Ashley Wagner
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Figure skating broadcast schedule for 2016-17 season

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NBC, NBCSN, the NBC Sports app and Universal HD will broadcast more than 140 hours of figure skating coverage this season, capped by the World Championships in Helsinki in March and April.

The season kicks off in earnest with live coverage of Skate America on NBC in Hoffman Estates, Ill., next week, continuing through the fall Grand Prix season. Grand Prix series skater assignments are highlighted here.

Broadcast coverage also includes live coverage of all four disciplines of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Kansas City from Jan. 19-22.

Icenetwork.com will continue to provide live and on-demand streaming of events for subscribers. Its schedule is here.

The top skaters include reigning world champions Javier Fernandez (Spain), Yevgenia Medvedeva (Russia), pairs Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada) and ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France).

All reigning U.S. champions are also slated to compete — Gracie GoldAdam Rippon, pairs Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea and ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani — plus world silver medalist Ashley Wagner, 2015 U.S. champion Jason Brown and two-time world medalists ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates.

Here’s the full broadcast schedule:

Date ISU Grand Prix Series Time (ET) Network
Oct. 21 Skate America: Ladies Short 11 p.m.-midnight UniHD
Oct. 22 Skate America: Ladies Free (LIVE) 4:30-6 p.m. NBC
Oct. 22 Skate America: Men’s Short 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. UniHD
Oct. 22 Skate America: Pairs Free 12:30-1:30 a.m. UniHD
Oct. 23 Skate America: Men’s Free (LIVE) 12:30-2:30 p.m. NBC
Oct. 23 Skate America: Free Dance 9-10 p.m. UniHD
Oct. 24 Skate America: Ladies and Men’s Free (re-air) 8-11:30 p.m. UniHD
Oct. 28 Skate Canada: Ladies and Men’s Short midnight-2 a.m. UniHD
Oct. 29 Skate Canada: Free Skates midnight-3 a.m. UniHD
Oct. 30 Skate Canada: Ladies Free 5-6 p.m. NBC
Oct. 31 Skate Canada: Ladies Free (re-air) 8-9 p.m. UniHD
Nov. 4 Rostelecom Cup: Men’s and Ladies Short 8-10 p.m. UniHD
Nov. 5 Rostelecom Cup: Free Dance, Pairs Free 8-10 p.m. UniHD
Nov. 6 Rostelecom Cup 10-11:30 p.m. NBCSN
Nov. 11 Trophée de France: Men’s and Ladies Short 8-10 p.m. UniHD
Nov. 12 Trophée de France: Pairs Free, Free Dance 8-10 p.m. UniHD
Nov. 13 Trophée de France 4-5:30 p.m. NBCSN
Nov. 18 Cup of China: Ladies and Men’s Short 8-10 p.m. UniHD
Nov. 19 Cup of China: Free Dance, Pairs Free 9-11 p.m. UniHD
Nov. 19 Cup of China 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. NBCSN
Nov. 21 Cup of China 8-9:30 p.m. UniHD
Nov. 25 NHK Trophy: Ladies and Men’s Short 8-10 p.m. UniHD
Nov. 26 Rostelecom Cup: Recap 4-5 p.m. NBC
Nov. 26 Trophée de France: Recap 5-6 p.m. NBC
Nov. 26 NHK Trophy: Pairs Free 8:30-9:30 p.m. UniHD
Nov. 27 NHK Trophy: Free Dance 3-4 p.m. UniHD
Nov. 27 NHK Trophy 4-6 p.m. NBC
Nov. 28 Grand Prix Recaps (re-air) 7-11 p.m. UniHD
Dec. 8 Grand Prix Final: Men’s and Ladies Short 8-10 p.m. UniHD
Dec. 9 Grand Prix Final: Pairs Short, Short Dance 8-10 p.m. UniHD
Dec. 10 Grand Prix Final: Pairs Free 8:30-9:30 p.m. UniHD
Dec. 11 Grand Prix Final 8:30-11 p.m. NBCSN
Dec. 18 Grand Prix Final 4-6 p.m. NBC
Dec. 19 Grand Prix Final: NBC re-air 8-10 p.m. UniHD
Date U.S. Championships – Kansas City Time (ET) Network
Jan. 19 Pairs Short (LIVE) 6-8 p.m. NBCSN
Jan. 19 Ladies Short (LIVE) 10 pm-12:30 a.m. NBCSN
Jan. 20 Short Dance (LIVE) 6-8 p.m. NBCSN
Jan. 20 Men’s Short (LIVE) 8:30 p.m.-midnight UniHD
Jan. 21 Pairs Free and Free Dance (LIVE) 3-6 p.m. NBC
Jan. 21 Ladies Free (LIVE) 8-11 p.m. NBC
Jan. 22 Men’s Free (LIVE) 4-6 p.m. NBC
Jan. 23 Pairs Free and Free Dance (re-air) 8-11 p.m. UniHD
Jan. 24 Ladies Free (re-air) 8-11 p.m. UniHD
Jan. 25 Men’s Free (re-air) 8-10 p.m. UniHD
Jan. 28 Smucker’s Skating Spectacular 2:30-4:30 p.m. NBC
Jan. 29 Smucker’s Skating Spectacular (re-air) 8-10 p.m. UniHD
Date ISU Championships Time (ET) Network
Jan. 25 European Champs: Ladies and Pairs Short noon-4 p.m. NBCSN
Jan. 26 European Champs: Short Dance, Pairs Free Noon-4 p.m. NBCSN
Jan. 27 European Champs: Men’s Short, Ladies Free Noon-4 p.m. NBCSN
Jan. 28 European Champs: Free Dance 9-11 a.m. NBCSN
Jan. 28 European Champs: Men’s Free 4:30-6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Jan. 29 European Champs: Ladies and Men’s Free 4-6 p.m. NBC
Feb. 16 Four Continents: Short Programs Noon-6 p.m. NBCSN
Feb. 17 Four Continents: Free Dance, Men’s Short Noon-3 p.m. NBCSN
Feb. 18 Four Continents: Pairs Free 8-10 a.m. NBCSN
Feb. 18 Four Continents: Ladies Free 2-4 p.m. NBC
Feb. 18 Four Continents: Men’s Free 11 p.m.-1 a.m. NBCSN
March 29 World Champs: Ladies and Pairs Short 11 a.m.-3 p.m. NBCSN
March 30 World Champs: Men’s Short, Pairs Free 11 a.m.-3 p.m. NBCSN
March 31 World Champs: Ladies Free 1-3 p.m. NBCSN
March 31 World Champs: Short Dance 8-10 p.m. NBCSN
April 1 World Champs: Men’s Free, Free Dance 12:30-4:30 p.m. NBCSN
April 1 World Champs: Ladies Free 8-10 p.m. NBC
April 2 World Champs: Exhibition 1:30-3:30 p.m. NBCSN
April 9 World Champs: Recap 3-6 p.m. NBC

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Chinese lead, star pairs struggle in world championships short program

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China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong recorded the highest pairs short program score in the world since the 2014 Olympics, topping the world championships field in Helsinki on Wednesday.

Two-time defending world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada and Olympic silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov are well behind in seventh and 13th place, respectively.

Sui and Han, in just their second event this season, tallied a personal-best 81.23 points.

They lead by 1.39 over Germans Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot going into the free skate Thursday (1 p.m. ET, NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).

Russians Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov are in third.

The Chinese will go for their first world title after giving up a short-program lead last year and taking silver for a second straight time.

Full worlds short program results are here.

PREVIEWS: Men | Women | Pairs | Dance | TV schedule

Sui and Han missed the fall season after Sui underwent right ankle and left foot surgeries last spring. They returned at the Four Continents Championships in February and posted personal-best free skate and total scores, ranking only behind Tarasova and Morozov for the season.

Duhamel and Radford, looking to become the first pair to three-peat in 40 years, came in slowed by Radford’s hip injury suffered in the last week. Radford was off-balance on his triple toe loop landing Wednesday. Duhamel’s hand touched the ice on her throw triple Lutz landing.

They scored 72.67 points, which is 8.56 behind Sui and Han.

Stolbova and Klimov both suffered falls in their short program and scored 65.59, qualifying for the 16-pair free skate by four points. The Russian champions missed the autumn season due to Stolbova’s left leg injury.

The top U.S. pair was Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Christopher Knierim, who posted a personal-best 72.17 points for eighth place. The husband-and-wife pair are competing for the second time this season after Scimeca Knierim’s serious abdominal injury.

U.S. champions Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier suffered two falls and placed 20th, matching the worst U.S. pairs finish in worlds history. They did not qualify for the 16-pair free skate.

Therefore, the Knierims must finish 10th or better after the free skate to ensure the U.S. earns two pairs places at the 2018 Olympics.

Pairs is the U.S.’ weakest discipline. The last U.S. medal in pairs at worlds came in 2002. The last Olympic medal was in 1988.

North Korean pair Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik placed 14th in the short program, the highest of any pair expected to compete for one of four final Olympic quota spots in September.

North Korea sent no athletes to the Sochi Olympics, and it’s not a guarantee it will qualify any athletes for PyeongChang, or if it will send athletes to South Korea in February. But Ryom and Kim’s personal best by nearly 11 points on Wednesday was very encouraging.

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MORE: U.S. pairs skater back from life-threatening condition

Pairs Short Program
1. Sui Wenjing/Han Cong (CHN) — 81.23
2. Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (GER) — 79.84
3. Yevgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) — 79.37
8. Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Christopher Knierim (USA) — 72.17
20. Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) — 56.23

Missy Franklin out due to shoulder surgeries

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Missy Franklin is sidelined from swimming competition for an undisclosed period of time to recover from surgeries on both of her shoulders due to bursitis, according to her social media.

“This is what’s best for me to come stronger than ever,” was posted on Franklin’s Instagram. “I’m so far from being done with this sport.”

The five-time Olympic champion was diagnosed in early January following an MRI, underwent surgeries that month and has returned to limited training.

Franklin, who has not raced since the Rio Olympics, will not compete in the next USA Swimming Pro Series meet in Mesa, Ariz., in two weeks.

Her return date is not set.

The U.S. Championships are in June in Indianapolis and serve as a qualifying meet for the world championships in Budapest in July.

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