U.S. Championships set new attendance record
Attendance for the 10-day event totaled 158,170, besting the 154,389 that passed through the Spokane Arena turnstiles in 2007.
Nearly 13.7 million viewers tuned in to NBC Sports' coverage of the 2010 U.S. Championships, the largest television audience for the event since 2003. In addition to the 13 hours of coverage on NBC, including four hours in primetime, Universal Sports featured 15 hours of coverage during the week of the championships, including seven live hours of senior-level competition in ladies, men's, pairs and ice dancing. The championships were carried on television in more than 125 countries and available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide.
NBC Sports' final primetime rating for the ladies free skate Saturday, Jan. 23 was 3.4, 26 percent higher than in 2009. Saturday afternoon's airing of the original dance, free dance and ladies short program received a final rating of 2.1, 17 percent higher than in 2009, and the primetime broadcast of the Smucker's Skating Spectacular on Sunday, Jan. 24 earned a 2.5 final rating, 150 percent higher than the 2009 Smucker's Skating Spectacular that aired in a 2:30-4:30 p.m. time slot. The three skating programs all produced higher network ratings than any of the weekend's nine other sporting events, except those of the two NFL conference championship games.
With more than 75 hours of live video coverage available to Season Pass subscribers, icenetwork.com generated more than 160,000 live video streams during the championships, an increase of 71 percent over 2009. Nearly 300,000 unique visitors made more than 615,000 visits to the site, topping the 2009 total by 110 and 95 percent, respectively. With access to live scoring and results, news stories, photo galleries, athlete information, free video content from the AT&T Ice Desk and more, visitors to icenetwork.com generated 7.3 million page views, an increase of 41 percent over 2009.
In addition, U.S. Figure Skating used the 2010 U.S. Championships to introduce its international judging system (IJS) educational initiative, a multi-faceted program designed to help educate fans and the general public about the IJS.
Detailed information about the IJS, which was first used by U.S. Figure Skating during the 2005-06 season, is available in the U.S. Figure Skating media guide, on U.S. Figure Skating's web site (http://www.usfigureskating.org/New_Judging.asp?id=289) and in all event programs. In addition, SKATING magazine is running a six-article series that outlines the IJS in a comprehensible and fan-friendly way.
Features of the initiative at the 2010 U.S. Championships included the distribution of "Skate Radio," 2,000 free personal ear pieces featuring three channels of audio, including NBC Sports, icenetwork.com and one with expert analysis of the senior-level events; "You Be the Judge," a daily hands-on experience at Fan Fest that simulated what it's like to sit on the judges and technical panels; a 14-page IJS Handbook that was handed out to ticketholders and made available at the U.S. Figure Skating information booth throughout the event; and two educational seminars for U.S. Figure Skating officials.