Television audiences will get a boost from a new scheduling format for the Canadian Figure Skating Championships to be held from Jan. 16 to 22 in Moncton, N.B.
Skate Canada will condense all the action of three senior disciplines into one show on Saturday night that will allow the CTV network to show the final groups only from the women's, ice dancing and pairs events.
The men's event goes on Sunday afternoon on Jan. 22 in a separate time slot.
The lower-ranked groups of skaters will compete during the afternoon, but will not be shown on television. And those who pay to watch them will not know who won the event until the evening.
William Thompson, chief executive officer of Skate Canada, said the format will provide incentive for skaters to perform well to get into the final groups.
He noted that similar schedules have been used elsewhere, but an ISU experiment of showing the earliest groups of singles skaters during the day and the finals after a long break at the world championships in Turin in 2010 was dropped after fans panned the idea.
Thompson said the new plan is more in line with golf – where the best players start later in the day – and with tennis, where the best matches are shown during the evening.
It will allow Skate Canada to plan the event differently for ticket sales, as well, and he says the Canadian championship will still be able to maintain the same number of skaters who qualify for the event through regional competitions.