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  1. #141
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    Exactly, what do people miss when figure skating was "popular"? Did you actually see more figure skating? Maybe for Americans (a big one--if you get Universal Sports, then you're living large), television is tough. But with the advent of internet, you can watch almost anything if you want (I rarely do). Canadians have nothing to complain about.
    I don't see this as the point. If the TV numbers continue to decline and the younger demographic does not pay attention, it will be off television as the economics will not work for the TV companies. Same for events. No people in seats, events will be harder and harder to host. These are business realities and FS is in trouble.

  2. #142

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    But didn't NBC just renew their association with figure skating? And TSN/CTV relatively recently signed a 10-year contract to broadcast Canadian Nationals and Skate Canada.

    I don't buy that the Grand Prix will cease to exist, or that Canadian Nationals or US Nationals will drop off the face of the earth. It'll be held...somewhere. If it means places like Kent where the community cared about the event and treated visitors well, then so be it.

  3. #143

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    gkelly, I wasn't thinking of a specific reward in points for music choice but more on judge education regarding said choices, even if I find this close to impossible to implement. The ISU has for more than once tried to incentivize the use of upbeat music and it doesn't necessarily pan out very well with either the fans or the judges.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    And I think some of you are projecting... this "incomprehensible" system is a lot easier to understand than 6.0 where one skater in 2nd place and then a skater skates, is in 4th place but now the 2nd place skater is in 1st place. Or 3rd. Try as hard as you can, the majority of people will NEVER understand that.
    ITA, the current system is very simple, the one who scores more points wins, I don't see how that is alienating.

    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    Exactly, what do people miss when figure skating was "popular"? Did you actually see more figure skating? Maybe for Americans (a big one--if you get Universal Sports, then you're living large), television is tough. But with the advent of internet, you can watch almost anything if you want (I rarely do). Canadians have nothing to complain about.

    Yes, there are fewer cheesefests. I miss the occasional cheesefest.

    If the young people begin loving this sport, what do you expect will happen with coverage of figure skating? I mean, how much surfing is on television?
    Living in Europe, for many years before the internet boom I would only watch Euros and Worlds, it didn't make me less of a fan, I didn't know anything about the skaters except what the commentators said... The possibilities these days are endless but it doesn't mean they are necessarily well used. I think what people miss is the feeling of watching something great and exciting, the feeling they were watching stars, maybe they don't have that now.

    There are dedicated surfing channels out there, the main difference IMO is the sponsorship opportunities the surfers have, it keeps them longer in the sport, it gets more people to practice the sport because they see a better chance of getting somewhere with it, it creates more stars. Younger audiences will bring more sponsors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    Well, this would only be my top of head thoughts. What would be interesting would be to survey focus groups of fans, casual and committed to find out what draws them to the sport. But for starters, its one of the very few sports that combines athletics and artistry. This has the capacity for reaching the fans emotionally in a way that is different to other sports. Then it would require thoughts as to how to capitalize but it is certainly there. Another, at least in North America, is the largely female fan base. This allows a different approach to marketing compared to a hockey. Again, in North America, with all the attention around head injuries in contact sports, there is the ability to promote the lack of violence - yes I realize injuries happen but I haven't seen a figure skating event where there is a bench clearing brawl. There is the capacity to capitalize on the glamour aspect of the sport. This needs care to not be elitist but could be done. With changes to the execution of events, there would be possibilities of drawing families but this requires format changes as currently its too boring. I'm sure there are more and people smarter than I could figure them out and how to capitalize but its a start at least.
    I suspect the fanbase is largely female everywhere You touch a good point which is the emotional side of it, this is precisely what I think has been declining in recent years, people's ability to feel emotionally attached to the skaters and I frankly don't see any actions in place that would help curb this.
    I agree the current format of events can be boring, but at the moment my imagination isn't giving me a better one...

    Of course US and canadian Nationals will be held somewhere, the difference is that maybe the federations won't be able to support their programs as well as they do now, in a sport where people already complain about funding and that is expensive it can be problematic.

  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    But didn't NBC just renew their association with figure skating? And TSN/CTV relatively recently signed a 10-year contract to broadcast Canadian Nationals and Skate Canada.

    I don't buy that the Grand Prix will cease to exist, or that Canadian Nationals or US Nationals will drop off the face of the earth. It'll be held...somewhere. If it means places like Kent where the community cared about the event and treated visitors well, then so be it.
    Yes this is true on the TV. But this does not mean the contracts wouldn't be terminated if the network loses money. I'm sorry but if you aren't growing, you are dying and currently the sport is not growing. If you feel a nationals that is a small event is ok, so be it. But I think that would impact the number of kids learning to skate, the qualify of programming, the quality of events etc. etc. And never be so sure the GP couldn't cease to exist. If it loses money, eventually it will cease to exist.

  5. #145

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    And never be so sure the GP couldn't cease to exist. If it loses money, eventually it will cease to exist.
    Exactly.
    The FIG has a World Cup series for the different flavours of gymnastics, there have been years where there is none for Acrobatic Gymnastics because no one applies to host them for lack of funding, it has even happened with World Championships. Following a sport that is truly lacking in funds is a real eye opener, the decline of interest shouldn't been taken lightly by the federations.

  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    His comment was in apparent reference to this claim by BR: Since hers was the only post to reference Olympic viewership, that's the only way manhn's post makes sense.

    And in that context, he's refuting the declining viewership of the Olympics.
    No, he refuted that there was a continuous downward trend by showing an upward trend from Torino.


    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I posted stats indicating that viewership is indeed down--including Vancouver. I also cited stats regarding the men's competition. And the women's competition. On non-championship days, it lost out to other shows (namely American Idol). It won on championship days, but it didn't go up against the finale of American Idol on those days either.
    You made a statement about Men. He refuted it with a stat on the Men's FS to show that your statement wasn't the case uniformly about Men. If his stat shows that Men's FS was No. 1 in that slot, it seems to be that it beat everything that was on in that slot.

    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    And overall, Olympic tv ratings aren't what they used to be--nowhere close.
    He never claimed they were.
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  7. #147

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeperryfan View Post
    ITA, the current system is very simple, the one who scores more points wins, I don't see how that is alienating.
    That is a very simplistic view of the current scoring system, and I wish it was that simple ... BUT, what seems to be mystifying the general public is HOW points are earned and for WHAT. That can't be explained in a single sentence. The truth is, with the levels and grades of execution mixed in there, it can make what the lay-person sees and what the score turns out to be two very different things. On this site, we frequently debate a score before we see the protocols. And then, after seeing the protocols, we realize 3 jumps were downgraded. You really do have to have some fanatic (in the best sense of the word) or vested interest in figure skating to truly understand why X skate gets Y score.

    We, as fans, have gotten better at the scoring system over time. Most folks simply don't have the time or inclination to "learn" that much about the sport. Accordingly, the sport is not accessible to many people and the fanbase consists of a small niche group of fans that I really don't see expanding without some freak event (e.g., Harding/Kerrigan).

    O-

  8. #148

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    Quote Originally Posted by OliviaPug View Post
    That is a very simplistic view of the current scoring system, and I wish it was that simple ... BUT, what seems to be mystifying the general public is HOW points are earned and for WHAT
    In the end what matters is the total points, it's simplistic but true, what puzzles me is people saying they don't understand how points are earned, was it that clear to them how ordinals were lost before? My point being that in order to watch and get some adrenaline from competition one doesn't need to understand every single detail...and that they are probably complaining about something they didn't have before either, but you are right that people complain about that.

  9. #149

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    Quote Originally Posted by OliviaPug View Post
    BUT, what seems to be mystifying the general public is HOW points are earned and for WHAT. That can't be explained in a single sentence. The truth is, with the levels and grades of execution mixed in there, it can make what the lay-person sees and what the score turns out to be two very different things. On this site, we frequently debate a score before we see the protocols. And then, after seeing the protocols, we realize 3 jumps were downgraded. You really do have to have some fanatic (in the best sense of the word) or vested interest in figure skating to truly understand why X skate gets Y score.
    However, this was often true under 6.0 as well.

    Occasionally commentators would go back and analyze performances after the fact to try to explain results that seemed counterintuitive in the heat of the moment. This was often educational, but too little too late for viewers who had already turned off the TV disgusted with the results.

    All too often the results were dismissed as resulting from politics or clueless judges, especially when the commentators were actively in favor of the skater who didn't win and couldn't believe anyone could honestly arrive at a different opinion than their own.

    And sometimes undoubtedly politics did play a part. But commentators never discussed that when their favorites won.

  10. #150
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    It's fairly easy to explain how points are earned: for technical elements, like jumps, lifts, spins, steps, they are ranked in the order of difficulty, with the more difficult elements starting with a higher base score. The judges rate the quality of the elements, which is added or subtracted from the starting base score. For presentation, the judges rate the quality of five categories over the entire program on a scale of 1-10. The scores are totalled, and whoever has the most points at the end of both programs, wins.

    If they want to get fancy, they could explain there are limits to the number of times a skater can repeat elements or do the same type of elements, and that there are specific requirements/limits in the two programs.

    If they wanted to make analogies to other sports, they could say that in gymnastics, a single difficulty score is added to a single quality score, whereas in skating these are added for each element, or the base score is similar to the degree of difficulty in diving.
    Last edited by kwanfan1818; 02-06-2013 at 06:33 PM.
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  11. #151

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    People complain about everything!

    The motivation just isn't there for most folks to try to understand the scoring system, such that it is. And, as far as 6.0 was concerned, we as fs fans know that there was a mystifying element to that as well, but the average, lay-viewer simply equated a good program to landing most of the jumps (since all that was ever televised was the second to last or last group of skaters -- the best of the best). And the scores usually reflected that.

    O-

  12. #152

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    Assuming that we're talking specifically about popularity of figure skating as a spectator sport in the US, I think we have three different stakeholders with different interests:

    NBC (or whichever networks have the rights to broadcast elite skating competitions)
    US Figure Skating
    the ISU

    NBC just wants to get people to tune into their broadcasts -- they have no vested interest in promoting skating as a sport; focusing on scandals and personalities probably serves their interests better -- they certainly have no interest in getting casual viewers to travel to competitions instead of watching on TV or to take up skating themselves. If anything, the network would prefer that the fans are home watching their sitcoms or reality shows than out being active at a rink.

    The ISU needs to balance the needs of different federations from countries with different media models and viewer demographics against the demands of the IOC for greater objectivity and sporting accountability, and the needs of international skaters from weak JGP entrants (or lower, at least within Europe) to world champions. But among other needs, they also benefit from the sport being popular enough with viewers in wealthy countries such as the US to attract lucrative broadcast deals.

    US Figure Skating benefits from broadcast contracts for US events including Nationals and Skate America. They would also benefit from turning more casual viewers into enthusiastic fans and/or participants.

    Therefore I think it might behoove them to produce ads, to be run during the NBC broadcasts that would invite interested viewers to get more involved than just sitting on the couch watching a broadcast.

    In place of the generic ads identifying USFS as the US governing body for figure skating by showing young beginners and familiar champions, during Nationals (in January, which they have already designated as National Skating Month), they could also have something that encourages viewers with a rink nearby to get involved in National Skating Month activities and other beginner lessons (and maybe beyond) at other times of year. Other brief spots directing viewers to IceNetwork and to the USFS website where they can look up protocols and more detailed rules and explanations and watch additional videos and learn where to purchase tickets for next year's Nationals or other elite events or how to find live competitions close to home of high enough level to be of interest to interested fans. Just 10-30 seconds at a time.

    Most casual viewers don't want more than to be entertained for a couple of hours by human drama and the athletic and artistic aspects of what the TV shows the skaters doing on the ice. But those who love it and want more would benefit from being given a clue where to find more.

  13. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Viewers would also need to know that the element probably won't receive exactly the base mark because of positive or negative GOE, which will be added to/subtracted from the finalized base mark later.
    What I would like to see is the elements as they are called, the total TES score as it adds up, a mark by any element that will be reviewed, and then if at least 75% of the judges have put in GOE and the average is between 1 and 1.99, a +, ++ if it's between 2 & 2.9, - for -1 to -1.99, etc.

    The thing is, before we had CoP, some of us who tend to get overfocused on details (of which I am definitely one) were always going on about how figure skating could never go to CoP because how could you decide how many points this complicated spin got over that complicated spin (the explanation was a lot longer, of course). Then CoP came out and it had levels and I went It was a big lesson to me that I tend to over-complicate things and that it doesn't have to be that complicated and can still be relatively accurate.

    So, yes, sometimes if you are calling elements, later the call will be reversed. And sometimes a skater will do 3 jumps in a row and by the time they all flash on the screen you will miss the first 1 or 2. But most of the time that doesn't happen. So most of the time having a running total of TES without GOE modification and the upcoming planned element and the just completed element will work just fine. And it will be a lot more info that we have now.

    Plus, it will, hopefully, help the commentators. Because if NBC is showing a possible TES of 55 and the score comes up as 45 or 65, then they have some explaining to do. And that's when they can talk about GOE and under-rotation calls and the like. Really, all they have to do is say something like "their base TES was 55 but with all those reviews and the quality issues we saw, I bet they get some deductions" and what audience member couldn't understand that? It's really not that complicated. Or for someone like Patrick Chan, they could say "the base TES was 55, but with the quality of his skating, I bet he gets a huge bonus via GOE". Again, not complicated.

    This is the sort of thing commentators in other sports do all the time without the world ending. Seriously, I sometimes watch sports I don't normally follow when I'm bored and nothing else is on tv and some commentators do a very good job of explaining what is going on to people who don't know all the rules. I don't think this is so impossible to do for figure skating. It's clearly impossible for some commentators. But not for good ones. Or even just average ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Commentators can certainly do a better job of making viewers aware of how all this works.
    well, yeah.

    Quote Originally Posted by OliviaPug View Post
    The motivation just isn't there for most folks to try to understand the scoring system, such that it is. And, as far as 6.0 was concerned, we as fs fans know that there was a mystifying element to that as well, but the average, lay-viewer simply equated a good program to landing most of the jumps (since all that was ever televised was the second to last or last group of skaters -- the best of the best). And the scores usually reflected that. -
    As they do today.
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  14. #154

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    I think you would find with most casual viewers, they really could not rats about how the result is achieved, they just want a result to be fair. I know during the last Olympics most people just watched the skating, enjoyed it and really didn't care about the result. Even fellow skaters at my rink didn't look too closely at how the results were achieved. It is the figure skating fans who mull over the detail and want to analysis everything to the endth degree.

    At the end of the day, it is a system that is designed to produce a result and endeavours to make sure the best skater wins. It might have a complicated way of getting there. But it really is that simple.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    kwanfan1818, you need to do a seminar and require Scott & Sandra to attend and take the test afterwards!

    Honestly, they alienate viewers when they don't bother to concern themselves with the basics that you point out above of the "new" judging system that is well over 10 years old- not new at all anymore. I know Tracy Wilson attempts to do a little of this, but the commentators are doing the viewers a disservice by not having a firm understanding of what they are watching. If they refuse to learn it, why should viewers care, or watch figure skating?

  16. #156

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    Quote Originally Posted by isamelia View Post
    kwanfan1818, you need to do a seminar and require Scott & Sandra to attend and take the test afterwards!

    Honestly, they alienate viewers when they don't bother to concern themselves with the basics that you point out above of the "new" judging system that is well over 10 years old- not new at all anymore. I know Tracy Wilson attempts to do a little of this, but the commentators are doing the viewers a disservice by not having a firm understanding of what they are watching. If they refuse to learn it, why should viewers care, or watch figure skating?
    You've hit the nail on the head. I only really started paying attention to skating during the 2006 Olympics, but had no problem picking up how the scoring system worked, because the BBC commentators explained things in a simple, straightforward manner. When I listen to US commentators however... no wonder the popularity of the sport is declining there, there's nothing that can help the casual viewer, and equally nothing to interest the more committed fan because there's no technical analysis. It's really not a complicated system to explain - kwanfan1818's paragraph was perfect, maybe add a sentence for each event saying something like "for the Short Dance, a score over 65 is very good and over 70 is among the best in the world" to give the scores some context. That Dick Button can get away with admitting that he doesn't understand the new system as he did in that article linked earlier in the thread blows my mind. If you can't be bothered to understand it, you don't deserve a position in the media covering the sport.

  17. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    I think you would find with most casual viewers, they really could not rats about how the result is achieved, they just want a result to be fair. I know during the last Olympics most people just watched the skating, enjoyed it and really didn't care about the result.
    Australia didn't have much skin in the game, though: Cheltzie Lee was the only participant, and she wasn't in the running for a medal. Viewers in Australia either had to like figure skating in general or specific other skaters to watch. That the Men's Olympic FS got as high ratings as they did in the US suggests that having a medal contender gets more people interested than they normally would be (and that the Super Bowl wasn't on at the same time).

    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Assuming that we're talking specifically about popularity of figure skating as a spectator sport in the US, I think we have three different stakeholders with different interests:

    NBC (or whichever networks have the rights to broadcast elite skating competitions)
    US Figure Skating
    the ISU
    That's TV spectator. The other group of stakeholder spectators are those who go to live competitions -- US qualifiers, US Nationals, early season competitions, Skate America, and any championship in the US -- and to a smaller extent in Canada. Then you have the stakeholders who have more financial interest than probably the USFS itself: the parents and older skaters who pour their life savings into the hole that is known as the ice rink. USFS provides the shell, but the bigger millions spent by parents/skaters provide the product and keep the coaches, rinks, equipment manufacturers, etc. in business, without which USFS or US TV would have any product.

    If it is a given that the butts on sofas that US TV is counting to do its cost/benefit analysis are bunches of older women, and that the chances of capturing the attention of the young, male demographic that is key to advertisers in a cost-effective way is slim-to-none, then yes, TV will cater to those audiences. They also wouldn't be the first to skew commentary towards entertainment, nostalgia, and/or to the audience's disinterest in/hostility to change or to dumb down content. What do they lose at most, 2000 people who are so disgusted with their coverage that they'll skip it altogether and watch international coverage on the Internet or download better quality videos from FS Vids?

    hence:

    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    NBC just wants to get people to tune into their broadcasts -- they have no vested interest in promoting skating as a sport; focusing on scandals and personalities probably serves their interests better -- they certainly have no interest in getting casual viewers to travel to competitions instead of watching on TV or to take up skating themselves. If anything, the network would prefer that the fans are home watching their sitcoms or reality shows than out being active at a rink.
    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    The ISU needs to balance the needs of different federations from countries with different media models and viewer demographics against the demands of the IOC for greater objectivity and sporting accountability, and the needs of international skaters from weak JGP entrants (or lower, at least within Europe) to world champions. But among other needs, they also benefit from the sport being popular enough with viewers in wealthy countries such as the US to attract lucrative broadcast deals.
    They'll certain take it any way they can get it, even though interest in the US doesn't approach the level of lucrativeness as it once did. I remember reading an article here talking about Sale and Pelletier, saying that by 2002, the peak was already over, although S/P benefited from the tail end. Since they competed exclusively under 6.0 (OBO), it was already over before CoP reared its head. Eight years isn't a very long peak, assuming 1994 was the start of the boom, and although there were TV contracts in place that extended past the peak, the ISU knew long before going into the post-big TV contracts that the money wouldn't be there going forward. I don't know if the ISU did anything specific to support it, or if they lucked into an emerging Asian market, but they certainly lucked into the resurgence of skating in Russia, both post a downtime after the economic upheavals after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the opportunities sought and granted after lucrative NA tours dried up.

    The question is, what does the money buy? More live coverage, even when the event starts at 11pm or 4am ET? More international coverage? Does the casual watcher care, or is s/he happy to watch something else? I know a lot of people who won't watch skating on the computer, but most die-hard fans will, if FSU is any indication. If US TV isn't the financial backbone of the ISU anymore, and other markets are, even if to a lesser degree, what is the problem? Surely the Asian and Russian markets don't care about the state of US skating: there are plenty of skaters to watch from all over.

    If Figure Skating is a niche sport and less popular in the US, what is the problem? People in the US competed in figure skating long before there was anything other than a live audience. They competed during the Depression. That elite skating in the US was, on the whole, a wealthy (or comfortable) person's sport, hasn't changed all that much. There has never been a nationally supported and sanctioned practice of finding athletes when young, subsidizing their training, and giving incentives to parents to send their kids away (good apartments, job security, acceptance of family members into university), like in Soviet Times, nor is there now a program for paying for training, housing, and conditioning costs of the most elite athletes, alleviating the massive parental contributions when the skaters make it, like in current-day Russia.

    It's not like USFS took TV money when it was rolling and tried?/was able to change the economics of skating. USFS, just like Skate Canada, depends on parents spending thousands of dollars a year until those thousands turn into tens of thousands, and if they aren't wealthy, taking extra jobs, diverting family funds from their retirement and other children, mortgaging and re-mortgaging their houses, etc. to support it, aside from the lucky few skaters who have wealthy individual sponsors. Even though the popularity of skating has taken a dive, has the number of competitors gone down significantly? Do the USFS-sponsored grassroots skating programs really bring in that many more kids who wouldn't have learned to skate otherwise, maybe in the beginning skating programs in the rinks? If lack of popularity hurts adult skaters or recreational skaters, the average TV viewer doesn't care.

    As far as the GP going away, it could, but that is a factor of several resources needing to go dry: 1. The ISU, which pays prize money, the judges' travel costs and stipends (or does the sponsoring Fed pay this?), official travel for ISU officials, and I assume some administrative overhead 2. The sponsoring Federation, which pays for the skaters' travel and accommodations, 3. The event organizer. Most of the GP events have corporate sponsors (or who have on and off historically.) I don't know if the Federations subsidize the event organizer's expenses (if the Federation is not the event organizer). The ISU could continue to reduce prize money, because it's still money the top athletes need, and their travel expenses are paid, which is still more than internationals, which don't pay expenses and for which there is no prize money.

    Some of the GP events were stand-alone events before the GP existed. Were the ISU to disband the GP and only hold championships, it's possible at least some of these events would continue to be held as stand-alone events once again.

    Also, about commentating, when people complain that someone who falls gets any credit at all, since the jump failed, the analogy is diving, where almost every dive at the elite level gets points, even when the diver hits his head on the diving board or does crash landing, as long as it's not feet first. Greg Louganis got points after hitting his head and landing on his back on one dive (and then did the highest-scoring dive in the prelims on his next dive). Because it's cumulative.
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    There are dedicated surfing channels out there, the main difference IMO is the sponsorship opportunities the surfers have, it keeps them longer in the sport, it gets more people to practice the sport because they see a better chance of getting somewhere with it, it creates more stars. Younger audiences will bring more sponsors.
    But in the good ol days when figure skating was popular, we had skaters like Oksana Baiul and Ilia Kulik and Tara Lipinksi promptly leaving competition and turning professional (which I have no problems with, BTW). Now, people can't pay skaters like Fumie, Lysacek, Weir, Plushenko, and a Chinese skater to go away. I mean, Sandhu even came back!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    Australia didn't have much skin in the game, though: Cheltzie Lee was the only participant, and she wasn't in the running for a medal. Viewers in Australia either had to like figure skating in general or specific other skaters to watch. That the Men's Olympic FS got as high ratings as they did in the US suggests that having a medal contender gets more people interested than they normally would be (and that the Super Bowl wasn't on at the same time).
    Well the only time the free to air network in Australia actually showed any of the Winter Olympics live was when there was a potential medal winner (Aerial skiing for example). The rest of it was delayed broadcast and even then it was pretty shoddy. Although they were absolutely fascinated by Johnny Weir and promoted him to the hilt. Although that was after a couple of the hosts of the broadcaster made disparaging comments about him being gay and received a lot of criticism for it so it was kind of an apology for making fun of him. They even got him to do Olympics fashion commentary. Which one day I must upload so others can see it because it was really funny.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by morqet View Post
    I only really started paying attention to skating during the 2006 Olympics, but had no problem picking up how the scoring system worked, because the BBC commentators explained things in a simple, straightforward manner. When I listen to US commentators however... no wonder the popularity of the sport is declining there, there's nothing that can help the casual viewer, and equally nothing to interest the more committed fan because there's no technical analysis. [...] That Dick Button can get away with admitting that he doesn't understand the new system as he did in that article linked earlier in the thread blows my mind. If you can't be bothered to understand it, you don't deserve a position in the media covering the sport.
    I read many of you saying that you love watching bold coverage, and I've always wondered how.

    I understand the travesty of a bad coverage (I once heard "What a great beam that would have been, if not for that scary fall", about a Rulfova), but a good commentator adds to it, in my opionion.

    I know a former skater, expert coach, a lifetime on the ice, that tunes on a specific channel to hear a specific commentator. Of course the coach doesn't need help understanding the competition, but the commentator is able to add to the event.

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