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Figure skating season TV schedule on NBC Sports

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NBC Sports will air an unprecedented 80-plus TV hours of figure skating coverage this season, starting in two weeks with Skate America.

NBC (30-plus hours), NBCSN (50-plus hours) and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will combine to air the Grand Prix series this fall, the U.S. Championships in January and the world championships in March, plus other events.

NBC Sports Gold will feature live and on-demand streaming of every skater in every discipline throughout the season ad-free through the “Figure Skating Pass.”

It all starts in Everett, Wash., with the return of world champion Nathan Chen.

Chen, the first skater to land seven quadruple jumps at one event, bounced back from his 17th-place Olympic short program to top the Olympic free skate (leaping to fifth overall), then routed the world championships field by the largest margin in history.

The Grand Prix series also includes Olympic champions Yuzuru Hanyu and Alina Zagitova, as well as U.S. champion Bradie Tennell, who beat Olympic silver medalist Yevgenia Medvedeva at her first competition this season for her first international victory.

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MORE: Polina Edmunds plans figure skating return

Date

Grand Prix Series

Time (ET)

Network

Saturday, Oct. 20

Skate America

6-8 p.m.

NBCSN (Live)

Sunday, Oct. 21

Skate America

12:30-1:30 p.m.

NBC

Sunday, Oct. 21

Skate America

4-6 p.m.

NBCSN (Live)

Saturday, Oct. 27

Skate America

3-6 p.m.

NBC

Sunday, Oct. 28

Skate Canada

4-6 p.m.

NBC

Sunday, Nov. 4

Grand Prix Finland

1-3 p.m.

NBC

Sunday, Nov. 11

NHK Trophy

12-1:30 p.m.

NBC

Sunday, Nov. 18

Rostelecom Cup

12-1:30 p.m.

NBC

Sunday, Nov. 25

Internationaux de France

4-6 p.m.

NBC

Friday, Dec. 7

Grand Prix Final

11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

NBCSN

Saturday, Dec. 8

Grand Prix Final

8-10 p.m.

NBCSN

Sunday, Dec. 9

Grand Prix Final

4-6 p.m.

NBC

Date

U.S. Championships — Detroit

Time (ET)

Network

Thursday, Jan. 24

Pairs Short Program

5-7 p.m.

NBCSN (Live)

Thursday, Jan. 24

Ladies Short Program

9-11 p.m.

NBCSN (Live)

Friday, Jan. 25

Rhythm Dance

4-6 p.m.

NBCSN (Live)

Friday, Jan. 25

Ladies Free Skate

8-11 p.m.

NBC (Live)

Saturday, Jan. 26

Pairs Free, Men’s Short

1:30-4:30 p.m.

NBC (Live)

Saturday, Jan. 26

Free Dance

7-9 p.m.

NBCSN (Live)

Sunday, Jan. 27

Men’s Free Skate

3:30-6 p.m.

NBC (Live)

Saturday, Feb. 16

Skating Spectacular

2:30-4 p.m.

NBC

Date

ISU Championships

Time (ET)

Network

Wednesday, Jan. 23

Europeans: Men’s Short

4:30-6:30 p.m.

NBCSN

Thursday, Jan. 24

Europeans Pairs Free

7-9 p.m.

NBCSN

Thursday, Jan. 24

Europeans: Ladies Short

11 p.m.-1 a.m.

NBCSN

Friday, Jan. 25

Europeans: Rhythm Dance

2-4 p.m.

NBCSN

Friday, Jan. 25

Europeans: Men’s Free

6-8 p.m.

NBCSN

Saturday, Jan. 26

Europeans: Free Dance

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

NBCSN

Sunday, Jan. 27

Europeans: Ladies & Men’s Free

1:30-3:30 p.m.

NBC

Thursday, Feb. 7

Four Continents: Ladies Short

5-7:30 p.m.

NBCSN (Live)

Friday, Feb. 8

Four Continents: Men’s Short

12 a.m.-2 a.m.

NBCSN (Live)

Saturday, Feb. 9

Four Continents: Ladies Free

12 a.m.-2 a.m.

NBCSN (Live)

Saturday, Feb. 9

Four Continents: Men’s Free

11:30 p.m.-2 a.m.

NBCSN (Live)

Sunday, Feb. 10

Four Continents: Free Dance

1-3 a.m.

NBCSN

Saturday, Feb. 16

Four Continents: Ladies, Men’s Frees

4-6 p.m.

NBC

Wednesday, March 20

Worlds: Ladies Short

3-5 p.m.

NBCSN

Thursday, March 21

Worlds: Pairs Free

1-3 p.m.

NBCSN

Thursday, March 21

Worlds: Men’s Short

3-5 p.m.

NBCSN

Friday, March 22

Worlds: Rhythm Dance

7-9 p.m.

NBCSN

Friday, March 22

Worlds: Ladies Free

9-11 p.m.

NBCSN

Saturday, March 23

Worlds: Ladies & Men’s Free

8-10 p.m.

NBC

Saturday, March 23

Worlds: Men’s Free

2-4 p.m.

NBCSN

Sunday, April 14

Worlds: Recap

3-6 p.m.

NBC

 

Hirscher leads by 0.56 seconds after first run in World Champs slalom

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Marcel Hirscher swept into the finish area and wagged his finger triumphantly in front of the camera.

The message was clear: The ski king is back.

The Austrian produced an emphatic response to relinquishing his giant slalom title two days earlier at the world championships by taking a 0.56-second lead after the first run of the slalom on Sunday.

Only Alexis Pinturault of France was within a second of Hirscher, who was on course to win a record-tying seventh career gold medal at the worlds.

Marco Schwarz of Austria was in third place, 1.22 seconds off the lead.

Hirscher, the seven-time overall World Cup champion, showed no ill-effects from the cold that has been affecting him this week. After the giant slalom on Friday, he said he would be going straight back to bed to rest up for the slalom.

He looked in good working order on Sunday.

As the third skier on the course, Hirscher took 1.70 seconds off No. 2 starter Henrik Kristoffersen, who beat Hirscher to GS gold on Friday, and more than two seconds off Clement Noel, who came to the worlds in form after wins in Wengen and Kitzbuehel.

Save for Hirscher crashing, only Pinturault looks capable to denying the Austrian a third slalom gold at the worlds — something only the great Ingemar Stenmark has achieved. Pinturault was only 0.06 seconds behind Hirscher at the third checkpoint but he went wide at the first turn on the final descent and lost half a second.

“I’m still in the fight,” Pinturault said, “and still have a chance in the second leg. That’s the essential (thing).”

Daniel Yule of Switzerland was 0.28 behind Hirscher at the last split before falling at the start to the final descent.

Hirscher also won the slalom at the 2013 and 2017 worlds. A seventh career gold at the worlds would tie the men’s record held by compatriot Toni Sailer from the late 1950s.

Austria, a storied Alpine skiing nation, needs Hirscher to deliver in the final event to avoid finishing the world championships without a gold medal for the first time since Crans Montana, Switzerland, in 1987. The women’s team has already finished with no medals and that hasn’t happened since Schladming, Austria, in 1982.

Watch an encore presentation of the first run on NBCSN at 7:00 a.m. ET. The second and deciding run can be seen live starting at 8:00 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.

Mikaela Shiffrin proving she’s in league of her own

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There are ski racers, and then there is Mikaela Shiffrin.

NBC Sports essayist Tim Layden calls Shiffrin the “rarest creature,” a prodigy who continues to get better with age.

Shiffrin’s stardom took off with her heart-stopping slalom gold medal in the 2014 Olympics. It looked like she would ascend to an even higher level four years later in PyeongChang when she claimed a gold medal in the giant slalom, but then she lost a battle with her nerves and failed to win a medal in the slalom. She did capture a silver in the combined event.

That Olympic disappointment has fueled her historic World Cup season. She became the youngest skier to pass the 50 win mark. She broke the women’s career record for slalom victories, and she became the first skier ever to win four-straight world championship titles in a single event.

A true prodigy indeed.