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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    Now you understand why the U.S. skating community is so hell-bent on Gracie Gold winning this year's Worlds, to set the stage for (hopefully) a big pay-off at Sochi. If Gracie wins the traditional Gold (not the Team Gold) in Sochi, then post-Olympics ratings for skating in the USA will go through the roof. Ashley also could do it...but Goldie has the long legs to get more product endorsements and sell more magazines.
    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" .

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by carriecmu0503 View Post
    Obviously I know that, Peter! The person who wrote the thread was speaking about the popularity of figure skating in the US, and studies conducted in the US.
    My post had nothing to do with your post. I would have quoted you if that was the case. My post was in response to the original poster who is either lazy in regards to naming his/her thread, or is someone who does think that the USA is the center of the universe. To name a thread (only) as "Figure Skating's Popularity Decline" might make one look like quite an a** in Japan, Korea and who knows how many other countries.

    Quote Originally Posted by carriecmu0503 View Post
    I think that's a great question. Look at dance in the US. Why the US public doesn't seem to embrace the likes of Tanith and Ben and Meryl and Charlie is beyond me. Heck, Evan won the last Olympics, and not even that was enough to recapture a US audience.
    I was so disappointed to see how empty the building was during Davis and White's SD at US Nationals. They could very well be Olympic champions in less than a year. When Tracy Wilson mentioned they were skating to a polka, I couldn't help but think "yawnfest"!!! But darned if it wasn't a wondrous program. The place should have been packed to see it live.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    I was so disappointed to see how empty the building was during Davis and White's SD at US Nationals.
    Sure, but that half-full arena represented the entire population of Nebraska.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    I think we need a hit TV show about a crime-fighting adult figure skater, .....Then there could be occasional guest appearances by elite skaters
    Brilliant idea!
    Call the hit show 'Ice Angels' starring Gracie Gold, Meryl Davis and Marissa Castelli, with Jeremy Abbot as 'Charlie'.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by heckles View Post
    Sure, but that half-full arena represented the entire population of Nebraska.
    I am sure I read that Nebraska does indeed have an airport however. Are my sources wrong??
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    I think when we are comparing the popularity of watching figure skating in the U.S. with other sports we should particularly focus on the other sports that are performed to music, where each competitor wears his/her own unique costume, where sparkles are common, and where the performances often tell a story.
    Might not. The reason you don't get Ohio Star Ball on PBS any more is they lost funding as there weren't good enough ratings. (All right, mostly ballroom doesn't tell a story, and it's probably more confusing as multiple couples are on the floor at once, but there is music and there are lots of sparkles....) DTWS is crap dancing in general, but people like it because they already know the 'stars.' And gymnastics is harder to find on TV than figure skating!

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    I am sure I read that Nebraska does indeed have an airport however. Are my sources wrong??
    I was supposed to meet a friend at Nationals, then I looked at the cost. I was seriously taken aback by the price of tickets, and my FSU friend and I would for years buy the cheapest and work our way down. I just want to cut through the bs and buy the good tickets and enjoy my seat and go from there. I thought tickets were crazy. Then airfare and hotel, since I only wanted to be in the host hotel since alot of fun stuff happens with that...., and I just thought, shit I could go to Paris or the 'real' London on this, and not some bs in Nebraska. So I ended up not going. Plus I still haven't been to a competition since CapnCrunch died and there was still some bittersweet feelings there.

    I do think these tickets need to be cheaper. I get it, airfare sucks, but do I want to spend hundreds upon hundreds to have a good seat that will NEVER be filled? Nope. Not anymore.

  8. #48

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    Well, I'll compare figure skating with DWTS. In terms of amount of coverage, DWTS is really only 3 hours per week with a lot of filler and fluff pieces. And the west coast *still* doesn't get to see it live. I don't see why we want figure skating covered like DWTS.

    In terms of costs, unless Skate Canada is right next to my condo or is in a location that appeals to me or I become an uber of a Canadian skater (and you'll know when I uber), I will try to make Skate America an annual thing. Flying anywhere in the US from Seattle is almost always cheaper than flying from Vancouver to some other Canadian city. And SA tickets are darn cheap. SA is great value for a lot of skating fans.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    I'm American and I also think the thread title should have included "in the U.S." This forum is international and so it's not uncommon to see complaints almost every time a thread title does not specify the U.S. and assumes people should.
    I agree absolutely. The popularity might be declining in the US for myriads of reasons, but no way is it a global phenomenon. The title misleads people to assume that.
    Can't anyone else edit the title i/o the thread poster

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    FYI, there are five or six other countries on the planet other than the U.S.A. Maybe even eight!
    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.

  11. #51

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    Skating has lost some popularity in all the Western countries.

    Ask Australians on here, and I believe they will tell you skating enthusiasm has dwindled there. It wasn't always like that. Even is a summer sport country like Australia, skating had a serious following. I don't know if this is true now, and it looks like only a few can afford to train for the top levels there anymore.

    The skaters we've seen from Britain over the past fifteen years lead me to ask: Is popular support for skating in the Queen's islands almost dead? It was less than 20 years ago that the UK experienced power outages during the Olympic free dance final because so many Britons who were watching Torvil and Dean simultaneously went to their stoves to warm a pot of tea to calm their nerves down. The sport hopefully retains flickers of this excitement--and pride since the UK invented ice dance as a social activity and a sport-- but it seems dormant as of late.

    I also think in Europe, skating is considered less newsworthy than in past decades. I think in France skating remains beloved, but I could be wrong.

    I don't know what the trends are in Canada and Russia, but the sport seems at least more popular there than in the United States.

    It's nice to see the Baltic countries, the Czech and Slovak Republics, along with Poland and perhaps Hungary continue to field athletes who are notable at Europeans and Worlds. I don't know how popular the sport generally is perceived to be in those central European and former communist nations.

    Japan, Korea, and China seem to be the promising areas. It would be great for Chinese interest if they get in some singles skaters, like Lu Chen, who are competitive. The Asian countries seem to have a long, long way to go before they are good at dance.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 02-02-2013 at 09:31 AM.

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    ..... The increased emphasis on tricks has turned it into a child sport for either children or physically child-like adults. A lot of adults just don't identify with the skaters they see on tv and adults are the ones spending the money and the ones that sponsors go after.
    Yes, and the increasing difficulty emphasis is resulting in more injured skaters who miss seasons, can't sustain their level of excellence, and/or retire before they have peaked and lose fans as a result.

  13. #53
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    [QUOTE=TheIronLady;3824046]Skating has lost some popularity in all the Western countries.

    Although here in Italy soccer reigns supreme and ice skating is certainly not the sport of the masses, it nevertheless gets quite good coverage on TV. At least the big competitions like Europeans, GPF, 4CC, worlds. The Italians have decent skaters in 3 disciplines of 4 and I guess having the home team to root for counts quite a bit. There are also quite a few shows like the Opera on Ice, Golden Skate Awards, Christmas Gala etc all of which get televised sooner or later. And any show that features Plushenko is sold out. In 2012 he must have been in Italy for at least 10-12 different shows. So I would say that in Italy skating is quite popular.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    The increased emphasis on tricks has turned it into a child sport for either children or physically child-like adults. A lot of adults just don't identify with the skaters they see on tv and adults are the ones spending the money and the ones that sponsors go after.
    I'm not sure what athletes can standard adults identify with, though. Any athlete at top levels is by definition a non standardly built person.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    I am sure I read that Nebraska does indeed have an airport however. Are my sources wrong??
    Isn't the airport actually in Iowa?

  16. #56
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    I don't believe figure skating's popularity is declining even in the US. I believe it was declining but at some point it hit stasis and is now holding steady by most measures of popularity.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

  17. #57
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    Your post lists a lot of contributing factors to the decline of skating viewership in the US, but this particular statement is only half right.

    US Figure Skating "Cheese Fests." These were largely made to capitalize on the popularity of Michelle Kwan, but didn't do much to lend to skating's image and validity as a "real" sport.
    The cheese fests that so overpopulated the US TV airwaves arose post-94 and didn't have much to do with Michelle Kwan. That year, the CBS network lost their contract to broadcast National Football League games on Sunday afternoons, so hit on the notion of counter-programming with figure skating. So every week there was another made-for-TV competition for pro skaters, mostly featuring Kerrigan and Baiul, with fairly inexplicable judging and eventually even audience voting. Add to that the usual pro events and some other new ones capitalizing on the boom and there was total saturation. The best of the pro skaters were flying around the country competing somewhere almost every weekend. Even the skaters could not keep them straight and came to not much care who won (except for Landover/World Pros). Eventually even the USFS got into the act and added a couple cheesefest-style competitions a year. (These would have been the only ones with Kwan back then.) By about 97 or 98, the boom was starting to fade, but pro skating was still getting better TV ratings than ISU competitions here. It was Speedy's annoyance that World Pros outdrew Worlds that year that caused the ISU to go on a mission to kill pro skating.

    I still think that the demise of the pro events, with no technical rules giving us more interesting, varied, creative and artistic programs has been a large factor in the decline of skating's popularity here overall. While the popularity star skaters achieved during their ISU competition years and the attention from the 94 Olympic season fed the popularity of the pro skating events, it was the popularity of these events that in turn drove interest in skating as a whole, helping viewership of the ISU events. The death of pro and show skating and skating TV specials in the US has, in turn, caused interest is skating as a whole to dwindle. (It's the "rising tide raises all boats" principle - the popularity of one fed the other, but without both healthy, the level was going to fall.

    It did not help that the US produced no real Scott-Dorothy-Peggy-Kristi-BrianB level stars for this circuit (in spite of some OGMs) and that Kwan and some others chose to spend their whole careers in ISU competitions rather than adding their luster and new energy to pro events. Lots of factors worked together, but part of the decline is simply that skating's popularity here in the mid 90s was a bubble that was going to burst sooner or later.

    The real problem is not just that it fell, but that it has fallen even below the pre-94 level of interest. (Actually I think it is probably even down to the pre-88 level.) That is where you have to look back at ISU for failing to fuel the system.

    I guess folks from other countries are asking why we think this topic is important. The answer is money. While skating enjoys great popularity in Russia and reached new heights in some Asian countries and maybe elsewhere, none of that makes up for the revenues the ISU looses from the US TV contract.

    For folks who have been watching skating for 25 years or more, I think it is probably also fair to say the entertainment value of ISU skating events has declined a lot in the last decade. The non-intuitive scoring produces results that look even more wrong than back when they were determined by protocols and judging deals. Changes in choreography and poor music choices driven by COP requirements and what it rewards and penalizes has caused skating to loose a lot of it's grace and elegance and, frankly, its watchability for me.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by dewey View Post
    Isn't the airport actually in Iowa?
    Hmm. I dunno. But I checked a map and Texas is just a few inches below Nebraska. Maybe there's a shuttle??

    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.
    Oops, sorry about that. I did not mean to imply that Canada was a real country. There are so many countries that are bigger and more important. Sorry again!
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  19. #59

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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.

  20. #60
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    It is good to hear that other countries are experiencing increasing popularity with the sport!

    With North America (and I'll group the U.S. in there as key) I think the huge ratings after the Kerrigan fiasco led to gaining new fans but also lost a lot of fans when the scandals hit. I know that I lost interest for a number of years and have only slowly come back. As well I agree that people got sick of the contrived competition in the show skating .. pretty fixed right from the beginning!).

    In the U.S. it's huge that there isn't a woman star. There always has been but not anymore. Why is that? Is it that the women have had trouble adapting to the new requirements in the programs? Are the technical requirements too demanding and difficult now that it makes it impossible for a star to emerge? They used to pump them out year after year.

    And one thing that I think overall is more minor but in the "old" days you could tune to NBC or CBC and watch skating. Now sometimes it's on satellite and at odd hours. Likely it's a lot cheaper to broadcast this way but it might be at the expense of the viewers or the casual skating fan who doesn't think to do the work to find out what hour, week or month a competition is being broadcast.

    As for the galas - yes I agree with whoever posted that there doesn't seem to be a lot of effort put ino the galas anymore. That's why I don't do SOI .. perhaps one reason for the skaters is the technical requirements leave not much time to practice exhibitions.

    And yes the new judging system is hard to follow although I like it and prefer the technical requirements especially in dance now. I used to watch dance and think wtf? what is that? lol

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