Rock the Rink 2019 (Virtue/Moir, Chan, Stojko, Osmond, Kostner, Abbott)

Japanfan

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This kind of show screams CBC holiday special.... Plus, they have a whole bunch of sponsors. Oh well. Still hoping, despite lack of reports of any tv cameras.

That fact that isn't going to be televised may reflect the skating on CBC will soon be relegated to stream. And previous coverage of shows may have been in CBC's contract. It no longer has a contract SFAIK.
 

victorskid

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That fact that isn't going to be televised may reflect the skating on CBC will soon be relegated to stream. And previous coverage of shows may have been in CBC's contract. It no longer has a contract SFAIK.
The CBC contract issue has to do with the International Skating Union (ISU) and their "agent" - it has nothing to do with skating shows/tours.

As I understand it, the CBC-ISU contract for this season involves streaming for the Grand Prix events with TV coverage of Worlds. It was negotiated at the last minute as the first GP event was about to begin. A full TV contract apparently required that they sign up for both figure skating and speed skating (as in the past) which was much too expensive.

The ISU is not involved with the Rock the Rink tour issue.
 

Sylvia

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:)

RTR photos:
(and many more at this account)
 

Skate Talker

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So last year's TTYCT was recorded for TV & aired by CTV/TSN - not CBC. Why are we bringing them into this conversation? (CBC has been the broadcaster of the Canadian Stars on Ice tour. I have no info on whether last spring's tour was or was not taped.)

CTV announced, then delayed broadcast of Tessa/Scott's tour last year. I don't know what the problems where there, but perhaps it put them off recording this year's show.
 

manhn

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I think their taping had to have been damaged. It seemed that a lot of the programs were intercut with the skaters performing in an empty rink
 

believed

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I think their taping had to have been damaged. It seemed that a lot of the programs were intercut with the skaters performing in an empty rink
That was a deliberate choice. Jordan Cowan of On Ice Perspectives was responsible for the close up filming which was done in an empty rink.
 

Japanfan

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The CBC contract issue has to do with the International Skating Union (ISU) and their "agent" - it has nothing to do with skating shows/tours.

The ISU is not involved with the Rock the Rink tour issue.

Okay. But the CBC has broadcast shows in the past. I think SOI or COI?

So I wonder if the fact that RTR is not being broadcast could reflect the CBC's pending withdrawal from TV FS coverage?
 

seabm7

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Okay. But the CBC has broadcast shows in the past. I think SOI or COI?

So I wonder if the fact that RTR is not being broadcast could reflect the CBC's pending withdrawal from TV FS coverage?

CBC has broadcast SOI only, not the other (aka, the focus of this thread) show. By the way, CBC did film SOI this year in Hamilton, so most likely one hour version will show up near the end of the year.

And if you need a proof,
 

Andora

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TSN/CTV doesn't currently show a lot of skating specials, so showing TYCT was a bit of an anomaly. I'm sure they thought it a great opportunity to air what was probably a relatively cheap show of Canada's Olympic (gold) medalists coming recently enough off the games. It seemed like a slam dunk, and then there were mysterious issues with getting it to air. Full disclosure: I used to work for CTV in closed captioning, and while I could joke about issues it would have faced, the fact is it's a big, big deal for a big and advertised program like that to be pulled. It's not a good look for the show's producers: V&M.

The only way CTV/TSN would ever consider this again would have required the program to be a wild success, and it decidedly wasn't. They couldn't even air it within the same calendar year as the Olympics they wanted to benefit from. The program itself with all the interviews was hella cringey at times, and that's coming from a pretty big fan of all the skaters involved. So, I think everyone bringing up CBC is at least more-correct in that guess.

Why isn't CBC airing it? They don't have a lot of extra resources, perpetually, as a public broadcaster. Has CBC's coverage this year gone well? I haven't seen much of it on TV, so I have to guess no. Was Battle Of The Blades a success? Enough to invest in figure skating further?

And the sad fact is, the tour was struggling to sell. Hell, look at the list of performers - they clearly struggled to land names that will get people into seats. I love Kostner, V&T, etc., but they aren't especially well-known Canada outside of the skating community. If this tour did well financially, that's great, but I'll be shocked if it's a financial success when all is said and done. I don't think that's anyone's fault, and is probably mostly to do with timing (who could sign on to the tour) and skating's continuing popularity sunset.

All of that is too bad, because this year's tour looked so much better than last year, and would have been great to see either live or on TV. But sometimes the stars don't align.
 

angi

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TSN/CTV doesn't currently show a lot of skating specials, so showing TYCT was a bit of an anomaly. I'm sure they thought it a great opportunity to air what was probably a relatively cheap show of Canada's Olympic (gold) medalists coming recently enough off the games. It seemed like a slam dunk, and then there were mysterious issues with getting it to air. Full disclosure: I used to work for CTV in closed captioning, and while I could joke about issues it would have faced, the fact is it's a big, big deal for a big and advertised program like that to be pulled. It's not a good look for the show's producers: V&M.

The only way CTV/TSN would ever consider this again would have required the program to be a wild success, and it decidedly wasn't. They couldn't even air it within the same calendar year as the Olympics they wanted to benefit from. The program itself with all the interviews was hella cringey at times, and that's coming from a pretty big fan of all the skaters involved. So, I think everyone bringing up CBC is at least more-correct in that guess.

Why isn't CBC airing it? They don't have a lot of extra resources, perpetually, as a public broadcaster. Has CBC's coverage this year gone well? I haven't seen much of it on TV, so I have to guess no. Was Battle Of The Blades a success? Enough to invest in figure skating further?

And the sad fact is, the tour was struggling to sell. Hell, look at the list of performers - they clearly struggled to land names that will get people into seats. I love Kostner, V&T, etc., but they aren't especially well-known Canada outside of the skating community. If this tour did well financially, that's great, but I'll be shocked if it's a financial success when all is said and done. I don't think that's anyone's fault, and is probably mostly to do with timing (who could sign on to the tour) and skating's continuing popularity sunset.

All of that is too bad, because this year's tour looked so much better than last year, and would have been great to see either live or on TV. But sometimes the stars don't align.
I don't think TYCT being pulled had anything to do with V/M. As far as I remember it was a music rights issue which was what was assumed at the time and basically confirmed when one of the songs that were used during the tour was replaced in the broadcast (I think it was a David Bowie one). As far as I know, the responsibility of securing the rights for the music falls on the broadcasting network and not the tour production, but I might be mistaken.
As for the sales of the new tour, I think they sold around ~75-80% of the tickets, with several venues being sold out (and some, especially in smaller areas in BC and AB, were at about 50%). As far as I can tell it had better sales compared to what Stars On Ice in Canada did this year, but tbh that's based mostly on photos and what people who attended said. So between selling around 75-80% of the tickets and having several sponsors - I see no reason why the tour wouldn't be at least a small financial success (if not a mid-range one).
And as far as the skaters that joined the tour, I have to disagree, every one of them is an Olympic medalist with Jeremy Abbott being the only one to have his medal be only from the team event and not the individual event like the rest of the cast. I attended the show and everyone on the cast was very well received.
 

Andora

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I don't think TYCT being pulled had anything to do with V/M. As far as I remember it was a music rights issue which was what was assumed at the time and basically confirmed when one of the songs that were used during the tour was replaced in the broadcast (I think it was a David Bowie one). As far as I know, the responsibility of securing the rights for the music falls on the broadcasting network and not the tour production, but I might be mistaken.

I'll need confirmation of that. I certainly assumed that, but there would be enough footage to swap another song/video in-- as has been done in many, many past instances on both major Canadian networks. AND there was that bizarre social media push to get fans to contact CTV and ask them to air it. That doesn't sound like simply a music rights issue. And it didn't have to have anything directly with V&M, but they were co-producers, and you wear it as a producer. That's bad luck for them.

But that doesn't really matter, because my point stands: CTV doesn't typically air skating specials, certainly haven't carried SOI in years-- if ever. This was already a change for them, and it didn't go swimmingly. It's not a defense, and I wish we could see more skating TV in general. But I'm not surprised they specifically didn't pick up Rock The Rink. I also forgot CTV was a sponsor, yikes.

As for the sales of the new tour, I think they sold around ~75-80% of the tickets, with several venues being sold out (and some, especially in smaller areas in BC and AB, were at about 50%). As far as I can tell it had better sales compared to what Stars On Ice in Canada did this year, but tbh that's based mostly on photos and what people who attended said. So between selling around 75-80% of the tickets and having several sponsors - I see no reason why the tour wouldn't be at least a small financial success (if not a mid-range one).
And as far as the skaters that joined the tour, I have to disagree, every one of them is an Olympic medalist with Jeremy Abbott being the only one to have his medal be only from the team event and not the individual event like the rest of the cast. I attended the show and everyone on the cast was very well received.

I'm not surprised the cast is well-received. They're great skaters - I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. The more international cast wasn't as big a draw as last year's tour was-- shame on Canadians for that. The cast was without a second ice dance team when C&L left, and were lucky to get V&T to replace Duhamel & Radford, when they had to step out. They didn't get the same names SOI has, imho, but maybe the market of bigger name touring skaters is thinner than expected. Inadvertently competing with Battle Of The Blades in terms of preparation and timing didn't help, I would guess - I'm glad they appeared on the show.

But 75% of small venues isn't great, and weren't dates cancelled? It's honestly tragic we're not seeing it on TV, because despite so many things going awry the tour was quite lovely, at least based on the YouTube videos I've seen.
 

puglover

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I loved the smaller venue here and loved each and every one of the group numbers. I know Charlie White had wonderful skaters to work with but his choreography was superb. I hope they made out okay financially because it was a lovely show.
 

seabm7

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But 75% of small venues isn't great, and weren't dates cancelled?

They had to cancel Cleveland, US this year. The proposed date, the first weekends of November, used to be the slot for the Scott Hamilton and Friends charity show. Mr. Hamilton stopped having shows in Cleveland after 2017 and moved the entire charity tour to Tennessee. The arena was being renovated during 2018-2019.

I guess RTR was trying to use the vacated slot in Cleveland, but it did not work out.
 
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flowerpower

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The arena was packed at the show I attended. Having enjoyed the show so much, I tried to get a ticket to another nearby performance, but it was sold out.

The lower population density near some of the smaller western venues probably made it difficult to sell as high a percentage of seats there, but in the large southern Ontario market they did very well.
 

Colonel Green

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The more international cast wasn't as big a draw as last year's tour was-- shame on Canadians for that.
I don't really see much basis for that. V/M themselves were by far the biggest names in either tour, then probably Elvis. Comparing the casts of the two tours, they were only missing D/R and W/P, and anybody who knew enough about skating to consider them big attractions would presumably also want to see V/T or Carolina.
 

Japanfan

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Was Battle Of The Blades a success? Enough to invest in figure skating further?

I don't know if Battle of The Blades was a success in terms of ratings, but it is marketed to a general audience, not figure skating fans specifically. So whether or not it was a success will probably not impact CBC's investment in figure skating.
 

greenapple

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Battle of the Blades has nothing to do with the $$$ CBC invests in figure skating. That show is funded from outside money and is completely separate from the figure skating budget.
 

Andora

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I don't know if Battle of The Blades was a success in terms of ratings, but it is marketed to a general audience, not figure skating fans specifically. So whether or not it was a success will probably not impact CBC's investment in figure skating.
Battle of the Blades has nothing to do with the $$$ CBC invests in figure skating. That show is funded from outside money and is completely separate from the figure skating budget.

Sure, it's not the same pool/brain trust putting it together as the esteemed teams that though Carol and Kurt wouldn't annoy and bore some fans (me) to tears. But you're kidding yourselves if you think it doesn't have an effect on how they look at investing in skating going forward. If hockey players can't sell skating to a half-interested general audience, then how the hell can figure skaters?

It's all immaterial though. I'm don't have a clear picture as to whether or not it was considered a success for the network. I hope it was, but I'm trying to be pragmatic.

I loved the smaller venue here and loved each and every one of the group numbers. I know Charlie White had wonderful skaters to work with but his choreography was superb. I hope they made out okay financially because it was a lovely show.

The smaller venues were smart (glad to hear places like Ontario did better), and the tour looked much better, modern and fresh without going too far for traditional audiences. Jeff Buttle and now Charlie White have moved show skating forward in North America, in terms of quality.
 

cheremary

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The cast was without a second ice dance team when C&L left, and were lucky to get V&T to replace Duhamel & Radford, when they had to step out.

FWIW, Duhamel and Radford were never slated to do this tour. Duhamel had mentioned scheduling conflicts initially, which turned out to be her pregnancy.
 

puglover

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Maybe it would not work for a larger production like SOI but I really liked the smaller number of skaters, only one solo each (except I guess Tessa and Scott), and well choreographed group numbers that highlighted certain skaters. I could do without Elvis but he is certainly a crowdpleaser.
 

Sonata

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In part because of their own childhoods, V/M had a vision to bring skating to smaller towns where kids could get access to high quality skating. They also integrated local communities by inviting Special Olympics athletes. So in terms of fulfilling their goal of including smaller communities, they've succeeded. From an artistic point of view, this show looked really great and the quality of the choreography for the group numbers will be of the kind that I believe other tours (even if there are far fewer now) will try to emulate.
 

flowerpower

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It was nice to see them reconnect with Charlie White again. Kudos to them for inviting him to lead the development of the group choreography, and to him for agreeing. From some Instagram stories, it seems that Tanith hung out with the cast too during the choreo process. It's great that despite the rivalry of the competitive years, Tessa, Scott and Charlie evidently have a lot of mutual respect and admiration.
 

Kecasyl

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In part because of their own childhoods, V/M had a vision to bring skating to smaller towns where kids could get access to high quality skating. They also integrated local communities by inviting Special Olympics athletes. So in terms of fulfilling their goal of including smaller communities, they've succeeded. From an artistic point of view, this show looked really great and the quality of the choreography for the group numbers will be of the kind that I believe other tours (even if there are far fewer now) will try to emulate.
Unless you're Stars on Ice, because everything looks the same and will more than likely stay that way. Boring but with different skaters.
 

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