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Why can't the ISU be more like the NFL?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Tak, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member

    I just bought a season pass from the NFL website - you get great looking HD picture and sound. If you buy a premium pass you get access to all games live, plus access to the archives of any game this season - you can watch whenever you like. They have several different packages available - like you can follow your favorite team and get all their games, or access to the week's games for just one week [not the whole season]. And the premium pass is about $200.

    The ISU is always complaining they need money - why dont they do something like this? The technology is obviously there. Fans all over the world could access their competitions. I'd certainly pay $200 for access to all their competitions for the season. And I'd get to see every competition live if I wanted to.

    I cant believe they're passing up this potentially huge source of revenue.
  2. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    They won't do it because it makes sense. :lol:
    AndyWarhol and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    ISU is an extremely conservative organisation which is a very closed circle of people who know each other.

    Such organisations fall into the trap of only seeing their own, limited perspective.

    As a result, change is extremely slow and gradual.

    I mean ISU has only created a Facebook profile and started using YT this season, for feck's sake...

    Now please note that EVERY SINGLE COMPETITION THERE IS is recorded for the judges and technical panel. IJS requires that.

    This means that if only ISU made the effort, all the videos could be available online in some form, just like the JGP ones are.

    Why they aren't doing it? Don't ask me. Doesn't make any sense.
  4. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

    Here's why:

    ISU= :wall:
  5. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    Comparing two different sports is comparing apples to oranges. :rolleyes:

    You are comparing a sport that can fill stadiums every week with 65,000 fans year after year to a sport that can't fill a venue once a year? How many "fans" showed up Skate America?

    There are ways to see skating (even for free) if you want to. I watched Skate America through a Russian website hooked up to my tv. Or I could have bought Universal Sports, I will do that for Skate Canada.

    They need to change other things first to make the competitions more interesting and maybe that would draw more viewers.
  6. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    Maybe they don't think it would make business sense. The NFL happens in one country and owns the world-wide rights to all their events. The ISU is not actually the broadcast rights holder for all skating events. The ISU is primary rights holder for the ISU championships, senior and junior GP events, and the team event, but even then the host federation gets to sell the rights relating to broadcast/internet streaming in their own country. For smaller competitions, the rights all belong to the member nation federation hosting the event.

    So, basically, it would be kind of a legal nightmare for the ISU to acquire all the rights needed to stream all competitions thru a single site. Plus, if they wanted to avoid host country blackouts, it would require either changing the rules to take the internet rights away from host countries (which means less revenue for them) or the ISU buying back those rights for the streaming web site.

    When you add in the expense of maintaining the site in several different languages and the relatively small demand, I'm not surprised they don't see it as a gamble worth taking. Perhaps they think it makes more sense for each national broadcaster or federation to handle their own internet streaming.

    Really, there is not much I want to see that is not carried by Ice Network in the US. My main complaint would be about the flights they withhold until the TV network has finished its broadcast.
  7. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    Nfl also has blackouts if games are not sold out. I am sure that would gone well here this past weekend.
  8. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member

    I wouldnt mind if they just showed the ISU events - that's basically what I want to see most anyway - and probably most people would feel the same. I dont think it would be a problem to put a new clause in the contract saying that in the case where a host country does not manage to sell the internet rights then those rights revert to the ISU for broadcasting on their website. And even if the host federation retains the rights in their country, the ISU could still stream it to the rest of the world.

    Maybe you are lucky then. But IN only streams inside the US. I paid about $30 for a subscription and every time I tried to log on I got told I was "geo-blocked" from seeing it. I couldnt even access the archives.

    Plus, not a competition goes by but you dont see posters complaining about the quality of the picture, sound, broadcast - you name it. Maybe it's better than nothing if you can get it, but who wouldnt rather have full HD picture and crystal clear sound. Available anytime, all over the world. And all the extra revenue they could be picking up.
  9. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member

    Heh - yeah, but that would only affect the people living in the area around Ontario. The rest of the country could have watched it. And so could the rest of the world.
  10. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Always makes me sing "Why can't a woman be more like a man?"
  11. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    OMG! I sure wouldn't! I thought $40 for icenetwork was steep...
  12. Jemestone

    Jemestone New Member

    ITA, in fact I wouldn't even pay that price for IN, I'll be cheap and stick with YT ;)
  13. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    YT? FS Vids is where it's all at.
  14. Jemestone

    Jemestone New Member

    Youtube, that's the only place I really can watch FS vids, I have no TV. :lol:
  15. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    The difference between the ISU and sports like the NFL is money. Sports like the NFL attract millons of viewers, has professionals running it, can sign up for massive TV right deals and can negotiate multi-millon dollar sponsorship deals. Aren't the most expensive advertising spots in the world during the Superbowl? That shows what massive influence it has as a sporting organisation.

    As much as we as skating fans love our sport, we are small fish in a very big pond. And hate to say it as a sport that is directed more to larger female fan base rather than a male fan base, unfortunately it is the male based sports that get most of the publicity in this world. I know in Australia the women's sports don't get much of a look in, unless we have a champion in it like tennis or athletics.

    I know people are going to hate me saying this, but it still a largely volunteer run sport. Most people, even at the top of the organisation do not get paid to run the sport. The whole organisation really only meets once a year, probably only to deal with the absolute necessities rather than the things that would be nice to do or have. And sports who are organised like that can really only tend to concentrate on a couple of things at a time. There ends up being a limited human resource base who can actually get things done.

    To give them their dues, they have been moving forward with using Youtube to broadcast clips from the JGP (which have been free) and last year was a great initiative with the live stream of Worlds which was great value for money too (for those of us who could get it). It was only $10. I would have been happy to pay more.

    It has always been a sport that has taken baby steps with anything it does. We may have a stack of problems with what they do or how they operate, but until it does reach the same status as a NFL, I actually don't expect much more.
  16. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member

    Well - I could be flip here and say that isnt the only difference. The NFL is a sport that cares about (1) increasing its fan base and (2) pleasing its existing fans by doing things like giving them easy access to more games. :p

    Seriously though I understand your points and to some extent I can see it, but in this day and age I dont see why they cant have live streaming or at least archive access from their website. TV coverage of football games is very good in the US, but the NFL still thought it worthwhile to set this up for their fans. Figure skating coverage is absolute crap in most countries - here in Japan we only get good coverage of singles [and not always live]. For pairs and dance we have to wait 2-3 weeks for it to be televised. It's a smaller fan base obviously - but I bet a large percentage of the fans they have would be willing to pay for that kind of access. And making it so readily available might help attract people to the sport, you never know.
  17. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Well the only coverage we ever get in Australia is the Olympics and even then it is pretty crap, unless you have pay TV and they showed everything on that. Still you then had to subscribe for 12 months of service. They used to show figure skating in Australia back in the 80s and 90s (usually just top 3 and about 6 months after the event) but we haven't had worlds or anything like that for years. So you have probably got more than what we ever had.

    The worst part about it is it put the sport out of people's minds so our actual sport suffered here with decreased numbers. We do always get a slight boost around Olympics but one of the biggest boosts came with Dancing on Ice when they did the Australian version.

    I think the video clips of the JGP has been a real bonus this year and they have posted every skater or couple. So that is fulfilling part of what people are wanting to see them do. In fact their latest number of subscribers is 2,683 (direct from the channel). And there have been 2,003,813 upload views. That is not bad at all.
  18. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member

    No - that is great! And it shows how big the potential market could be. Maybe this will get them thinking about offering something like a season pass.:)
  19. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Me too. :lol:
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  20. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    I know that ISU was taking the JGP clips very seriously (organisers had to upload the performances straight away) and I sincerely hope that it's just first step of many to come.


    I have a tv but I much prefer to watch online.

    Nothing like Russian tv which usually shows all of the skaters and where the commentators don't keep talking bullshit over the performances.
  21. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member

    I clicked that link but it said I needed a sponsor or a sponsor-number in order to join - what's up with that and how do I get one? Do you know?
  22. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    One of the current FSVids members can invite you. I'll PM you. :)
  23. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member


    I really wish they would have skating on TV more here. I know a lot of people (yes, mostly woman) who would watch skating if it was on TV. The Olympic coverage is ridiculous. Belinda Noonan and Sandy Roberts make me cringe, then last year we have Eddie McGuire and Mick Malloy calling Johnny a "poof". No wonder no one takes the sport seriously in Australia. And with so few people wanting to skate, the prices for training and session times are ridiculous (In Melbourne at least. In Perth it is much cheaper/more freestyle sessions).

    End rant.
  24. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Well it's the men in executive positions at tv networks, making the decisions on what gets shown and what doesn't. :shuffle:
  25. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    Errr... nope. That's not what's behind these decisions, to be honest. In the US, it's about ratings and target markets. Most US TV attracts women, and the reality is, there are way cheaper ways to reach the same women that figure skating attracts. As an advertiser, there are *way* cheaper ways to reach this particular target market. So figure skating loses out not only to higher rated TV shows and sports, but also to other TV shows/sports that get the same ratings, because the cost per target market eyeball in figure skating is higher than my other options.