It looks like U.S. Figure Skating, or more specifically, NBC, are trying to get more out of the 2010 U.S. national championships. Philip Hersch is reporting on Chicagosports.com that the 2010 Nationals will be spread across two weekends.
According to the article:
The switch is being made to accommodate NBC, which wants to have live prime-time telecasts of all finals.
The four cities bidding to host the championships all have been told to figure on a two-weekend senior event, which likely will have men's competition the first weekend and women's the next.
Hersch also reports that "rumors about the two-weekend idea have prompted general discontent on Internet message boards devoted to figure skating, with many longtime fans saying they cannot afford to attend both and may skip the entire event in protest."
I have never actually been to an amateur figure skating event – I don’t believe there has ever been one in the city I was living in at the time or I would definitely have tried to make it. I can see where this would annoy the diehard fans who travel across the country just to see the competition. However, if the switch will allow all of the competitions to be shown on primetime network television for more of the country to see, I have to admit that is an enticing idea. I wouldn’t usually side with a network that is obviously just thinking of its advertising potential, but a more visible platform for all of the skating finals might breed more new fans of the sport and could lead to more of the sport for people to see. Perhaps that way there will be more timely broadcasting of competitions that get short shrift now. (Of course, feel free to disagree with me in the comments…)