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  1. #1
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    Contacting NBC Sports re: figure skating coverage

    Administrators - if this is not the appropriate forum to post this thread, please move it the forum you consider the most appropriate.

    I doubt that I'm the only one who is totally disgusted with NBC's paltry coverage of the Grand Prix Series. While the men are my favorite discipline, I really wanted to see the competitors in all four disciplines. It was a travesty that very little of dance was shown, and nothing of pairs on US TV. Universal Sports is no longer available to Comcast subscribers (as of 1/1/12), and not everyone is in a position to afford subscribing to icenetwork.com . How in the world can we build on the sport (not just during the Olympics), if NBC shows so little of it? I have written to NBC Sports to voice all my concerns @ nbcsportshelp@nbcuni.com . I can't guarantee we'll get a decent response from TPTB, but perhaps if LOTS of fs fans bombard them with messages expressing their dissatisfaction with their coverage, maybe we can somehow make an impact, and influence how fs is shown on network TV. NBC, you still have time to redeem yourself before US Nationals!
    Last edited by paskatefan; 12-19-2012 at 12:20 PM.

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    I will certainly contact NBC. It's better than not making any effort at all.

    As a side note, subscribing to icenetwork was a waste of money for me. They did not show the GP series live. I heard they were going to show videos for a very limited amount of time. My schedule did not allow me to catch that. I don't get Universal sports. If not for fellow fsuers posting links here, I would not have seen any of the GP skating for ice dance and pairs. NBC has acted as if the pairs discipline does not even exist. In ice dance, why could they not show at least the top 3?

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    All of the GP events currently have videos still on IceNetwork, including the GPF. (Not sure if the junior GPF is there or not). I haven't heard anything about them only having them for a limited amount of time. It would be awesome if they showed the events live again, but I am sure there are not enough subscribers to make that economically feasible for the broadcast rights.

    It would be nice if NBC showed more, but since ratings have been down we're lucky to have any at all.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

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    Do we know yet what they plan to show of Nationals?
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

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    A preliminary broadcast schedule for 2013 Nationals was posted in the TV Alerts forum as follows:
    Jan. 26, 2013: 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships NBC 3:00-6:00 p.m. [Pairs FS/Free Dance]
    Jan. 26, 2013: 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships NBC 9:00-11:00 p.m. [Ladies FS]
    Jan. 27, 2013: 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships NBC 4:00-6:00 p.m. [Men FS]
    Feb. 2, 2013: Skating Spectacular NBC 1:00-3:00 p.m.

    Pairs and Dance are being split into earlier and later groups again (at least it's same day for pairs) so I hope this means the last groups will be shown live on NBC.
    ETA: On Saturday, Jan. 26, the Pairs FS (later groups) currently is scheduled to end at 3 pm Central time/2 pm Eastern and the Free Dance (later groups) at 4:55 pm Central/5:55 pm Eastern, which seems to indicate that there will be live coverage of the final 4(?) pairs and 5(?) dance teams again.

    Re. 2013 Worlds: Is NBC going to show highlights (with barely a mention of pairs) one week later like they did this year for Worlds in Nice?

    ETA:
    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    As a side note, subscribing to icenetwork was a waste of money for me. They did not show the GP series live. I heard they were going to show videos for a very limited amount of time.
    2012 Skate America was broadcast live by IceNetwork (except for the second group of ladies' free skates that was shown live on NBC). IceNetwork stated up front that "Video from the rest of the events in the Grand Prix Series, including the 2012 Grand Prix Final, will be shown on-demand ONLY and be made available seven days after the end of each event." As a responsible consumer, it is up to you to know exactly what you are purchasing and your (inaccurate) "for a very limited amount of time" phrase indicates you still don't know what your IN subscription entails.

    Quote Originally Posted by peibeck View Post
    All of the GP events currently have videos still on IceNetwork, including the GPF. (Not sure if the junior GPF is there or not).
    I just checked IN and the GP Final videos are available on demand now, but no JGP Final videos this year (probably because the ISU has uploaded all of them on their JGP YouTube channel).
    Last edited by Sylvia; 12-19-2012 at 11:23 PM. Reason: to add more info about NBC's Nationals coverage
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    Quote Originally Posted by peibeck View Post
    All of the GP events currently have videos still on IceNetwork, including the GPF. (Not sure if the junior GPF is there or not). I haven't heard anything about them only having them for a limited amount of time. It would be awesome if they showed the events live again, but I am sure there are not enough subscribers to make that economically feasible for the broadcast rights.

    It would be nice if NBC showed more, but since ratings have been down we're lucky to have any at all.
    This was not IN's fault. Universal sports obtained exclusive broadcast rights from the ISU. IN does plan to show US nationals as far as I know as it does not fall under the same aegis as the ISU events. As for Worlds, who knows.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    Sorry I didn't mean to imply IN was at fault in some way. Yes NBC/Universal having exclusive rights did prevent IN from getting to broadcast most of the GP live. (At least they got to show some parts of Skate America live though.)

    But I still don't think IN draws enough of a subscriber base to compete with a big corportation like NBC to compete for live broadcast rights. I have to wonder if this year's ratings for NBC/Universal have improved with them having the first broadcast rights?

    IN is still very valuable in seeing the qualifying comps for me, even though I am usually catching up on them late.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

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    I think Ice Network is going to show most of Nationals live. IMO, that's worth the money in itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paskatefan View Post
    Administrators - if this is not the appropriate forum to post this thread, please move it the forum you consider the most appropriate.

    I doubt that I'm the only one who is totally disgusted with NBC's paltry coverage of the Grand Prix Series. While the men are my favorite discipline, I really wanted to see the competitors in all four disciplines. It was a travesty that very little of dance was shown, and nothing of pairs on US TV. Universal Sports is no longer available to Comcast subscribers (as of 1/1/12), and not everyone is in a position to afford subscribing to icenetwork.com . How in the world can we build on the sport (not just during the Olympics), if NBC shows so little of it? I have written to NBC Sports to voice all my concerns @ nbcsportshelp@nbcuni.com . I can't guarantee we'll get a decent response from TPTB, but perhaps if LOTS of fs fans bombard them with messages expressing their dissatisfaction with their coverage, maybe we can somehow make an impact, and influence how fs is shown on network TV. NBC, you still have time to redeem yourself before US Nationals!
    Great idea

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    I will email them too. I also wish they had shown some of the short programs.

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    If NBC is only planning to have another 3-hour Worlds recap broadcast the week following 2013 Worlds, then perhaps we fans should focus on requesting they show the medal-winning, full programs in ALL four disciplines, including any standout short programs. It would be nice if they included highlight clips of the lower-placed U.S. pairs and dance teams (the top 10 finishes by Denney/Coughlin, Marley/Brubaker and Hubbell/Donohue last year were completely ignored by NBC, for example).
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    I dunno...in this day and age of shrinking coverage I guess I'm just thankful they show anything at all in the first place.

    I suppose the one thing I'd ask for is coverage of short programs as well, even if it's only of the top finisher. Brief recaps are nice but I'd like a little more if possible.

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    Why does NBC refuse to acknowledge that the Short Programs exist? We haven't seen them all year!!! You don't just show half of a football game, the first half effects the score too!

    (I also just prefer shorts to longs, so it really annoys me.) I thought maybe we'd get some for nationals, but alas, no. At least they are going to show pairs- we haven't seen any all year.

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    Um, because they have a limited amount of time and sponsorship devoted to skating? Interest in the US is simply not sufficiently high enough for the network to sell advertising minutes to sponsors. Other winter sports get even less coverage than figure skating. Frankly, unless it's golf, football or basketball, which make lots of $$$$$ for the networks, they really aren't interested. And I can't blame them.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    Um, because they have a limited amount of time and sponsorship devoted to skating? Interest in the US is simply not sufficiently high enough for the network to sell advertising minutes to sponsors. Other winter sports get even less coverage than figure skating. Frankly, unless it's golf, football or basketball, which make lots of $$$$$ for the networks, they really aren't interested. And I can't blame them.
    rfisher makes the point. This is not about what the networks like or prefer or are willing to air. It's numbers, nothing but. If they can't sell the advertising space to support skating broadcasts, minute by minute, then we're out of luck.

    Networks (other than PBS) are businesess, for profit businesses which are answerable to their stockholders. They don't give away time except to those community interests and charitable efforts that are appropriate - we're not it! I'd love the level of coverage that we once enjoyed but frankly, there aren't enough of us to warrant it - the advertisers would rather put their money elsewhere as our demographics, frankly, sort of stink (decreasing, aging and most important, with a decreasing spend potential. Look at the carping about a few dollars when anyone puts up tickets or services to anything skating-related - not a group noted for money to spend like, just for comparison, tennis where Mercedes or Rolex is happy to advertise as tennis fans, overall, are spending at that level). If the hard data supported advertising buys, we'd be fine but it doesn't.

    Not great but that's the situation at the moment - no one's fault, just is what it is.

    Letting the networks know what we want to see is never a bad thing. Expecting a change might be a little too optimistic if nothing else changes.
    Last edited by Willowway; 12-21-2012 at 03:47 PM.

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    Frankly, even for events that ARE popular, NBC has consistently shown scorn for its viewers and demonstrated it only cares about the "bottom line". See Olympics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    Frankly, even for events that ARE popular, NBC has consistently shown scorn for its viewers and demonstrated it only cares about the "bottom line". See Olympics.

    Huh? I saw hours and hours and hours of Olympic coverage from London - I thought it was great.

    The bottom line is what they are supposed to care about, granted with some balance, but they're a business. If I have my retirement dollars (as we all do) in stocks or funds (which invest in stocks), I want them to be very aware of the bottom line because that's what successful businesses do. If you want a not-for-profit to broadcast the Olympics then we should make sure that PBS gets a shot at them or the US should go to a more British (BBC) sort of system but that's not likely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    Frankly, even for events that ARE popular, NBC has consistently shown scorn for its viewers and demonstrated it only cares about the "bottom line". See Olympics.
    Or the way that they ruined the majors in tennis. They would show one match on tape delay but buy the rights to both so that ESPN couldn't show it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willowway View Post
    Huh? I saw hours and hours and hours of Olympic coverage from London - I thought it was great.
    Two words: tape delay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RD View Post
    Two words: tape delay.
    And that was because the overwhelming majority of viewers watched between 8:00-12:00 pm. Most people are at work during the day and don't bother. The online options showed events in real time, but not the major networks. Why would they want to waste advertiser's money showing an event when viewership would be minimal? That would be a very poor business strategy. Before the internet, all olympic events were tape delayed if the Os weren't in the US and nobody thought twice about it.

    I do wish the ISU hadn't sold the GP rights solely to NBC/Universal who then made the decision to limit the online viewing to those with DirectTV or cable. I get why they did as this was a lateral move by DirectTV to increase subscribers. I have DirectTV, but I didn't like this decision. I understand why it was done, but I don't like it. It all comes down to money and skating simply doesn't generate the type of revenue to make it available. It doesn't in Russia. Only cable TV shows skating. Right now, Japan has about the only sufficient public interest to make skating commercially viable to TV networks. Cable sports and some free online TV sites are it and you take a risk with many of the online TV sites and picking up a virus on your computer. Sigh. Maybe skating needs another really good scandal.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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