Tough question. I think that amateur sport in general doesn't get the media respect or media coverage it deserves in Canada. (Possibly true in the States as well?)
Canada has a small population base to begin with, and the main networks (CBC and CTV) have faced increasing competition, first from various cable sources (all kinds of pay and specialty channels, and American networks), then from internet sources and streams from around the world. CBC and CTV are in some respects fighting for their existence. CBC is a publicly-funded broadcaster, but faces constant budget cuts; at some point it may be privatized. The internet is undermining all the conventional media outlets. Hard-core skating fans will go there. When it comes to the general public, CBC (which holds the 4CC rights) may not feel that 4CC (which doesn't have the profile of Nationals or Worlds) would generate viewer numbers to compare with some kinds of alternative programming it could offer in that live timeslot.
ETA: Former CTV executive Johnny Esaw had a real love and respect for figure skating, and back in his day figure skating was very well-covered by CTV. He retired long ago; figure skating no longer has a strong advocate within CTV.
Last edited by flowerpower; 02-06-2013 at 03:31 PM.
Removed duplicate post.
Well it just goes to show how well-informed and accurate media stories about figure skating tend to be these days ... (and that's from V/M's hometown paper!) There are other things I'd quibble about in the article as well, but whatever...
V/M seemed like they would be so marketable after they won, I thought they would have generated greater interest in the sport. Oh well.
The article doesn't say D&W won two world titles. Either Rainbow misread it or it's been corrected.
Typical of this newspaper. They make that kind of mistake all the time -- especially in sports articles that AREN'T about their beloved Jr A hockey team aka the London Knights.
Crazy about sports!
To add to the above, even Jon Montgomery (a Canadian Skeleton event Gold medalist) received more publicity. After his win, he was filmed walking down the Whistler village street drinking beer from a pitcher, which a nearby fan handed to him (that clip was played on TV multiple times). I recall Tessa & Scott were later honoured by being seated at the head table with the Queen during a formal dinner. Although the newspapers mentioned the Queen's visit, I didn't see anything mentioning Tessa & Scott. Maybe if they had chugged a beer in front of the Queen, they would have been noticed in the media . Although V/M are huge celebrities within the figure skating niche, many in the general public still do not know who they are (or any other figure skater for that matter...Yuna who?). The skaters the general public seem to recognize most (at least their names), are the ones who have established themselves over many years eg. Kurt Browning, etc.Until the Vancouver games, Canada had never won an Olympic gold medal on home soil. To be fair, Canada had only ever hosted two Olympics. The 1976 Montreal summer games where Nadia Comaneci made history in Gymnastics, and the 1988 winter Olympics. For Vancouver, an "own-the-podium" committee was formed setting a challenge for Canadian athletes to win more medals than any other country (likely they were expecting mostly bronze). A program was put into place providing funding and rewards for medal wins (unlike the US, China, Russia, etc., Canada had never rewarded athletes for their medal achievements). During the first week of the Vancouver Olympics, it looked as if the program was a total failure. The program organizers were beginning to make their excuses in the media. Then Alexandre Bilodeau (a mogul skier) broke the jinx, and won the first gold medal. Throughout the remaining week, the gold medals began pouring in. The "own-the-podium" program failed to win the most medals, but achieved what organizers likely thought impossible. The Canadian athletes won more gold than any other country. The medals which received the most media attention were Alexandre's (since it was the first), Joannie's bronze (due to her circumstances), and of course the men's hockey gold. Both Alexandre and the hockey team even received special mention in the speeches at the closing ceremony, and the camera did a closeup of him sitting among the other athletes. Why am I telling you all this? ...So you can see things from the Canadian media perspective. Tessa and Scott's gold was just one of many, and not the most publicized outside of it's sporting niche.
Last edited by rvi5; 02-06-2013 at 10:08 PM.
I think this was becasue V-M want to compete after 2010 OG ad didnt haveso many time for do some pR, because of Tessas injuries and surgeries.
I remeber after OG Igor said T-S was asked to play in movie. But they didint want, just want to skate.
But at the same time i think Canadian press could be more respectfull for V-M. If you will read article after Nationals about D-W this all was about "they maybe best in history" and nothing about they could lose to there long time rivals. who is the best.
But from other hand - something must happened for figure skaters people start recognise them. For example Kurt, who never could get medal at OG and had long careers. Or like Rochett - people know her because what happened with her mother at OG
FS now very popular in Asia. In Russia. But not in NA. But things could change in future.
like i would pay ANYTHING to see v/m compete in my city
Interesting convo. Honestly though part of this is I don't think Tessa and Scott want to be exposed and known by a larger audience. They've said before that they like their privacy. I've always felt if they wanted more exposure they could easily get it, but they don't (and there's nothing wrong with that).
And some of the comments in the article is so mean.
Last edited by Shayii; 02-06-2013 at 10:21 PM.
I think it may be a "chicken or the egg" situation. Do Canadians have little interest in figure skating because it doesn't have much exposure (esp on TV), or does it not get exposure because Canadians are not interested in it? In addition, I think a large part of it is that Tessa and Scott are such private people. Other skaters writing blogs, etc, while they don't, but I see it as their personal nature, which is fine.
I think Canadians (or any other country) needs recognizable idols to generate interest. Were Romanians significantly interested in Gymnastics before Nadia? Were Koreans significantly interested in figure skating before Yuna? How interested would the Japanese be in figure skating if their skaters dwindled away for decades? If Tessa and Scott didn't want that level of publicity, who remained for Canada? Just Joannie, and she immediately retired. Remember, Patrick Chan was not a medalist at the Vancouver Olympics (5th). The Olympics is were the "general public" are more likely to establish their future idols. They are less likely to tune into Worlds etc. if they don't believe there are home grown heroes to cheer. News papers and TV broadcasters then become less interested, if they sense the general public is not interested. It becomes a downward spiral until the next Olympic cycle hopefully establishes new idols.
Perhaps figure skating popularity may improve in Canada after Sochi. Now Canada has hope for the future with D/R and MT/M in pairs, Patrick in Mens singles, V/M in dance, and Osmond in Ladies singles (not to mention the other teens on the rise from Juniors). I was surprised to see a two full page article about Canada's top skaters in the Toronto star during the Canadian Nationals week. It included a large photo of Osmond. Hopefully a good sign for the future?
It's not like Tessa and Scott are a couple of nobodies. They were the cover story of Maclean's (Canada's leading news magazine--which doesn't mean much, but whatever) in the middle of the Olympics. They published a book. They have been on most major Canadian TV interview/news programs.
However, I do acknowledge that they could've done more to capitalize on their tremendous achievements. As a Vancouverite, I still see many Canadian athletes from 2010 doing autograph signing sessions in the area, making speeches, appearing for an opening of a business, major parties and functions, etc. They are putting themselves out there. Being an Olympic athlete is not cheap--you have to hustle. Maybe V&M are just not inclined to do that.
I wonder if the team event will help make skating more popular.
Anyways how's everybody feeling about 4CC and Worlds? I'll be honest and say I think they will have to be absolutely perfect and then some (a lot actually) to win.