Actually, at a lot of events I've been at, they are sitting at tables with little dividers between them, and you can hear their commentary during the event if you're sitting close enough.
But the tables are high up in the seating areas away from the ice, so the skaters can't hear the commentators.
The British Eurosport guys always talk about how excited some of the commentary teams are around them, particularly when their skaters are competing. I would think you need to be in the arena so you capture that feel of the audience and relay that to those watching the broadcast.
What the hell is a Ninja Twizzle? Does it have anything to do with hard shelled aquatic life forms that live in the sewer?
Hmm, I actually did notice while watching some Brit Eurosport clips that there was some pretty loud conversations getting picked up on the feed during the middle of a skate. Thought it likely was another broadcast team, and not super loud fans?
This makes me wonder..When they show coaches rinkside yelling as their skater is performing, can the skater actually hear the coach? Can the coach yell instructions or a "key word" for the skater?
In some instances, the program is specifically choreographed with that in mind, like Debi Thomas in 1988. There was a clear transition before her 3rd piece of music when she was face-to-face with McGowan, about 6 feet apart. He would slam on the boards and yell at her to get her going for the home stretch.