Russian government still apparently supports it.

    It seems that even recreational skating is starting to gain a toe-hold in Asia. I see ISI events in Singapore.

    I'm also wondering if live entertainment in general is losing audiences as electronic entertainment mushrooms. Skating doesn't always translate well to tv and internet. You lose the sense of speed, and the physical differences among the athletes are not as apparent.

    Skaters have all they can do to keep up with the technical demands of skating nowadays, they don't have time for the drama that makes celebrities popular.

  6. #6
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    Peter Kriek

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    Has figure skating declined in popularity worldwide, or just in the U.S.? I realize the U.S. was a major market for awhile, but it seems as if figure skating is gaining in popularity in Japan and other parts of Asia. The Russian government still apparently supports it.
    worldwide.

    Increased interest in Japan and Russia have not balanced out huge declines in north America and Europe. One step forward, two steps back.

    People love to dismiss the decline in US as "just one country" but the isu lost millions of dollars in revenue that they never recouped from any other market. Unless nhk signs a multi million dollar contract to replace the one the isu lost with abc, increased interest in Japan is still a redline item on the isu balance sheet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
    Unless nhk signs a multi million dollar contract to replace the one the isu lost with abc, increased interest in Japan is still a redline item on the isu balance sheet.
    NHK only shows the NHK trophy these days as it cannot afford the rights to air other events. The Grand Prix series, Four Continents and Worlds are all shown on different channels and audiences are huge. The contracts with the Japanese TV networks are far in excess what any American TV network paid for them even during skating's heyday in the 1990s there.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    A lot of this discussion is not so much about "Who" as about what direction the ISU should take.

    Should it try to turn elite skating into a professional, audience-oriented, for-profit sport, possibly at the risk of losing its Olympic status?

    Should it encourage other organizations to promote professional skating as entertainment and allow/encourage skaters to go back and forth between non-ISU events and ISU competitions?

    Should it set up and promote separate competition tracks, one aimed at higher-faster-stronger Olympic-style sports fans, other(s) aimed at mass audiences or performing arts audiences?

    Or find a way to adapt or significantly overhaul the existing rules so that skaters will be rewarded for technical skills and athletic risk performed in ways that are aesthetically pleasing to watch and the judging is generally explicable to lay audiences?

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    The only thing I know is that they shouldn't be from FS-powers like Russia, US, Japan.

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    John misha Petkevich... Olympian, Rhode scholar, entrepeneur, wealthy and smart

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    Quote Originally Posted by officialcoach View Post
    John misha Petkevich... Olympian, Rhode scholar, entrepeneur, wealthy and smart
    I wonder if he would be interested,
    The ISU needs someone with that background who is also well-connected/respected in the skating community.
    JMP certainly qualifies.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    NHK only shows the NHK trophy these days as it cannot afford the rights to air other events. The Grand Prix series, Four Continents and Worlds are all shown on different channels and audiences are huge. The contracts with the Japanese TV networks are far in excess what any American TV network paid for them even during skating's heyday in the 1990s there.
    The Japanese networks are currently paying more than $22 million a year for TV rights? That's what ABC was paying from 1999-2004. It's my understanding that at the end of the last ESPN contract in 2008, ESPN was still paying more for the rights at $5 million a year than all other TV contracts around the world combined.

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    allezfred and sharpie

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    Shouldn't the question be IF they retire? Maybe they can live forever...

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey2 View Post
    Shouldn't the question be IF they retire? Maybe they can live forever...
    Does that mean their theme song is Queen's "Who Wants to Live Forever"?
    Crazy about sports!

  17. #17
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    Ziggy and Andrei aka Pushkin.
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  18. #18
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    don't forget ISU isn't just figure skating
    Thanks to PI .. I discovered I'm actually a Nontheist

    "Love is better than Anger, Hope is better than fear" Jack Layton 1950-2011

  19. #19
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    Cinquanta has made speed skating his priority for years while using figure skating as a cash cow. A little focus on figure skating would set the balance back.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4rkidz View Post
    don't forget ISU isn't just figure skating
    That is the first problem. If the ISU wants to be a union for the skaters, have a liason for both speed skaters and figure skaters seperately. So each is represented, they may be on ice and use skates but they are different sports.

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