Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Skate-By-Numbers: Nielsen Ratings for Nats, Then and Now

The all-important Nielsens are in for last Saturday’s prime time broadcast of U.S. Nationals on NBC… and here’s the scoop, according to TV By The Numbers:

9-9:30PM: 3.85 million; 0.7 rating/2 share among adults 18-49
9:30-10PM: 4.60 million; 0.9 rating/3 share
10PM-10:30: 5.89 million; 1.2 rating/4 share
10:30-11PM: 6.99 million; 1.5 rating/4 share

AVERAGE: 5.4 million; 1.1 rating/3 share

The good news: These numbers are up 38% on last year’s rating (0.8 average), and up 32% on total viewers (4.1 million average).

The not-so-good news: here are some numbers from past pre-Olympic Nationals, to put things in perspective:

1998: 11.5 rating (on ABC)
2002: 3.4 rating (on ABC Family)
2006: 4.7 rating (on ABC)

It’s a sport-wide trend, yes, and a lousy one at that—gotta wonder (and wince at) what this year’s numbers might have been like had Cohen not been there, poised to make the team.

But there are boatloads of reasons for it… some less obvious than others… and I do think steps are being taken to turn the tides, at least in some regards. Definitely a topic to explore in the off-season!

By the way, a quick mention should be made that Four Continents, which remains in my mind the N.I.T. to figure skating’s NCAA “big dance” (AKA Winter Olympics), is already underway over in South Korea. No, Yu-Na Kim isn’t there (whew)… but in a move that should still please Mr. Cinquanta, Mao Asada IS present. Except she’s in third place after the SP, close behind teammate Akiko Suzuki (in 1st) and… Amanda Dobbs? Yup, the up-and-coming American who just finished a surprise 6th at Nationals is in the medal hunt. So is Caroline Zhang (in 4th)… Alexe Gilles, down in 9th? Not so much.

I’ll get a more thorough update about 4CC later in the week.

Apropos of nearly nothing, the
Clip of the Day is JeremEEEE Abbott’s FS from 2007… I took a look because I wanted to see the differences between then and now, especially since he’s had such a relatively quick breakout to the top. His style was certainly evident back then (coming into the FS in 9th place), if not so much on his triple axel. Any thoughts?

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