NBC Sports set to broadcast Grand Prix Series
USFS, NBC announce broadcast partnership
|Skating fans will get to watch stars like Yu-Na Kim skate in the Grand Prix Series on NBC. (Getty Images)|
The deal, which was made possible after U.S. Figure Skating acquired the rights to the Grand Prix Series from the ISU this summer, marks the first time since 2003 that coverage of nearly all the Grand Prix Series events will appear on network television.
"It was extremely important to U.S. Figure Skating that we pursue every opportunity possible to bring television coverage of the Grand Prix Series back to the loyal fans of figure skating," said David Raith, U.S. Figure Skating executive director. "Our acquisition of the rights from the ISU and this agreement with NBC and Universal Sports will allow fans of the sport to follow our skaters and their success throughout the Grand Prix season and into the 2010 Olympic Winter Games."
NBC's broadcast will feature coverage of the ladies and men's free skates, while Universal Sports will focus its coverage on pairs, ice dancing and the men's and ladies short programs. Coupled with the live and on-demand coverage of the entire Grand Prix Series on icenetwork.com, fans in the United States will have the most extensive coverage of the ISU Grand Prix Series ever offered.
"This partnership with U.S. Figure Skating to air these premiere Grand Prix events confirms our commitment to bringing the world's best skaters to NBC Sports and Universal Sports as we lead into the Vancouver Games," said David Michaels, senior producer, NBC Olympics and executive producer, Universal Sports. "Figure skating is the most popular sport in the Winter Olympics, and these international events allow the fans of competitive figure skating to follow the best as they prepare for Vancouver."
This new television partnership between U.S. Figure Skating and NBC Sports is the latest in an ongoing relationship between the two parties. NBC has been U.S. Figure Skating's broadcast partner for Skate America and the U.S. Figure Skating Championships since the 2007-08 season, and an extension of that partnership through 2014 was announced in late August.
In addition to the coverage of the 2009 Grand Prix Series, NBC Sports will broadcast 10 hours, including live, prime-time coverage of the ladies free skate, of the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Jan. 14-24, 2010, in Spokane, Wash. Universal Sports, available in more than 56 million homes, will once again offer additional coverage and re-airs of the U.S. Championships.
"The opportunity to work together on the Grand Prix Series this season is a testament to the strength of the ongoing relationship we have established with NBC Sports and Universal Sports," Raith said. "Their commitment to figure skating is important to our organization, and we continue to work together to look for new and innovative ways to showcase our athletes and the sport."
NBC's broadcast team for the Grand Prix Series will include Andrea Joyce and 2002 Olympic pairs champion (with partner Jamie Salé), David Pelletier.