NBC Sports has renewed its partnership with US Figure Skating to extend through the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The agreement guarantees live primetime and afternoon coverage of the US Figure Skating Championships for the next four years, along with live afternoon coverage of the annual international Skate America competition for the same period.
“The partnership with NBC has allowed figure skating fans to view numerous hours of live competition over the course of the last two years. The extension of this partnership again shows the dedication of both U.S. Figure Skating and NBC Sports to showcase this popular sport not just in an Olympic year but for the next four years,” said Patricia St. Peter, President of US Figure Skating.
The partnership includes 12 hours of live event coverage on NBC Sports during the 2009-10 season, including live primetime coverage of the ladies free skate at the 2010 AT&T US Figure Skating Championships, January 14-24, 2010, in Spokane, WA. The 2010 US Winter Olympic Figure Skating Team will be determined at the conclusion of this event. Universal Sports, available in more than 56 million homes, will once again offer additional coverage and re-airs of Skate America and the US Figure Skating Championships.
“We are proud to extend our partnership with US Figure Skating and to broadcast expanded live coverage of their marquee events,” said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. “Figure skating is the most popular sport in the Winter Olympics, and the US Championships is always compelling programming especially in Olympic years when the event will help determine which men and women will represent our country at the Vancouver Games this February and at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia,” he added.
Here is the schedule for coverage on NBC Sports:
Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009 – Skate America – Ladies final – 2-4 p.m. ET (Live)
Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 – 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships – Pairs final – 4:30-6 p.m. ET (Live)
Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010 – 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships – Men’s final – 4:30-6 p.m. ET (Live)
Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010 – 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships – Ice Dancing final – 3-6 p.m. ET (Live)
Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010 – 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships – Ladies final – 9–11 p.m. ET (Live)
Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010 – Skating Spectacular – 4-6 p.m. ET (Live)
This is the third year of a multi-year agreement between NBC Sports and US Figure Skating. The 10 hours of coverage of the 2010 US Championships on NBC Sports is the most network coverage of this event since 1998. In the first year of this agreement, the US Championships on NBC Sports drew nearly 12.5 million viewers, up 164% over the previous year on ABC and ESPN2 (4.7 million). It was the most-watched US Championships since 2003 when the event benefited from the lift that figure skating received from the 2002 Salt Lake Games, NBC Sports noted.
And the online component continues as well. Icenetwork.com, a joint partnership between US Figure Skating and MLB Advanced Media, will provide exclusive online video coverage of competition in addition to backstage photos, interviews with former champions, video diaries and much more. Icenetwork.com’s coverage of Skate America and the US Championships will once again include the “AT&T Ice Desk,” which will feature interviews with alumni from past US Championships and current competitors as well as other backstage and special features.