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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    Does Canada count as one of the eight countries? First it is ruled by Britain's queen. Secondly, it's kind of just a freezing version of the USA, except for that one province where everyone speaks that ugly French patois.
    My Australia is not a country! I am 'stateless'. Down with the Monarchists, way to go Republicans.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG
    But I checked a map and Texas is just a few inches below Nebraska
    Brings back ancient school day memories where we had to use a thread or compass to measure the distance between two points.

    Sports like figure skating, diving, gymnastics will never over-take manly sports like football, rugby, hockey, baseball etc. Maybe, 'sports' tend to attract more men then women? Just guessing. And figure skating, I believe, attract a larger female audience than male. Oh well, this topic has been discussed several times over different titles.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    In the U.S. it's huge that there isn't a woman star.
    BUT WHY!?

    No seriously, this is driving me nuts. Why is there such a huge emphasis on a woman star? Max Aaron seems like a nice enough kid and he's got the big jumps, why not promote him? Why does it always have to be a woman!?

  3. #63
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    And Davis and White are World Champions and skate very accessible dances. Why not promote them?
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by spikydurian View Post
    Brilliant idea!
    Call the hit show 'Ice Angels' starring Gracie Gold, Meryl Davis and Marissa Castelli, with Jeremy Abbot as 'Charlie'.
    Naah...you gotta have Charlie White as Charlie! PJZ can play the David Doyle guy, updated to reflect that PJZ is P!

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    BUT WHY!?

    No seriously, this is driving me nuts. Why is there such a huge emphasis on a woman star? Max Aaron seems like a nice enough kid and he's got the big jumps, why not promote him? Why does it always have to be a woman!?
    I am not a marketing person, but it comes down to the audience for the sport being overwhelmingly women and girls. I will say men I think were interested in watching Tanith Belbin and, to very limited extent, they seemed entertained by Johnny Weir. I think the Tonya-Nancy saga is something that mixed gender audiences related to well and shared enjoyment of.

    It seems the lady is the role model and the icon because, in the United States, skating is always assumed to be a feminine sport. In other cultures, like perhaps in Russia, where male athleticism is expressed through dance, I think there may be more room for maneuver away from this iconic fixation on ladies.

    I think women and especially young women often identify with aspects of the lady-- having to get the job done while maintaining an image of outward beauty. I think a lot of gay men involved in skating identify with the ladies skaters, for the sport emphasizes their beauty-- they are actresses basically-- but also hyper competitive and striving for perfection. There is an artistic, individualistic temperament combined with a competitiveness and fondness for hierarchy in gay American culture, and ladies skating meshes in so many ways with this.

    Okay, I know nobody asked for my thoughts on gender, gay culture, and skating, but there I went.

    I think men like Evan Lysacek's marketability rests on their appeal to women, and this includes hetero-normative* sexual appeal. I think this is why you find sexuality is still a taboo subject in skating.

    *Yes I used this pompous word.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 02-03-2013 at 05:28 AM.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    I am not a marketing person, but it comes down to the audience for the sport being overwhelmingly women and girls. I will say men I think were interested in watching Tanith Belbin and, to very limited extent, they seemed entertained by Johnny Weir. I think the Tonya-Nancy saga is something that mixed gender audiences related to well and shared enjoyment of.

    It seems the lady is the role model and the icon because, in the United States, skating is always assumed to be a feminine sport. In other cultures, like perhaps in Russia, where male athleticism is expressed through dance, I think there may be more room for maneuver away from this iconic fixation on ladies.

    I think women and especially young women often identify with aspects of the lady-- having to get the job done while maintaining an image of outward beauty. I think a lot of gay men involved in skating identify with the ladies skaters, for the sport emphasizes their beauty-- they are actresses basically-- but also hyper competitive and striving for perfection. There is an artistic, individualistic temperament combined with a competitiveness and fondness for hierarchy in gay American culture, and ladies skating meshes in so many ways with this.

    Okay, I know nobody asked for my thoughts on gender, gay culture, and skating, but there I went.

    I think men like Evan Lysacek's marketability rests on their appeal to women, and this includes hetero-normative* sexual appeal. I think this is why you find sexuality is still a taboo subject in skating.

    *Yes I used this pompous word.
    *round of applause*

  7. #67

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    Somewhat off-topic, but compare how many people were in the audience for some of the short track world cup events today:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsZ6GggYS1s

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    My friends and I discussed this topic at Nationals.

    I think one factor in the U.S. is the absence of Dick Button. Not the only factor, of course, but Dick gave a stability to the viewing public who trusted his opinion. For most people over a certain age, 95% of what they know about figure skating was learned from Dick Button. Dick was not afraid to be critical and opinionated. If Dick told us someone was good, we believed him. Dick also had the authority of being a 2 time gold medalist and a pioneer in the sport. His voice and presence were distinctive. If you heard his voice as you were clicking through channels, it would be familiar and you might stop to watch for a while.

    Also Dick's company, Candid Productions, produced some very popular shows for their time. I think this gave Dick a greater influence with network officials. I wonder how much more skating we got to see because of that influence. Now that Dick is no longer on TV very often it makes a difference in the audience that watches. There is certainly a transition going on.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    That is a lot of pressure to put on Gold's shoulders.

    During the broadcast of the Canadian Nationals on TSN & CTV, host Brain Williams kept repeatedly saying, "Figure skating is back and back in a big way" .
    Brain Williams? His brain must have been malfunctioning when he said that. lol

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    Brain Williams? His brain must have been malfunctioning when he said that. lol

  11. #71

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    Personally I blame Angry Birds.
    I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around.


  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    Ever heard of Gordeeva & Grinkov?
    Gordeeva did not capture the general US public's imagination until her husband died. Sad but true.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

  13. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    BUT WHY!?

    No seriously, this is driving me nuts. Why is there such a huge emphasis on a woman star? Max Aaron seems like a nice enough kid and he's got the big jumps, why not promote him? Why does it always have to be a woman!?
    Because Max Aaron cannot be visualized as a Miss America with sash, crown, roses and skates. America adores only the female soloists - it's all about the Queen of the Ice, preferably pretty in pink.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    Because Max Aaron cannot be visualized as a Miss America with sash, crown, roses and skates. America adores only the female soloists - it's all about the Queen of the Ice, preferably pretty in pink.
    It is not AMERICA who wants that -- it is the American media and the PTB in USFS who want that. So in the absence of that recently, instead of publicizing the really great ice dancers, or men, they try to create an "Ice Queen" a la Rachel Flatt. Now they think they have it in Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold, so they are virtually the only ones we hear about from the mainstream media, which is spoon-fed all its stories by the USFS. (those that actually still even mention figure skating; SI.com did not have one thing about US Nationals that I could find.)

  15. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    This and then some.

    PeterG -- you can deny that Canada isn't a real country all you want but *I* know better, you little stinker We could pretend that the country you live in doesn't exist except for here at FSU
    Crazy about sports!

  16. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    Gordeeva did not capture the general US public's imagination until her husband died. Sad but true.
    Wrong! She got a lot of attention in the US during the 1988 Olympics, and in my opinion, this did a lot to break down the anti-Soviet attitude of American skating fans.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopysnake View Post
    Wrong! She got a lot of attention in the US during the 1988 Olympics, and in my opinion, this did a lot to break down the anti-Soviet attitude of American skating fans.
    And G&G were quite popular in 1994, but this was in large part due to skating's huge bounce in the US due to Harding-Kerrigan. I agree that her HUGE success, with endorsements, etc., came after Sergei's sudden death. But otoh I suppose you could argue that it wouldn't have been big news if people hadn't already had some idea of who they were.

  18. #78
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    http://outfront.blogs.cnn.com/2013/0...igure-skating/

    Sarah Hughes just posted this on her Facebook. Thought it appropriate for this thread.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    Brain Williams? His brain must have been malfunctioning when he said that. lol
    It sounds wishful. Here are the ratings

    Fri Jan 18, Women’s & Pairs Short (3-5pm), TSN: 99,000
    Fri Jan 18, Men’s Short (8-10pm), TSN: 306,000
    Sat Jan 19 (2-4pm), CTV: 362,000
    Sat Jan 19, Men’s & Pairs Free (5-7m), TSN: 196,000
    Sat Jan 19 (7-10pm), CTV: 686,000
    Sun Jan 20, Women’s & Dance Free (2-4pm), TSN: 363,000

    Skate Canada International

    Men’s Free, Oct 27, CTV: 679, 000

    In Canadian sport, these are decent total numbers... although I couldn't get the age breakout which is critical for sponsors and advertisers. Skating almost inevitably skews older which is not what advertisers generally want as older people tend to be more set in their buying patterns and harder to get to switch (for example to a new financial institution) thus reducing the value of the broadcast to the broadcaster.

    The big night is saturday on the CTV network and it is well down from the 90s where it was well over 1,000,000 consistently. And yes its hard against hockey (especially this year with the start of the season) but in the 90s it was up against hockey as well. And teh Skate Canada number is not against hockey due to the strike so should have been way up but it wasn't. So the trend is down (despite 2 reigning world champions) and I agree down for many of the reasons mentioned. Lack of stars, similarity of programs etc. etc. And the live audience is in decline as well. Things must change if skating is to stay relevant. Yes there are pockets of strength such as Japan but that won't necessarily last forever. Declines in a winter sport country like Canada with a long history in skating should be cause for great concern as it illustrates the weakness and risk. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure those in power both in federations and at the ISU are taking these trends seriously enough. But eventually they will be forced to because the economics will collapse.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    In Canadian sport, these are decent total numbers... although I couldn't get the age breakout which is critical for sponsors and advertisers. Skating almost inevitably skews older which is not what advertisers generally want as older people tend to be more set in their buying patterns and harder to get to switch (for example to a new financial institution) thus reducing the value of the broadcast to the broadcaster.
    For the Vancouver Olympics coverage in the US, television coverage was definitely skewed older. IIRC, in the men's figure skating competition, Olympic coverage came in third of the top four network broadcasters in the coveted 18-49 demographic.

    And that's because as you say, figure skating skews very old. When I hear all the comments about skating needing to be on tv more so people channel surfing would find it easier, I think back to studies which show that type of television watching is mostly represented in the oldest age demographics. Younger watchers just don't watch tv near as much as older folks do, and they don't tend to flip around channels the same way.

    So the very suggestions offered here reflect the older demographic of skating, and why those suggestions are very unlikely to appeal to younger folk who aren't already fans (which sorta reiterates the point that people are projecting their beefs with skating onto the general population and thinking if skating was changed to more appeal to them personally, it would gain larger audiences in general). But that's very skewed thinking just as the fanbase of skating is very skewed demographically as IronLady pointed out (older, white, wealthy women and gay men).

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