Athens, GA (Mar 25, 2009) - I will admit it, I love watching figure skating. With the right music and performance passion, it really is a beautiful sight to behold. On television that is. To me, this is one of those sports where you miss the intensity and passion on the skaters faces if sitting in the stands.
So I will sit with the kids this weekend (if they are interested) and try to catch some of the limited coverage that will be on NBC Sports, as we do not receive Oxygen (on TV at least). It will be a shame that the men's finals will not air on free TV, but they do not translate in ratings success as much as the ladies do.
In all, NBC Sports and Oxygen Media will combine to air 16 hours from the World Figure Skating Championships, the most prestigious and important figure skating competition outside of the Olympics, as the skaters prepare for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver next February on NBC.
Oxygen, available in more than 74 million homes, will air 14 hours (10 hours live in ET) Wednesday through Friday, and NBC Sports will air the Ladies Free Skate live ET in primetime this Saturday (9-11 p.m., ET/PT) from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
NBC’s primetime Olympic host Bob Costas will host of NBC’s coverage when the world’s best skaters take the ice in Los Angeles. Costas will be joined by Dick Button (co-host), the most recognizable voice in figure skating, and Michelle Kwan (guest analyst), the most decorated skater in U.S. history.
Joining them to form the deepest talent roster ever assembled to broadcast the World Figure Skating Championships will be Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Scott Hamilton (analyst), Sandra Bezic (analyst), Tracy Wilson (analyst) and Andrea Joyce (reporter).
In all, NBC Sports’ broadcast team has totaled an amazing 19 medals at Worlds including 14 gold medals. Button won gold every year from 1948-1952 and took silver in 1947; Hamilton won gold in four consecutive years (1981-1984); and Kwan has a total of nine World Championship medals including five gold medals (1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003), three silver medals (1997, 1999, 2002) and a bronze medal (2004).
This is the 99th World Figure Skating Championships and the first ever to take place in Los Angeles. The first Worlds were held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1896. The United States has played host to 11 World Championships, most recently the 2003 Worlds in Washington, D.C.
Yes, There is Prize Money
Like the Masters, you never hear about prize money in the coverage. Maybe it is because they make so much less than other athletes. How much less? Here is the official prize money for the event as published by the International Skating Union:
Men Ladies Pairs** Dance** 1st $45,000 $45,000 $67,500 $67,500 2nd $27,000 $27,000 $40,500 $40,500 3rd $18,000 $18,000 $27,000 $27,000 4th $13,000 $13,000 $19,500 $19,500 5th $10,000 $10,000 $15,000 $15,000 6th $7,000 $7,000 $10,500 $10,500 7th $6,000 $6,000 $9,000 $9,000 8th $5,000 $5,000 $7,500 $7,500 9th $3,500 $3,500 $5,250 $5,250 10th $3,000 $3,000 $4,500 $4,500 11th $2,500 $2,500 $3,750 $3,750 12th $2,000 $2,000 $3,000 $3,000 Total $142,000 $142,000 $213,000 $213,000 **Per couple Total Prize Money $710,000
COVERAGE ON OXYGEN (all times live ET except where noted):
Pairs Short Wednesday 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. ET/PT (taped Tuesday)
Men’s Short Wednesday 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. ET/PT
Pairs Free Wednesday 12 midnight – 2 a.m. ET/PT
Men’s Free Thursday 11p.m.- 1a.m. ET/PT
Original Dance Friday 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. ET/PT (taped Thursday)
Ladies Short Friday 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. ET/PT
Dance Free Friday 12 midnight - 2 a.m. ET/PT
COVERAGE ON NBC SPORTS:
Ladies Free Skate Saturday 9 – 11 p.m. ET/PT