ESPN has struck a four-year deal with the International Skating Union. For one thing, that means viewers will no longer be able to watch the finals of the men's, women's and pairs World Championships on broadcast TV.
The cable sports network will now have exclusive TV rights to nine ISU-sanctioned events, including the World Figure Skating Championships. ABC, which is co-owned with ESPN, had previously split duties on some of those events, most prominently the World Championships, with ESPN handling the early programs and ABC the finals in prime time, though it has not been a big ratings draw for the network.
No decision on talent has been made, but in the past, Peggy Fleming, Dick Button, and Peter Caruthers have handled the on air for both ESPN and ABC.
ESPN would not discuss financial terms of the deal.