figure skating on TV

Ok, I can endure Figure Skating every 4 years at the Olympics and chronic jock itch. But they had figure skating on TV last nite for no reason. Can somebody explain to me why anyone would watch that? Also why do they skate around backwards all the time? I thought TV bowling was about the silliest thing I had ever seen til last nite. I had to watch a cooking show.

No women responses please ( I got that from my wife).


It was a professional competition. There has to be some professional matches, or the amateur status at the Olympics means nothing.

As to why they skate backwards? So the spectators can admire their athletic butts. Even more so when the wind picks up their tiny mini-skirts. Gives us dirty old men a reason to watch. (I told this to a girl-friend during th 1992 Games. She was aghast, but I was honest.)

There is a simple reason why this is on TV at all.

A few years back, CBS found themselves in the unenviable position of losing the bidding war for all the major professional sports leagues. They had no NFL, NBA, etc. When CBS discovered they had no sports on their network at all, they decided to latch onto figure skating, to attract the audiences that aren’t interested in violent sports. They promoted the hell out of it.
Since that time, other networks have decided to ride the bandwagon, and capitalize on CBS’s advertising investment. And the figure skaters have come up with even more “competitions” since then, in an attempt to improve marketing and ad revenues.

BTW, I checked the TV listings from yesterday, I presume you were referring to the show on A&E. I note that my TV listings describe the show as “Sports Non-Event, Skating” Truth in advertising?

I think they show it cause it gets good ratings. It’s like you’re wife asking: “Why do they show football. it’s stupid.”

As far as skating backwards, here’s a kind of a funny story. Apparently, young Tara Lipinski (who has won all sorts of championships & medals if you don’t recognize the name) wanted to go out for hockey. The coach was cool with it but the guys on the team were grousing about having some chick play with them (I believe she was about 12 yo at the time, as were here teammmates). So the coach told everyone to line up and work on skating backwards (an occaisionally necessary skill in hockey). Tara blitzed backwards twice as fast as any of her teammates and from then on, the boys quit their bitching.

There are many professional skating events that last well through spring - many of these events help raise money for charities, etc… and are actually a lot of fun for the people who actually enjoy watching skating, because they get to see some really funny people skate outside the strict traditional olympic rules. Ex: Scott Hamilton.

As for the regular competitions, you have world championships, national championships, European championships and regional competitions. They occur every year, and are played out over a couple of days (there are usually 4 events: pairs, ice dancing, men and women, and each last much longer than what they show you on TV.)

As for the skating backwards, most of the jumps are started from backwards skating. A healthy alternation of forward and backwards skating is part of any skating program, because you get more speed while not looking like you’re plowing in one direction. I personally found it more comfortable to skate backwards. And most importantly, you have to skate backwards before you go into any spin.

Was that TMI? :smiley:

Um, jumps and spins are nice, but don’t forget the “athletic butt” factor AWB mentioned :wink:


I’m going to send this thread to IMHO, where it will live until someone notices the last sentence of the OP.

Then Czarcasm or TVeblen can send it to the Pit!

I’m not a woman. And my wife knows less about figure skating than I do. That’s right, I’m a former male figure skater.

Ice dancer, actually. My partner and I use to burn up the local competitions. Mind, that was over twenty years ago, when being amateur meant amateur–no product endorsements or anything that brought you a penny for skating. As a result, we both remain blissfully unknown, which, in retrospect, is probably best.

Why not have skating on this time of year? There isn’t much else in the way of sports–baseball has yet to get started, football is just over, golf is on during the weekends but not during the week, hockey and basketball are not yet that interesting to watch–why not have skating on during the week?

Skating is a change from the ordinary. It attracts many spectators who are willing to watch on TV, and it no doubt increases ratings.

And of course, the cute butt factor is there, too. Although my partner’s was definitely cuter than mine. And my wife’s is definitely cuter than hers. :slight_smile: OK, luv?

I Love figure skating!
I went and saw it 4 years ago locally.
They make it look so easy.
Also love the backwards flip Scott does.

It was on for the same reason that football, baseball, hockey, golf, and any other sport you care to name is televised. People watch it. I watch it. I love figure skating. The ratings might be higher for Monday Night Football, and trust me, I don’t understand the appeal in that, but obviously enough people watch it to make it worth the networks time.

Do you want to know why it’s appealing to certain people? I could try to explain the appeal, but I think I’d get the same response as from you as someone who tried to explain football would get from me. I don’t understand the appeal of Martha Stewart, Touched by an Angel, or televangelism, but yet those shows still find an audience. My only spot of luck came when Dr. Laura got cancelled.

The backwards skating, as has been pointed out, is required for certain figure skating moves. If they just skated around in circles in a forward direction, you’d have, well, uh, speed skating. Slightly different sport. You could try giving them a puck, but then again, different sport.

Butts? How about thier legs? How about those tiny costumes? How about those sexy moves? At least Pro skating is not filled with underage girls.

The AE skating show was of the Target Stars on Ice which is a touring show of former Olympic or World Champions. They are the best skaters who in this format can skate however they want without having to please the judges. So you get a better choice in music and costumes and it’s not all about jumping. It’s kind of like any sort of artistic performance like dance or that Circe de Solie (which freaks me out). Skating is the number one watched winter sport on TV. It gets ratings. People watch it because they like it for what ever reason.

Or in other words, the whole world does not revolve around justinh

How about they start up an Extreme Skating League? Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, one on one, full contact?
I think roller derby is back, pro wrestling grade people elbowing and kicking each other while skating in circles. Put these guys on ice, have them skate in circles, elbowing and kicking each other but require a quadruple jump axle spin and whirl every lap.

I am not saying the world revolves around me. I dont like watching a lot of things on TV. weekly cop/hospital shows are popular and I don’t like them but I can understand how some people like to see the guts/blood/drama/escapism weekly.

My question about this is “what do you watch?”. They skate around for about 5 minutes and do some about 4 jump/spins (which last about 5 seconds). so what do they do the rest of the time. clown around with some silly prop, or skate around backwards counterclock wise then clockwise. To me thats gets boring real fast. Thats why I compared it TV bowling. after you see them throw a good strike about 10 times in a row there is not much to see.

Well, justinh, what is football? A bunch of guys pile on top of one another about twice every minute. From time to time, one kicks the ball and they all run after it. That gets boring real fast.

What is baseball? One man throws the ball. Another occasionally hits it. Sometimes they run and throw the ball around between the men on the field, but overall the game is slow and has no time limit. That gets boring real fast.

What is golf? Somebody hitting a little white ball through a park, aiming to eventually get the ball in a hole. That gets boring real fast.

I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point: that any sport or endeavour can be boring to those who do not know what to watch for in it.

(And just for the record, I do actually like the sports I listed above, and enjoy watching them.)

Justinh, you see about four jumps or spins, clowning with a prop, and skating backwards clockwise and counterclockwise. What I see is something totally different: backwards crosscuts counterclockwise, a switch to a left forward outside edge, a takeoff from the left leg, a triple axel, and a landing on a right back outside edge–but the landing is a little shaky, and the skater will likely lose points for that one. And that’s only one of the elements; I could go on, but I won’t.

If you don’t want to learn about the things that might make your viewing of skating more enjoyable, that’s fine. Heck, if you decide that you just plain don’t like skating, that’s fine too–it has its detractors and you can be one if you like. But if that’s the case, perhaps the next time you come across skating on TV, whether it’s a competition or an exhibition, you should just change the channel and see what else is on.

No, of course it’s the butts. And the legs.

The men all wear extremely tight pants, and the women wear barely anything at all below the waist. And they’re all in excellent shape. Something for everyone.

Sportsmanship, my eye. Sportsmanship in Figure Skating is NOT what made it the No. 1 most-viewed sport in the USA.