Since you mention comments are taken into account for next time, I would like to say I would be glad not to hear Hughes and Kwiatkowski commentating or chatting on the phone at the sports desk. Please keep the broadcasts commentary-free, so I can hear just the skater's music, and please don't have us listen to a phone conversation with even someone as charming as Ross Miner when we could be watching actual skating or hearing the skater's music.
I think one has to be pretty hardcore to subscribe to icenetwork in the first place. What keeps me subscribing are the commentary-free videos of skaters from all levels--I like the skaters with good presentation even if they don't land enough jumps to make NBC's broadcasts. It has been said on another board that icenetwork subscribers are hardcore fans and most likely already know all about American skaters' success on the GP's. During sectional weekend such fans are most likely tuning in to see if a young skater will be able to advance to the next level. Such hardcore fans don't need GP news re-hashed, or to inquire about Carol's beauty secrets.
I also notice that the quality of the video from several of the Sectional broadcast/on demand is not as excellent as I've seen in past years. Perhaps this had to be done to make the event as close to live as possible, to make the on-demand nearly immediately available. Speaking for only myself, I would rather wait for a clear picture, rather than see a fuzzy one sooner. As I've said, I'm here to see the on demand videos of up and coming skaters, and I'm used to waiting for those.
I do appreciate the addition of live Sectionals to the menu--I understand that icenetwork is attempting to give fans something that was not already announced when we decided to renew our subscriptions sans live coverage of the GP's. It would be nice if in future years video quality didn't suffer, and fans had a sense of which events would be switched to at what time... should icenetwork decide to offer this opportunity again. Thank you.
I agree with kana's excellent post. More skating, less commentary . That's always been my gripe with the big network broadcasts--not enough skating.
I can go along with an "on-demand" commentary show, which might be appealing to new (and old) fans who are trying to learn more about the sport. But "on-demand," please, so we can skip it if we wish.
Please no Ice Desk! That was a total waste of time. I agree, most icenet subscribers already know what's what with the Grand Prix. No need for a silly ditzy rehash.
Also- Tonia has a nice voice, and I like her skating commentary when it is minimal. On the other hand Sarah Hughes slurred her words so much she sounded drunk or like she had marbles in her mouth. Can you please not use her again until she's had some voice coaching?
I would much rather have an interview show totally separate from skating competitions. Then it wouldn't interfere with the skating, and I could choose to watch or not watch.
The issue is not my internet speed. My internet speed is fine, and skate america and pacific coast sectional and midwestern sectional vids look clear. On the other hand, during some portions of the program, you can barely make out Haley Dunne in the senior ladies FS from eastern sectionals.
I am not one of those in favor of dumping ice network just because the GP's can no longer be seen live. I would wait one month for ice network to upload the GP's if the videos when finally uploaded are commentary free and in good quality.
I want to support ice network--to me it's a wonderful opportunity to see many skaters that the TV networks would never show to fans, hard core or casual, because these skaters aren't seniors, or because they had jump problems in the short program and aren't in the final warm-up groups, even though they work just as hard, their families have sacrificed just as much, and in many cases their skating is more aesthetically pleasing to me than the skating that actually makes TV.
However, I find the commentary a huge turn-off, and would consider dropping ice network if from now on, even regionals and sectionals videos will have commentary. Might as well go back to searching youtube for videos in foreign languages so I can ignore the commentators.
Now, isn't it also true that time spent with the camera focused on Hughes or Kwiatkowski is time spent NOT showing actual skating during sectionals weekend? The 3 sectionals take place over the same time period; I understand that--because it wouldn't be fair if people who qualify through easterns get 2 more weeks of prep for nationals than those from mids or pacific coast. But with one feed to show 3 different sectionals, does icenetwork have so much time to spare for close-ups of Tonia and Sarah? I didn't sign up for icenetwork to see studio guests. Those studio guests are welcome to contribute their insights, and it would be a wonderful service provided to fans on demand--as long as the studio people aren't talking over the skater's music, or keeping fans from seeing actual skating during sectionals weekend.
I understand the need to appeal to even fans who want to have certain aspects of scoring explained, fans who like commentary. Those fans are freely expressing their points of view as well. I myself don't want to hear any commentary or explanation until the skater is taking a bow after the performance. My suggested compromise to also accomodate those fans is separate on-demand programming explaining the scoring, with video replay of certain jumps and discussions of component scores, etc. After all these vids take weeks to appear, so there is an opportunity for ice network to super-impose audio explaining why skater X is about to be deflated by her marks while skater Y, who is schedule to go next, is pacing around on warm-up, because skater Y can't skate until skater X has received her score. It need not be anything particularly complicated--a voice over explaining the elements attempted, or at least some key aspects of the components--will suffice. It's not as though commentary is as detailed as a protocol that goes over every single element and its downgrade and GOE anyway.