I will say, I recorded the CBC coverage of Skate America on Saturday as it conflicted with the CTV coverage of Skate Canada. After watching CTV / Tracy, the CBC analysis with Lane was very weak and amateurish. Maybe in time and with training, Lane will improve - but I don't think it will happen in 100 days and in time for the Olympics. If I was the CBC, I'd want the best broadcasting team available for an event as important as the Olympics. Also, I think the ice dance competition for Olympic gold will be so tight between V/M and D/W that the ice dance analysis will need to be top-notch. When it's the Olympic games, doesn't skating viewership expand to include 'the average Joe' who doesn't have the knowledge of a skating fan. With V/M in the running for a second Olympic gold I think the Canadian public will be following, as they will be following all the Canadian athletes. Should V/M not win with no obvious mistakes..I would think the CBC would want a tried and true broadcaster to breakdown the "why's".
I liked Lane's commentary. Shrug. If Johnny Weir said something like "bubbly champagne", people would be saying how oh-so irreverent Mr. Weir was. I liked what she had to say about the Shibs and C&L.
That said, Carol Lane has virtually no star power in Canada and am surprised they added her in an Olympic year. In 2010, CTV used Jamie and David for pairs, David and Liz for Men, Victor and Jennifer for Dance, and Jennifer and Liz for Ladies. I think pairing Kurt with S&P for pairs, then Elvis(!) for Men, then Victor for Dance and Jennifer for Ladies would be awesome, awesome, awesome.
I will say that Kurt is a terrific commentator. I love it when he is really enthusiastic about a skater or their performance.
Has CBC confirmed Lane for the Olympics or just the pre-season competitions? Kurt alone couldn't possibly be any worse than CTV's crew in Vancouver - Victor Kraatz was really disappointing, especially for someone who is multi-lingual. I think Kurt understands ice dance pretty well but since it's Tracy's forte he didn't offer analysis. I'm sure that he would discuss the finer points with her in advance of any competitions and study up on it. Sometimes it's worse having a third person in the booth.
On behalf of figure skating fans across America, I would like to offer Scott Hamilton, free of charge, to any country who will take him. Please - before the Olympics - give this grunting dude commentator a new home!
Charlie has taught me so much about positivity and your outlook on life, and that it’s your choice in the way you see the world and the way you react to situations. ~Sharna Burgess
I've never understood why people don't want commentators who work with active skaters. I think it's an advantage as they can provide information we wouldn't get otherwise, and it adds to their expertise as they are up to date on what's going on in the sport. (Unlike Scott Hamilton for example who seems very dated). They are professionals who often work with skaters who are competing against each other - I don't see why they can't comment on them as well.
I'm willing to give Carol Lane a chance for now - we'll see how she progresses through the Grand Prix season.
What about Marie-France? She commentates for RDS but SRC will probably be using Alain et al (will SRC be showing the Olympics?). Her English is good. And she has further public goodwill through her BOTB appearances.
But she is coaching...
Robinson called V/M's FD "exquisite, just exquisite". I think the entire newbie broadcasting team was told to keep comment to a minimum and they all took it way too seriously!
I'd love for Jeff Buttle to do some. He's done the live commentary those there in person at some events, and he's also adorable when he interviews. His post LP interview with Chan at Skate Canada was hilarious (though that could also be because Chan was pretty adorable in it too). But Jeff knows about the technical aspects and could explain how skaters are getting certain marks - he was a pro at milking the system, and he choreographs to milk it as well. And he's just a good public speaker as well.
I have some huge worries about dance. We really need a knowledgeable person who is very specialized in knowing dance levels. I agree that Tracy is head and shoulders above anyone else but if she is going to be often unavailable for the big events then Canada has to develop at least someone else. Time is a ticking - this Olympics it will be close between 1 & 2 and then 3 - 5 or 6. I, too, remember Victor K. as almost mute. I don't want them to chat all the way through but I want them to be able to make some sense of the results and give an informed opinion. I do like PJ - I know there is a dance judge that often comments on skate buzz who was very good.
Marie-France would be excellent, and Jeff Buttle has enough knowledge of dance to be competent to cover that as well as singles skating, IMO.
I think Megan Wing might be good also (just a hunch, no proof).