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USA pro cycling challenge quietly demoted from NBCSN to Universal Sports

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USA pro cycling challenge quietly demoted from NBCSN to Universal Sports

Old 08-15-15, 09:47 PM
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USA pro cycling challenge quietly demoted from NBCSN to Universal Sports

They were advertising it on the TDF broadcast on NBCSN. But now, it appears from NBC Sports facebook page, that Universal Sports is going to have it instead. I suspect it's because there isn't a single big name in the race and thus, they couldn't get advertisers to sign up.


NBC Sports Cycling
6 hrs
We are here in beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado preparing for Stage 1 of the USA Pro Challenge- don't miss the action Monday at 4 eastern on Universal Sports!!!
The field this year is wide open- who do you see wearing the final yellow jersey in Denver? Let us know, and share to support American Cycling!
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Old 08-16-15, 09:57 AM
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Well, this is probably for the best (for people who get Universal Sports, at least). NBCSports always seems to muck up cycling coverage: preempting it for other stuff, starting late, skipping live coverage and just showing late-night recap, etc. At least on Universal the coverage will start on time.
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Old 08-16-15, 11:39 AM
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I never received Universal Sports. What providers carry it? I've had TWC and Comcast now in two different states. Does anyone here get it? I think nearly all providers have NBCSN.

This is unfortunate as the net result is that fewer people in the U.S will get to watch this event.
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Old 08-16-15, 04:19 PM
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This crap is why we have Eurosport and Cycling Torrents.

Because even when they carry events...US broadcasters do a laughably terrible job of screwing things up, putting out an unwatchable series of commercials randomly interrupted by a few snippets of people riding bicycles.
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Old 08-16-15, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Laggard View Post
I never received Universal Sports. What providers carry it? I've had TWC and Comcast now in two different states. Does anyone here get it? I think nearly all providers have NBCSN.

This is unfortunate as the net result is that fewer people in the U.S will get to watch this event.
Go to the Universal Sport Live Streaming page here. Access is granted to the live streams for most anyone who has a major Cable/Satellite account.

The USA Pro Challenge stages broadcast will start each day this week at 2:00 pm Mountain Time Zone, for the Colorado races.
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Old 08-16-15, 08:10 PM
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Comcast doesn't carry Universal Sports so that link doesn't help. You have to sign in with a provider that carries the channel.
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Old 08-16-15, 09:46 PM
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I have Dish network and the package I have has USN & BEIN Sports which also carries bike races, in HD.

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Old 08-17-15, 02:31 PM
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This is pretty disappointing. The major cable provider in Colorado doesn't carry the race. It is true that the start list is not great, but casual fans may not know the riders anyway--they want to see people racing bikes in Colorado.

However you can watch on your iPad/ phone/ android with Tour Tracker for Pro Challenge.
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Old 08-17-15, 04:56 PM
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For me watching in real time is not an option at work so it has to be recorded on the DVR.

Comcast used to carry Universal Sports at least in Seattle but that has been a few years. Can't say that I'll miss the Pro Challenge that much as it is rarely an entertaining race but the scenery is nice and any bike racing can be fun to watch. I really miss seeing the Vuelta, Giro and races like the Tour of the Basque Country that I used to get.

Can't see myself switching providers as I'm more likely to cancel cable and just keep the internet for streaming.
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Old 08-17-15, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by busygizmo View Post
Can't say that I'll miss the Pro Challenge that much as it is rarely an entertaining race but the scenery is nice and any bike racing can be fun to watch.
Today's stage was won by Taylor Phinney---an amazing comeback from his high-speed terrible crash last year descending Lookout Mountain in Tennessee. As a Boulder Colorado native, Phinney's win was celebrated by the local crowds and media, for sure...
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Old 08-17-15, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Laggard View Post
I never received Universal Sports. What providers carry it? I've had TWC and Comcast now in two different states. Does anyone here get it? I think nearly all providers have NBCSN.

This is unfortunate as the net result is that fewer people in the U.S will get to watch this event.
I have TWC and USN as well as BEIN Sports is part of the sports package. About 9 bucks a month extra. For me it's worth it since I DVR most of the races and watch them when I'm ready and can FF through the commercials. I was away last week on vacation and when I got home I had the Tour of Poland in the can waiting for me.
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Old 08-18-15, 07:45 AM
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It appears the final stage Sunday is on NBC
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Old 08-19-15, 01:52 PM
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When Mrs. Box and I first started dating, she had good ole rabbit ears and Universal Sports was one of the channels she got.
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Old 08-19-15, 02:29 PM
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My solution was to subscribe to Sling TV for the summer, their sports package includes Universal Sports and BEIN. After UCI Worlds in Sept I'll drop the subscription till next summer. Sling has a Roku channel so I can watch on my TV, and you can watch time-shifted, not just live.
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Old 08-19-15, 03:27 PM
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Watch on the web at USA Pro Challenge Tour Tracker
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Old 08-24-15, 10:33 AM
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I think it's coming out that something really was amiss with the [strike]Colorado[/strike] USA Pro Cycling challenge. NBCSN demotes is quietly to Universal, then a lack of any big names showing up, the women's race being cut way back, the women didn't even race an hour on Sunday, no main sponsor, losing millions a year, and now this.

The Denver Post reports that the USA Pro Challenge race is facing an uncertain future with its owners embroiled in a lawsuit. Rick Schaden and his father, Richard, the founders of Quiznos, Smashburger, and Live Basil food chains are being targeted by two behemoth hedge funds in a contentious federal lawsuit.
Read more at In the News: USA Pro Challenge at a crossroads - VeloNews.com

If the race really has such an big economic impact then I feel the state and the towns should be bearing most of the cost of this race.

NBCSN is covering the worlds in Richmond, Virginia and if it is a success, they should move the USA Pro Cycling challenge to the East coast with a finale riding around the mall in Washington DC
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Old 08-24-15, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
I think it's coming out that something really was amiss with the [strike]Colorado[/strike] USA Pro Cycling challenge. NBCSN demotes is quietly to Universal, then a lack of any big names showing up, the women's race being cut way back, the women didn't even race an hour on Sunday, no main sponsor, losing millions a year, and now this.



Read more at In the News: USA Pro Challenge at a crossroads - VeloNews.com

If the race really has such an big economic impact then I feel the state and the towns should be bearing most of the cost of this race.

NBCSN is covering the worlds in Richmond, Virginia and if it is a success, they should move the USA Pro Cycling challenge to the East coast with a finale riding around the mall in Washington DC
I don't get the need in the USA to have a "title sponsor" for every-frigging-thing. Apparently advertising execs are too self-absorbed to even think that corporate whoring out of one's activities makes one look like trash. I still LMAO that a company that made it's billions making EPO and other steroids being the "title sponsor" of the Tour of California. Vuelta, TdF, Giro, the Spring Classics all get along with themselves just being named the race.

That being said, TV airing of cycling events in the USA has always been hit or miss and mostly miss. US TV broadcasters are only really good at airing women's gymnastics and NFL/NCAA football. Every sports channel that has carried cycling only did it as a stepping stone to being a larger network before dropping it entirely.
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Old 08-24-15, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
I don't get the need in the USA to have a "title sponsor" for every-frigging-thing. Apparently advertising execs are too self-absorbed to even think that corporate whoring out of one's activities makes one look like trash. I still LMAO that a company that made it's billions making EPO and other steroids being the "title sponsor" of the Tour of California. Vuelta, TdF, Giro, the Spring Classics all get along with themselves just being named the race.

That being said, TV airing of cycling events in the USA has always been hit or miss and mostly miss. US TV broadcasters are only really good at airing women's gymnastics and NFL/NCAA football. Every sports channel that has carried cycling only did it as a stepping stone to being a larger network before dropping it entirely.
100% agreed. That's ONE of the reasons America regularly suffers economically. We are always beholden to some giant company like Amgen.
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Old 08-25-15, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
I don't get the need in the USA to have a "title sponsor" for every-frigging-thing. Apparently advertising execs are too self-absorbed to even think that corporate whoring out of one's activities makes one look like trash. I still LMAO that a company that made it's billions making EPO and other steroids being the "title sponsor" of the Tour of California. Vuelta, TdF, Giro, the Spring Classics all get along with themselves just being named the race.

That being said, TV airing of cycling events in the USA has always been hit or miss and mostly miss. US TV broadcasters are only really good at airing women's gymnastics and NFL/NCAA football. Every sports channel that has carried cycling only did it as a stepping stone to being a larger network before dropping it entirely.
Um, i had two cousins who had cancer. While undergoing chemo, had to use EPO. Made by guess who.



Regarding sponsors....ever been to the Tour? It's an advertising caravan with a bike race hidden in there. Got to pay bills.

Last edited by roadwarrior; 08-25-15 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 08-25-15, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
Um, i had two cousins who had cancer. While undergoing chemo, had to use EPO. Made by guess who.



Regarding sponsors....ever been to the Tour? It's an advertising caravan with a bike race hidden in there. Got to pay bills.
Sorry about your cousins mi amigo.


Sure it is an advertising train...But you don't hear about the "Budweiser Tour of France". Or the "Renault Paris-Nice" spring classic. "Title sponsor" BS of the event name itself.

That was my point.
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Old 08-27-15, 08:58 PM
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Surprising the Colorado race was demoted. Great racing even if field not all the top riders. Tough for 1-week races to get best possible fields. Pro Challenge has beautiful scenery--seems like it would be fairly popular on TV, so far as bike racing ratings go.
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Old 08-28-15, 09:03 AM
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I am trying Sling for the month. I wish the iPhone Sling app would be able to send the video to my TV, but oh well. I loaded the Sling program on my laptop and it is laggy as hell. But at least I can watch (mostly listen) to the race during the day now.
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Old 09-06-15, 06:46 AM
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The TdF, Giro, among others didn't start with title sponsors because they were wholly owned and operated by a commercial operation for their exclusive promotional purposes. Yellow jersey and pink jersey anyone? Esta The and Credit Lyonnais and Credit Agricole and Skoda and Festina and Het Nieuwsblad?

It would be better if they paid for the race by selling tickets to spectators, though, and kept the sport free from advertising associations.
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Old 09-06-15, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Athens80 View Post
The TdF, Giro, among others didn't start with title sponsors because they were wholly owned and operated by a commercial operation for their exclusive promotional purposes. Yellow jersey and pink jersey anyone? Esta The and Credit Lyonnais and Credit Agricole and Skoda and Festina and Het Nieuwsblad?

It would be better if they paid for the race by selling tickets to spectators, though, and kept the sport free from advertising associations.
Well, this is something I've always thought about, what if they sold tickets? It begs the question, how the hell could they keep non-ticket holders from viewing the race when the race covers 100+ miles of open highway?
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Old 09-06-15, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by spec84 View Post
Well, this is something I've always thought about, what if they sold tickets? It begs the question, how the hell could they keep non-ticket holders from viewing the race when the race covers 100+ miles of open highway?
Most large multi-day races I know of do this already somewhat.

Vuelta, US Pro Challenge, ToC, TdF...all have "VIP" seating and access for people willing to shell out $200+USD per day. You get finishline seating, you get a beer garden sometimes, and access to the athletes.

Heck some individual teams offer ride/train-with-the-team rides. I think Vanderkitten last year had a week-long ride/train ride with hotel included for $5,000USD in California.
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