Saturday, July 23, 2011

NBC Ensures Competitive Figure Skating Has A Place on Mainsream TV For Fall 2011

For those of you in the U.S. who always wonder, around this time of year, “How much skating are we actually going to get to SEE on regular TV this season…

… because we don’t have access to Universal Sports?”
… because we can’t (or choose not to) pay for on-demand coverage?”
… because how is figure skating supposed to attract new participants and continue to grow and thrive if it’s not on network TV?”

Well, take heart. NBC released its broadcast schedule for the new season this week with regards to the ISU Grand Prix and U.S. Nationals. You can read the full article here at the official USFS site, but the specific dates/times are listed below. Most events, with the exception of Skate America and NHK, will be shown on a one-week delay as network TV often does… I’m not sure what happened with Cup of China (which isn’t getting any mainstream coverage according to this); I can only assume NBC is committed to something else around that time that is more lucrative for the network.

Please note that the Universal and schedules have not been released yet; they will, no doubt, carry the events live or near-live (in Uni Sports’ case).

And for those who are still disappointed to see NBC covering skating (as opposed to another network), please take note that NBC’s existing coverage is directly correlated to its acquisition of Olympic broadcast rights. In other words… it ain’t going anywhere for a while. And with the viewing audience as fragmented as it is today, let’s be glad it’s on mainstream TV at all!

NBC Sports 2011 ISU Grand Prix Series Broadcast Schedule(All times ET; check local listings for times in your area)

Saturday, Oct. 22
2011 Hilton Honors Skate America (LIVE)
3-6 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
Skate Canada International
4-6 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 13
NHK Trophy (Japan)
2-4 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 27
Trophee Eric Bompard (France)
2-4 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 3
Rostelecom Cup (Russia)
1-3 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 11
Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final (Quebec)
12-2 p.m

NBC Sports 2012 U.S. Championships Broadcast Schedule(All times ET; check local listings for times in your area)

Saturday, Jan. 28
Free Dance (LIVE)
4-6 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 28
Ladies Free Skate (LIVE)
9-11 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 29
Men's and Pairs Free Skate (LIVE)
3-6 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 4
Skating Spectacular
2-4 p.m.

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