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[01/31/08 - 03:43 PM]
U.S. Figure Skating Championships on NBC Most Watched in Five Years, Attracting 12.5 Million Viewers
NBC spins the numbers for January 26-27.

[via press release from NBC]

U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS ON NBC MOST WATCHED IN FIVE YEARS, ATTRACTING 12.5 MILLION VIEWERS

Gaines 166% More Viewers From Last Year

U.S. Figure Skating Championships � Skating Spectacular on NBC, Saturday 4-6 p.m.

NEW YORK � January 31, 2008 � Last weekend's coverage of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on NBC was the most watched in five years, attracting almost 12.5 million viewers, up 166 percent over last year's event on ABC and ESPN2 (4.7 million).

The 12,490,000 viewers is the most to watch the U.S. Figure Skating Championships since 2003 when the event benefited from the lift that figure skating received from the 2002 Salt Lake Games.

The event aired on NBC in HD from St. Paul, Minn. Saturday, Jan. 26 (4-6 p.m., ET & 8-11 p.m., ET) and Sunday, Jan. 27 (7-9 p.m., ET).

This is the first year of a multi-year agreement between NBC Sports and U.S. Figure Skating, after the latter's 43�year relationship with ABC/ESPN ended last year. The seven hours on NBC were the most network coverage of this event since 1998, and the five hours of network primetime coverage were the most in a decade.

U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS � SKATING SPECTACULAR

All the medalists from last weekend's U.S. Figure Skating Championships take to the ice in the Skating Spectacular exhibition from the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn. (Feb. 2, 4-6 p.m. ET). Among the skaters featured in the broadcast are ladies champion Mirai Nagasu, men's champion Evan Lysacek, pairs champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker and ice dancing champions Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto. Additionally, NBC will show Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir's free skate programs from Sunday afternoon. Lysacek and Weir finished in a tie, but Lysacek took the gold medal by defeating Weir in the free skate.

THE CRITICS SPEAK:

"NBC brought out its a-team for its live coverage of the free dance final and the ladies' free skate." � Detroit Free Press

"Dick Button was on his game and Bob Costas knew how to tweak Button for more information." � Chicago Tribune

"This was an encouraging week for American skating. After being consigned to cable oblivion, the big events were back in primetime on NBC." � Boston Globe

"After being buried in the wee hours on cable TV or shown on tape in recent years, the final sessions were shown on NBC in primetime, with the woman's free skate televised live." � Minneapolis Star Tribune





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