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[01/28/08 - 10:15 AM]
NBC Lifts Figure Skating Ratings
NBC spins the numbers for Saturday, January 26.

[via press release from NBC]

NBC LIFTS FIGURE SKATING RATINGS

NBC LIFTS FIGURE SKATING RATINGS

Ladies Free Skate up 65% over last year

NBC'S Dick Button on the Ladies Free Skate: "It made my spine tingle"

St. Paul, Minn. � Jan. 27, 2008 � Saturday night's primetime coverage of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships (8-11 p.m. ET/PT) featuring 14-year-old Marai Nagasu winning the gold medal in the Ladies Free Skate produced a 3.8 overnight rating and a six share which is 65% higher than last year's coverage of the Ladies Free Skate on ABC (2.3/5; 4-6 p.m. ET).

Additionally NBC's coverage of the Pairs Free Skate (4-6 p.m. ET) received an overnight rating of 2.0/4. Though unable to exactly compare overnight and national ratings (overnight ratings not available for ESPN's coverage), rough estimates show a gain of more than 300% over ESPN's coverage of the Pairs Free Skate last year. ESPN received a national rating of 0.49 for their coverage of Pairs last year in a telecast that started at 11:30 p.m. ET.

This is the first year of a multiyear agreement between NBC Sports and the U.S. Figure Skating Association, after 43 years on ABC/ESPN. The seven hours are the most network coverage of this event since 1998, and the five hours of network primetime coverage are the most in a decade.

MEN'S FREE SKATE TONIGHT IN PRIMETIME:

NBC continues coverage this evening in primetime (7-9 p.m. ET) with the Men's Free Skate, the culmination of the brewing rivalry between defending champion Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir. During the telecast, NBC Sports will provide a feature looking at the rivalry between these two skaters. In the feature Johnny Weir says:

"I respect Evan as an athlete but as a person I don't really like him. There's nothing special about him to me. We would never be friends and I wouldn't even know who he was if we weren't competing against each other."

QUOTES FROM NBC'S SATURDAY COVERAGE OF U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS:

TRACY WILSON ON BELBIN AND AGOSTO: "That is the best performance I have ever seen these two skate." Wilson said that it was the kind of skate that would "win the World Championships."

DICK BUTTON ON DANCE RUNNER-UP DAVIS AND WHITE: "There was a pulsing, romantic, aggressive, sexual quality about them."

BOB COSTAS: "So you liked it?"

BUTTON: "Oh Man!"

BUTTON ON THE LADIES FREE SKATE: "I got what I wanted tonight. This was theater in my book. Great skating that made my spine tingle."

SCOTT HAMILTON ON KIMMIE MEISSNER: "A devastating performance for Kimmie. It breaks your heart to see such a popular champion have a performance like that."





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