U.S. Skating strikes deal with NBC

The U.S.
Figure Skating Championships are headed to NBC in a deal that involves no
rights fees for the national governing body.

the USFSA will split the sale of ad time with NBC and will sell its own
sponsorship packages.

ratings have diminished in recent years, and ABC ended its 43-year partnership
with the skating organization after the contract ran out this month. The USFSA
was collecting $12 million a year in rights fees from ABC and ESPN, which
shared programming on the national championships and Skate America.

Both of
those events are part of the three-year contract with NBC, which will televise
10 hours of competition and plans to carry live all the finals at nationals.
That includes the women’s final in prime time.

Under the
contract, all finals at nationals will be rescheduled to occur on the weekend.
In the past, pairs and men’s finals often have been on Thursday or Friday

America will be held Oct. 25-28 in
Pa., and the
national championships will be in January in

St. Paul, with NBC airing finals on Saturday,
Jan. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 27.

was left to scramble for a television partner and must now make up for nearly
two-thirds of its budget that came from the TV rights. But the tie-in with NBC
makes sense because the network has the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and figure
skating is among the most-watched events in the Winter Games.

NBC also
will have other media rights to the USFSA events.

new partnership with NBC is a perfect fit for U.S. Figure Skating,” said
U.S. Figure Skating president Ron Hershberger said. “Figure skating on NBC
will be live, prime time, high definition and treated as premier programming.”

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