COSTAS AND BUTTON TO HOST U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Olympic Pairs Champions Sale and Pelletier to Serve as Analysts
NEW YORK � Jan. 16, 2008 � NBC Sports announced today that Bob Costas and Dick Button will serve as the hosts of NBC's coverage when the nation's best skaters take the ice in St. Paul, Minn., for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in primetime on Saturday Jan. 26 (4-6 p.m., ET & 8-11 p.m., ET) and Sunday, Jan. 27 (7-9 p.m., ET). Costas, NBC's Olympic host, and Button, the most recognizable voice in figure skating, will be joined by Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Scott Hamilton (analyst), Sandra Bezic (analyst), Tracy Wilson (analyst), Andrea Joyce (reporter), and Olympic Canadian pairs champions Jamie Sale and David Pelletier (analysts) to form the deepest talent roster ever assembled to broadcast the figure skating national championships. This is the first year of a multiyear agreement between NBC Sports and U.S. Figure Skating Association.
BOB COSTAS, a 17-time Emmy Award winner and one of the most respected and honored broadcasters of his generation will host the 2008 Beijing Summer Games this August, his eighth for NBC Sports and his seventh as primetime host. Costas, who recently finished his second season as the host of NBC's "Football Night in America," also co-hosts NBC's coverage of the U.S. Open, Ryder Cup, Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, and recently hosted the "NHL Winter Classic" outdoor hockey game on New Year's Day in Buffalo.
DICK BUTTON, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and legendary figure skating commentator, was the co-host of the critically acclaimed "OLYMPIC ICE" during the 2006 Torino Games. For more than 40 years, Button served as an ABC Sports figure skating analyst on "ABC's Wide World of Sports" and ABC's coverage of the Winter Olympics, receiving the 1980-81 Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality � Analyst. Button dominated the world of figure skating in the late 40s and early 50s, winning two Olympic gold medals (1948 and 1952), five consecutive World Championships (1948-52), seven U.S. National titles and six North American titles.
TOM HAMMOND, one of sports broadcasting's most-respected and versatile talents, has been NBC's figure skating play-by-play voice for the past two Winter Olympics in Torino and Salt Lake City. Hammond hosts NBC's Eclipse Award-winning coverage of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, is the lead play-by-play voice on Notre Dame football and has broadcast seven Olympic Games for NBC Sports dating back to 1988 in Seoul.
SCOTT HAMILTON, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist, was a figure skating analyst for the men's and women's competition during the network's coverage of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games and co-hosted "OLYMPIC ICE," the critically acclaimed daily figure skating show on USA Network. Hamilton also served as NBC's figure skating analyst during its coverage of the 2002 Salt Lake Games. In addition, Hamilton worked as an analyst for CBS' coverage of the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. Hamilton dominated men's amateur figure skating in the early 1980s, capturing the gold medal at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympic Winter Games and winning four consecutive world and national championships from 1981-84.
SANDRA BEZIC, a former Olympian and Canadian pairs champion, served as an NBC figure skating analyst during the 2006 Winter Games in Torino and the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Since joining NBC in 1990, Bezic has covered numerous NBC Sports events, including four World Figure Skating Championships (1991-93 and 1995) and the World Professional Figure Skating Championships.
TRACY WILSON, the 1988 Olympic bronze medalist in ice dancing, served as the figure skating analyst for the ice dancing competition during coverage of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, and the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Wilson provided analysis for CBS for three Winter Games: the 1992 Albertville Games, the 1994 Lillehammer Games and the 1998 Olympics in Nagano. She also worked as a commentator for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona for CTV in Canada.
ANDREA JOYCE joined NBC Sports in 2000 and has served as a reporter on a number of events for the network, including her work as the figure skating reporter during the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino. At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Joyce served as the gymnastics and diving reporter and provided play-by-play for the rhythmic gymnastics competition. She was the speed skating reporter at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the swimming and diving reporter during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. In Sydney, she also covered women's soccer and women's water polo, in addition to contributing to the Sports Desk. Joyce formerly served as a reporter for "NBA on NBC" and "WNBA on NBC" broadcasts.
Olympic gold medalists JAMIE SALE and her partner and husband DAVID PELLETIER made their broadcasting debut in 2006 at the Torino Games on "OLYMPIC ICE," the critically acclaimed daily figure skating show on USA Network. In February 2002, the Canadian pair emerged from the center of a judging scandal at the Salt Lake City Games with gold medals, which they shared with the Russian pair Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, and the hearts of millions of fans around the world for the incredible grace and dignity they had demonstrated both on and off the ice. In 2000, Sal� and Pelletier won their first of three Canadian Championships, and became the first pairs team ever to receive five perfect "6.0" scores in the competition. At the 2001 World Championships in Vancouver they captured the gold medal.
U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS ON NBC SPORTS:
The U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held annually since 1914, is the nation's most prestigious figure skating event. The 2008 competition will take place at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., and will be broadcast on NBC Saturday afternoon and evening, Jan. 26, and Sunday evening, Jan. 27. Coverage of the event will include seven hours of competition in the ladies and men's singles, pairs and ice dancing, with five hours in primetime plus and extra hour of the Exhibition of Champions. The 2008 U.S. Championships will in part serve to select the 2008 U.S. team for the World Championships.
NBC SPORTS AND U.S. FIGURE SKATING ASSOCIATION:
In 2007, NBC Sports and the U.S. Figure Skating Association announced a multiyear partnership under which NBC will broadcast high-definition coverage of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, including Saturday and Sunday night primetime coverage of the ladies and men's free skate, as well as Skate America.
This three-year partnership will run through the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. The schedule for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships has been re-formatted so that all finals will be on the weekend and shown live. In addition, the date for the championships has been changed so as to not air versus the NFL. Saturday night will feature the Ladies' Free Skate and Sunday night will feature the Men's Free Skate.