Originally scheduled in March in Tokyo, the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships were postponed due to the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. The Worlds have been rescheduled for April 25-May 1 in Moscow. With many of the top figure skaters hailing from Japan — Miko Ando, Kanako Murakami and defending champion Mao Asada on the women’s side, and Takahiko Kozuka, Nobunari Oda and defending world champion and 2010 Olympic bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi for the men — expect many competitors to skate with heavy hearts. For the U.S., top contenders include Rachel Flatt (pictured), U.S. champion Alyssa Czisny, Ryan Bradley, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, and Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin.
NBC’s Universal Sports TV channel will have coverage of the event April 27-30.
2011 World Figure Skating Championships on Universal Sports
April 27 — Men’s, pairs short programs, 6pm ET
April 28 — Men’s free skate, 6pm ET; Pairs free skate, 8pm ET
April 29 — Ladies’ short program, short dance, 6pm ET
April 30 — Ladies’ free skate, 6pm ET; Dance free dance, 8pm ET
[Update: Full press release and more details from NBC]
Universal Sports Presents Unprecedented Multi-Platform Coverage of the 2011 ISU World Figure Skating Championships
Universalsports.com and Icenetwork.com Partner to Stream Competition LIVE
Television Broadcast Includes Over 14 Hours of Coverage
Los Angeles, CA—April 11, 2011—Universal Sports presents unprecedented multi-platform coverage of the 2011 International Skating Union (ISU) World Figure Skating Championships, in Moscow, Russia. The championships, originally scheduled for mid-March in Tokyo, Japan, were relocated to Moscow after the unfortunate and devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. The event is now set for April 27-May 1.
The network will broadcast over 14 hours of coverage and will air every event. Primetime coverage will begin April 27 at 6 p.m. ET with the men’s and pairs short programs and continue throughout the week with the rest of the competition. The Universal Sports broadcast team includes Andrea Joyce (play-by-play), 1984 Olympic silver medalist Peter Carruthers (the men’s and pairs analyst), 1998 Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski (ladies analyst) and Judy Blumberg (ice dancing analyst).
Universal Sports’ digital platform, Universalsports.com has partnered up with icenetwork.com to deliver LIVE on-line coverage, on a subscription basis, of the 2011 World Championships, beginning with the men’s short program on April 27 at 5:30 a.m. ET. Universalsports.com will also feature full replays, highlights and analysis.
“While we all keep the people of Japan in our hearts, we are glad the athletes will be able to compete in the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships,” said Perkins Miller, COO of Universal Sports. “With 14 hours on-air and another 30 hours online in partnership with icenetwork.com, we know our fans will be able to celebrate this great event whenever and wherever they want.”
“We look forward to our athletes competing in Moscow,” said David Raith, Executive Director of U.S. Figure Skating. “We are excited our fans will be able to watch all of the action on Universal Sports and icenetwork.com.”
The ladies competition features reigning Olympic champion Yu-Na Kim of South Korea, who seeks to reclaim her 2009 World title. Kim has not competed since finishing second at the 2010 World Championships. Challenging her will be Mao Asada of Japan, the 2010 defending World champion. Reigning U.S. champion Alissa Czisny and 2010 Olympian Rachael Flatt will compete for a spot on the podium.
On the men’s side, defending World champion Daisuke Takahashi leads a talented group of men from Japan against last year’s World silver medalist Patrick Chan of Canada. Ryan Bradley leads the contingent of U.S. men hoping to reach the podium.
In the pairs competition, 2010 World champions Pang Qing and Tong Jian of China look to defend their title against Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy. While in the ice dancing event, reigning Olympic and World champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada will square-off against chief rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States. For Davis and White, a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships would mean a first-ever World title for a U.S. ice dancing team.
2011 World Figure Skating Championships Broadcast/Web Schedule
All times ET
Men’s Short Program – 5:30 AM, universalsports.com/icenetwork.com
Opening Ceremonies – 10:45 AM, universalsports.com/icenetwork.com
Pairs Short Program – 11:30 AM, universalsports.com/icenetwork.com
Shorts: Men’s & Pairs – 6:00 PM, Universal Sports TV
Men’s Free – 5:00 AM, universalsports.com/icenetwork.com
Pairs Free – 10:00 AM, universalsports.com/icenetwork.com
Men’s Free – 6:00 PM, Universal Sports TV
Pairs Free – 8:00 PM, Universal Sports TV
Ladies Short Program – 5:30 AM, universalsports.com/icenetwork.com
Dance Short Program – 10:30 AM, universalsports.com/icenetwork.com
Shorts: Ladies & Dance – 6:00 PM, Universal Sports TV
Ladies Free – 5:30 AM, universalsports.com/icenetwork.com
Dance Free – 10:30 AM, universalsports.com/icenetwork.com
Ladies Free – 6:00 PM, Universal Sports TV
Dance Free – 8:00 PM, Universal Sports TV