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IceNetwork season renewal notice :-(

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Lara, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. rfisher

    rfisher Will you rise like a phoenix or be a burnt chicken

    My email from universal sports
    Again, I won't be surprised if they opt not to show figure skating at all. Perhaps nbcsports will. Unfortunately, you need this as part of your cable or satellite package. (I have it, but don't remember if it's part of the same sports package as Universal sports or is just part of the overal package I have. It is on TV and not online and they wouldn't show full events if they showed skating.)
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  2. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

    I agree with this except for the bolded part. IN has been showing less coverage for more (or the same) for years and this is the limit in terms of what I can stand as a customer. If they had offered one of 4CC or Worlds as part of the package, or knocked off $10 I'd be okay. I can't blame them for not having the broadcast rights, but the bottom line is that their package has gone down in quality and they haven't adjusted the price or tried to make amends to customers another way. It's poor customer service and I think it will turn out to be a poor business decision.
  3. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Do you mean they started showing a lot of coverage and gradually decreased the amount that they showed? I don't think that's true. I think they started with just US qualifying events and gradually added some international and other events -- with a price increase or two along the way.

    Of course, I'm primarily in it for the on-demand coverage of whole events. I rarely have time to stop everything I'm doing and watch live, but I don't want to be limited to only the few skaters that TV broadcasts deign to share with me.

    And regionals are just as interesting to me as the Grand Prix. Many more hours of skating, albeit at lower skill levels, so for my purposes that's more for my money. I understand I'm in a minority there and there are not large amounts of money to be made by focusing on lower level events.

    My biggest beef with IceNetwork was when they increased the bandwidth necessary to get the streaming to work. I had to change my internet provider to get my money's worth from the subscription.
  4. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Enjoying Vicarious Voids!

    My issue with IN is not that they don't have the broadcast rights. This is not their fault. I would happily pay $20 to see Lake Placid, SA, and Nationals. My problem is that they want me to pay the same price this year as I paid last year when they had the entire GP series, 6 more events, live and On Demand within ~12 hours. Rather than taking the customer friendly approach and explaining that they were not going to have the GP but they would have the other events along with SA and saying that they hoped we'd stick with them for all of their other excellent coverage and lowering the price, they decided to burry the fact that they don't have the GP within the email and charge us the same price as always.

    As someone who has paid for IN every year it has existed, I am entirely offended by this.
  5. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    it figures that the only GP they can show live is the only one I can't watch online anyway (because I'll be there :saint: ) :p

    And ITA with those who aren't miffed about not being able to show the rest of the GP as much as maintaining the same price for less access. And adding 4CC and Worlds as separately priced events? Hell no. I know this was not always the case - was this year the first time they did that?

    I guess IN is being forced through losing the GP rights to focus in on USFS members as their target audience. it's really too bad.
  6. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    My husband has been wanting to switch to DirectV as well, for reasons unexplained, but I just have an brand new excellent one of my own. :mad:
  7. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

    NO one should get DirectTV or Dish or tell their Cable provider they want US. They are just using you! We should tell them no figure skating available online to anyone who pays a fee, then figure skating fans won't support you in anyway.

    Right? Am I...right? :shuffle:

    maybe not, but I am mad! :saint:
  8. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

    Yeah you're right about that. You may not be able to get something for nothing, but with IN this season, you can get nothing for something...

    They are going to lose big with this, and its just going to end up cutting down our options even more.

    Universal Sports deserves to burn in hell!
  9. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    If I want to see skating...it's IN, or the kindness of friends, elsewhere.
    I tried for years to get Bright House to carry Universal Sports.

    IN is still a bargain, when compared to the cost of attending competitions; since I can only attend a few of them.
  10. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

    So how long is Universal Sports going to survive? This sounds like a desperation move on their part. Can we hope that they won't survive more than a year or two into the next Oly cycle, and then IN can get the coverage back?
  11. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

    Not everyone lives somewhere that getting DirectTV or any other dish is an option. My apartment complex does not allow satellite dishes. Frankly after this power play, I don't believe I would get Universal Sports if I could.

    Lovely, both Universal Sports, and their parent company NBC, seem to not care there are people without cable, etc., who are very willing to pay for the streams.

    Hopefully the youtube user who put up the Russian videos so quickly last season will be doing the same this season.

    And I was looking forward to working from home again this fall, and getting to watch the Grand Prix live. :(
  12. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    The Icenetwork's charging $40 is literally financially unsustainable as a business enterprise and I've been wondering how they have managed to keep that price for years. They should have increased their price incrementally every year, but they didn't. Now all of a sudden, they no longer can do GP live and they still charge the same. That's basically the same as a substantial price increase, perhaps to keep themselves from running in red again.

    The thing is, had IN started off charging $40 and slowly gone up year after year, people might find this rather reasonable. I mean, $40 for nationals, and on-demand regionals, and sectionals, plus a couple of international events live, is not bad. I paid Wheatdesigns more for less (Broadmoor Open itself was $20 or $30 for just 1 event).

    It's like my local bus system. For years, they charged three times less than buses in other cities. All of a sudden, their price went up twofold and people complained endless, though it is still cheaper than buses in other cities. It's the amount of increase people didn't get used to.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  13. HisWeirness

    HisWeirness pork cutlet bowl fatale

    The ISU should revoke Universal Sports' rights to the online coverage. I wonder if UniSports making the online coverage unavailable to most Americans breaks part of the contract.

    It's a piss-off. :blah:

    Hopefully we'll figure out a way to watch GP coverage in other countries (if there is even anyone else that is going to show the GP live).

    Not happy about icenetwork's pricing, but there is no other way to watch Nationals live so I guess I am stuck.
  14. rfisher

    rfisher Will you rise like a phoenix or be a burnt chicken

    NBC has it's own sports channel now. US is still independent. They just signed an exclusive contract with DirectTV and Dish and some cable companies. I guess they got a lot of money for the deal.

    We can hope for European coverage, but last season, many of those sources didn't show any skating.

    BR, your sentiment is good, but unfortunately, there aren't enough figure skating fans to cause them to make accomodations. Especially since there no American "stars". And sorry dance fans, but Charlie and Meryl don't count.

    I have US, but I'm not holding my breath they'll actually show skating this season.
  15. PinkFeathers

    PinkFeathers Active Member

    It's really too much to hope for the ISU to sell the streams themselves, right? Their coverage of WTT was amazing.
  16. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

    See that's the thing. It isn't going to help them to dump figure skating fans in the trash, there aren't enough of us to demand US on our cable providers (if we have them, I don't), people have tried. I realize this is not just about figure skating, but maybe if they realized they wouldn't lose anything by having online fs for pay but would actually pocket some change, they would alter the policy for it.

    I know foolish wishes. It won't happen. But it does sound like Universal Sports will not survive very long. And I doubt any other provider would be so desperate as this. Hopefully Universal Sports will crash, burn, and cease to exist before we miss too much figure skating.
  17. Casey2

    Casey2 Active Member

    Maybe this is just me, but I don't mind seeing the GP events one week later since for many years I couldn't see most of them at all, or any skating really. (OK, I'm old, but remember ABC wide world of sports showing only one or two skaters?)
  18. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member


    In the early 90s, I remember only Skate America being shown on broadcast TV at a time when I didn't have cable and few people did. Even when ESPN showed some other fall competitions, it was limited coverage and inconsistent. And if we got more than 2 hours even from SA, part of it was delayed at least a week.

    Or Fox showing 1 1/2 hours of each Grand Prix Champions Series event -- all disciplines -- and then spending a big chunk of that time interviewing Michelle Kwan in weeks that she wasn't competing.

    Or all networks covering only pro and pro-am competitions in the fall and nothing of the Grand Prix except Skate America.

    Or Lifetime showing all the pairs and dance from the GPs and spending more time on fluff than on skating.

    Even with the best years of the ESPN2 and Lifetime (after they realized skating fans want to watch skating) coverage, it was still less than everyone and much of it was delayed up to a week or more.

    I have never been able to watch all skaters at a single GP event on US television, the same weekend it took place, except maybe for a year or two a few years ago when Universal Sports was available to me.

    Any coverage we can get online or on cable is welcome. Universal's current contract seems to be a step back from what they made available a few years ago and an obstacle to those who want real-time online coverage.

    But that coverage was never the norm. The fact that it was available for a year or two was a treat for American skating fans who could access it. But we're not a large enough group to drive their policy.
  19. my little pony

    my little pony war crawling into canada

    i'm getting old. i think maybe it is good that my days of getting up in the middle of the night to watch a ladies lp from asia are done.

    and $40 is much cheaper than attending anything, and unless you can get that dish whatever, it's the only game in town
  20. Jun Y

    Jun Y Well-Known Member

    I agree that Universal Sports may be dead very soon. It seems kind of bizarre that NBC cannot make a deal with cables to carry it, when NBC/Universal is now owned by Comcast. By then ISU may be forced to take up a cheaper deal with Ice Network or something. I don't mind paying more for subscription if they carry Grand Prix live.
  21. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Active Member

    The thing is, coverage was once much more minimal, and the extent of (legal) coverage that existed in the last few years was a pretty huge leap from the past decades. It may now return to what it used to be. But those earlier years also came in an era without the existence of streaming internet. When developments go backwards instead of remaining consistent or moving forward, it's regression and I don't think it's an issue to find it objectionable, and problematic for the sport in general.
  22. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

    I think Universal Sports is just following the NBC example. In order to watch the live streaming of the Olympics on the NBC site you have to have an account with a cable/satellite company. Universal sports got the contract with the IOC when the networks didn't want it.

    I have posted this before. There is a protest thread on the Comcast forums concerning Universal Sports and its lack of availability. It is here - Still no HD Universal Sports. If you are a Comcast subscriber you have access to this board and can post your feelings. Since it is a Comcast/Xfinity board, they do read it - and occasionally post there.
  23. Simone411

    Simone411 Covfefe! FSU Uber fan!

    I received the e-mail from USFSA yesterday. It mentioned something about getting a one time only special code and the offer is valid through midnight ET on October 22, 2012.

    What I don't like is the fact that IN auto-renews your subscription. I called them yesterday regarding that fact and told them not to auto-renew. I don't know if I want to renew, and I'd rather renew when I'm ready - not the other way around.

    I remember when ABC, ESPN, A&E, used to show the Grand Prix, Skate America, The Europeans, Nationals, Worlds, Stars On Ice, etc. The good ole days are gone.
  24. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    Automatic renewal is now the norm for many online/electronic subscriptions I manage at work.
  25. Simone411

    Simone411 Covfefe! FSU Uber fan!

    That may be with some electronic subscriptions, but this is part of the other e-mail I received from IN:

    It seems we had a choice when we purchaed the subscription whether to opt-in for auto renewal. I never opted in last year for auto renewal, but for some reason, that's exactly what happened.
  26. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    That's what happened with all my other electronic subscriptions too. It's kind of like that one cell phone option that they charged you for because you didn't opt out. :lol: :wall:
  27. Simone411

    Simone411 Covfefe! FSU Uber fan!

    Yeah, you definitely have a point. :lol:
  28. Visaliakid

    Visaliakid Well-Known Member

    I think we should petition NBC to move it's figure skating coverage to NBC Sports Network. Comcast provides this channel and it is certainly going to out last UniversalSports.com

    I will have to go back to the old days of searching the web for live coverage of GP events from foreign sources.
  29. CoyoteChris

    CoyoteChris New Member

    Feel the love. The next time you meet somebody who says they do marketing for a living, kick them just as hard as you can in the shins....like lawyers, its 90 percent of them that make the other 10 percent look bad.
    BTW, all news letters and updates to us USFSA Friends of Figure Skating folk have stopped near as I can tell. And no more nice spirral bound media guide for us high roller donners, either...you can get it on-line, which doesnt do alot for me at events. My inside contacts at the USFSA world headquarters say they still dont care much about fans still there, so my contribution is going down...way down...this year....the magazine and the calander are nice....
  30. A.H.Black

    A.H.Black Well-Known Member

    The contract with the IOC for Grand prix (-Skate America) is with Universal Sports, not NBC>