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  1. #221

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    A big problem for casual viewers is that they seriously cannot tell the jumps apart. They think skaters are just doing the same moves 7-8 times in a LP and find it repetitive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    I have been watching Figure Skating for many, many years now. I am not good on dates but we were watching Cup of Russia, Cup of China, Japan, Skate Canada, 4 Continents, etc.
    All of that was post-Whack. Some of those competitions didn't even exist in the 90s including 4CCs and Cup of Russia. The GP events were rarely broadcast in the US except for Skate America pre-Whack.

    I would like to see some objective data to show if figure skating audience has declined or not. And I'd want it for the ENTIRE audience, not just broadcast tv. Let's compared to 1992 which is pre-Whack and 20 years ago so a nice round number. This includes:

    1) USFS membership (which I believe is up)
    2) Attendance at Nationals (up according to press releases)
    3) Attendance at Skate America (don't know, about the same or down?)
    4) Attendance at the major local comps like Liberty, Golden West, Skate Detroit (?)
    5) Entries to those competitions (down?)
    6) # of hours on Broadcast TV (I say up or the same; others say down)
    7) # of hours on Cable TV (clearly up as it wasn't on cable in '92)
    8) # of hours streaming on internet (clearly up as internet wasn't commercialized until about 1995-1998)
    9) participation on internet message board and other social media (obviously up since they didn't really exist in '92)
    10) attendance at shows aimed at adults (down)
    11) attendance at shows aimed at kids (about the same?)

    If people have real numbers for these ways of experiencing figure skating, I'd love to see them.
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  3. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    A big problem for casual viewers is that they seriously cannot tell the jumps apart. They think skaters are just doing the same moves 7-8 times in a LP and find it repetitive.
    And even when commentators do a good job of naming skills and not just tell us about the skater's ethereal qualities, it is still meaningless to a casual fan. The guys I watched (captive audience, not really casual fans...) with all knew that an axel and a salchow was a jump, but even after I explained the difference it made no sense to them.

    The thing is- football makes no sense to me. If you aren't going to take the time to learn the rules of a sport, of course it won't be enjoyable.

  4. #224
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    Sorry, not to be ignorant but what is post-Whack?

  5. #225

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    I would like to see some objective data to show if figure skating audience has declined or not. And I'd want it for the ENTIRE audience, not just broadcast tv. Let's compared to 1992 which is pre-Whack and 20 years ago so a nice round number. This includes:

    [...]
    9) participation on internet message board and other social media (obviously up since they didn't really exist in '92)

    If people have real numbers for these ways of experiencing figure skating, I'd love to see them.
    Someone on tumblr (who isn't a regular skating fan made a post about Max Aaron's Tron program over the weekend & it's now up to almost 10,000 notes - that's someone either liking the post or reblogging to share it with their followers. Most of the comments are from people who don't regularly follow skating, but they're all saying things along the lines of "wow that's awesome" "I love that" "love the costume & music" - of course you can't tell if any one them will make an effort to watch more skating because of this, but it does underline that social media can have a huge role to play in bringing new people to the sport.

  6. #226

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    Sorry, not to be ignorant but what is post-Whack?
    The whack was in January 1992; Nancy Kerrigan was attacked (whacked on the knee) by thugs associated with Tonya Harding. She was out of Nationals but did make it to the Olympics and medaled. The entire scandal helped increase skating's popularity.

    I would like to see some objective data to show if figure skating audience has declined or not. And I'd want it for the ENTIRE audience, not just broadcast tv. Let's compared to 1992 which is pre-Whack and 20 years ago so a nice round number. This includes:

    1) USFS membership (which I believe is up)
    2) Attendance at Nationals (up according to press releases)
    3) Attendance at Skate America (don't know, about the same or down?)
    4) Attendance at the major local comps like Liberty, Golden West, Skate Detroit (?)
    5) Entries to those competitions (down?)
    6) # of hours on Broadcast TV (I say up or the same; others say down)
    7) # of hours on Cable TV (clearly up as it wasn't on cable in '92)
    8) # of hours streaming on internet (clearly up as internet wasn't commercialized until about 1995-1998)
    9) participation on internet message board and other social media (obviously up since they didn't really exist in '92)
    10) attendance at shows aimed at adults (down)
    11) attendance at shows aimed at kids (about the same?)

    If people have real numbers for these ways of experiencing figure skating, I'd love to see them.
    MacMadame, these are great questions. I just listened to Manleywoman's skatecast on pro skating, and she talked with some of her interviewees about why *they* (all of whom were involved in pro skating at some point) pro skating in particular is so much less popular. Pre-1980s, you had three major shows that toured nearly year round in the US (Ice Follies, Ice Capades, Holiday on Ice). They were well attended and a big family event. I think (but I don't *know* for sure) that the advent of cable TV, the blockbuster movie era (considered to have begun with Jaws and the like in the late 1970s), video games, and the internet later have all provided many additional non-skating show outlets for leisure time. Sure, people have always had other things that they could do besides go to a skating show, but there are SOOOOO many more options now.
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  7. #227

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    I would like to see some objective data to show if figure skating audience has declined or not. And I'd want it for the ENTIRE audience, not just broadcast tv. Let's compared to 1992 which is pre-Whack and 20 years ago so a nice round number.
    Calendar year 1992 compared to 2012? Or 1992-93 skating season compared to 2012-13? Not that it makes much difference. Once you get in to 1994 it would.

    4) Attendance at the major local comps like Liberty, Golden West, Skate Detroit (?)
    5) Entries to those competitions (down?)
    ...
    If people have real numbers for these ways of experiencing figure skating, I'd love to see them.
    I don't have hard data available. Anecdotally, my impression is that there are more clubs and more clubs hosting annual competitions than was the case 20 years ago, and that some long-time events have grown and others shrunk over that time. In many cases specific events that were large 20 years ago are less so now because other events have drawn some of their participants instead.

    See my posts 169 and 175 in this thread.
    I was mainly talking about what has declined since peak participation ~10 years ago. I think the level now is still significantly higher than 20 years ago.

    As for fans (not friends and family members of skaters) attending club competitions, I would imagine that was never much of a factor before the Internet because, as you mentioned earlier, there weren't good ways for the general public to become aware that such events even existed.

    But I'll welcome more concrete facts, or other anecdotal observations, from anyone who has been involved in club competitions longer than I have.

  8. #228

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    I used to force my poor brother to watch figure skating with me during Kwan's heyday. One day I made him watch Yu Na's 2009 Worlds winning performance (it was his first COP program that he saw), and his reaction was "isn't she supposed to dance or something?" Then he said the programs looked like they were just adding skills for points like in one of those skateboarding video games where you keep pressing buttons to do tricks in order to build up points randomly.

  9. #229

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    "dance" is so interesting - I assume that could mean like be artistic or interpret music and of course that is a big complaint with people in the sport and do it every day! Like merging the required technical elements which can take up like every second of a program with individual personal interpretation of music.

    And identifying jumps is so big. People don't. And seeing interviews with people talking about quads is pretty meaningless if you don't even know what a quad means for example. Like quad is like axel or salchow. Figure skating language that is so foreign to so many!

  10. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    The whack was in January 1992; Nancy Kerrigan was attacked (whacked on the knee) by thugs associated with Tonya Harding. She was out of Nationals but did make it to the Olympics and medaled. The entire scandal helped increase skating's popularity.



    MacMadame, these are great questions. I just listened to Manleywoman's skatecast on pro skating, and she talked with some of her interviewees about why *they* (all of whom were involved in pro skating at some point) pro skating in particular is so much less popular. Pre-1980s, you had three major shows that toured nearly year round in the US (Ice Follies, Ice Capades, Holiday on Ice). They were well attended and a big family event. I think (but I don't *know* for sure) that the advent of cable TV, the blockbuster movie era (considered to have begun with Jaws and the like in the late 1970s), video games, and the internet later have all provided many additional non-skating show outlets for leisure time. Sure, people have always had other things that they could do besides go to a skating show, but there are SOOOOO many more options now.
    The whack was in 94.

  11. #231
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    Figure Skating's Popularity Decline In The US

    The "whack" was January 1994, NOT 1992. Tonya (and Nancy) made it to the Olympics in 1992 too without any of the scandal.

    [QUOTE=LilJen;3835588]The whack was in January 1992; Nancy Kerrigan was attacked (whacked on the knee) by thugs associated with Tonya Harding. She was out of Nationals but did make it to the Olympics and medaled. The entire scandal helped increase skating's popularity.

  12. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    I don't have hard data available. Anecdotally, my impression is that there are more clubs and more clubs hosting annual competitions than was the case 20 years ago, and that some long-time events have grown and others shrunk over that time. In many cases specific events that were large 20 years ago are less so now because other events have drawn some of their participants instead.

    See my posts 169 and 175 in this thread.
    I was mainly talking about what has declined since peak participation ~10 years ago. I think the level now is still significantly higher than 20 years ago.

    As for fans (not friends and family members of skaters) attending club competitions, I would imagine that was never much of a factor before the Internet because, as you mentioned earlier, there weren't good ways for the general public to become aware that such events even existed.

    But I'll welcome more concrete facts, or other anecdotal observations, from anyone who has been involved in club competitions longer than I have.
    I also welcome facts. My anecdotal observations match yours. We're definitely down from 10 years ago. But not from 20 years ago. If anything, I think we're up from then and it's because of the internet.

    With club comps, there was a period where the big comps in my area -- Skate St. Moritz, Skate SF, Silicon Valley Open -- were all down in participation. The vendors (of which I was one), were dropping like flies because without skaters (and their families), there was no one to buy our "stuff". I am not a vendor any more but I do volunteer at my club competition and, as far as I can tell, entries are still down because the schedule seems abbreviated compared to what it used to be. I think that's the economy. Parents don't enter their kids in as many comps as they used to in order to save money.

    Another big difference is that we don't see that big post-Olympic spike in interest any more. There are many more rinks and ice surfaces in my area than there was when I moved here in 1994. And they are full year round. But they don't choke with interest the month after the Olympics like they used to. This is probably good for rink owners as a steady influx is easier to manage than a 4 year cycle but it did freak people out the first time it happened.
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