Speak Out

DVD Spin

Thanks for providing a response in the last IFS issue to the question of whether a DVD of “All That Skate LA” might be available. I suspected that the producers did not consider this, but at least they gave a response. It may not have been feasible for them to produce one.

On the other hand, it still mystifies me a year later that NBC didn’t produce a figure skating video from the 2010 Olympics. To say its Olympic Highlights DVD was a disappointment is an understatement.

One quarter of it is devoted to the opening ceremonies, with full performances of Neil Young and a duet by Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado. It also included Canada’s gold-medal win by Alexandre Bilodeau twice.

But not a single complete figure skating routine. The skating montage at the end was an afterthought.
It was a lazy, sloppy effort.

Considering that South Korea produced a three-disc DVD set and Canada produced a five-disc set available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, NBC should be embarrassed that they didn’t produce anything better.

It’s not necessary to create a Bud Greenspan-style documentary; simply take the existing coverage and put a menu on top.

I think NBC has made some good decisions with its repeats of major figure skating events on Universal Sports, and showing the Olympic ladies free skate uninterrupted from the last skater in the next-to-last group through the end of the competition. A simple but brilliant decision that increased the drama of the event.

But NBC has also made some poor decisions — no Olympic DVD and no Worlds coverage on the main network.

John Young
Rockville, Md.

Skating on the Small Screen

Regarding the lack of skating coverage on TV, we have the same problem in the UK. Even on sports channels we only get limited coverage, which often gets squeezed out if another sport like snooker or cycling runs overtime.

As some of your readers have suggested it would be great to be able to buy DVDs of skating competitions — maybe this is something that could be arranged by the skating authorities?

Chris Nevard
Edlesborough, U.K.

Skating fans in the U.S.— including me — have been angry over the ridiculously inadequate skating coverage on NBC. Yes, it is better with Universal Sports, but many people can’t get Universal Sports.

I have good news for everyone, like myself, that has satellite service from DirecTV. After I complained, one of their customer service representatives sent me an e-mail telling me that DirecTV plan to add Universal Sports to their lineup in October (just in time for the 2011-12 skating season!)

If the deal goes through, at least some of us will be better served. That still leaves many fans who have no access to Universal Sports or DirecTV.

However, I think this represents a step forward.

Arnold Matlin, M.D.
Linwood, N.Y.

I just wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoy receiving my International Figure Skating magazine. I especially enjoy the pictures of all of the beautiful skaters. Thank you very much for a wonderful magazine.

David Franzman
Newport News, Va.

Originally published in October 2011