Just curious what the alternatives to Universal Sports are. I don't want to give them another penny.
Where is everyone (that cares) going to watch World Cup races on TV/Internet next year?
Edited by quant2325 - 7/19/12 at 4:49pm
- 1,096 Posts. Joined 1/2003
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You can't put up with Universal Sports though. I mean knowing that they can cancel your contract and take the videos down at anytime with no recourse, there is no sense in ever paying them another dime. I mean look at the website right now. You can't find a single ski race video. Why would I pay for that?
cbc.ca has pretty good coverage (a day later or so) available for free online. I've used them as an alternative to Universal, whose online content has gotten worse as prices have gone up. (example link : http://www.cbc.ca/sports/skiing/video/#id=2173324873&tab=0). I don't know if they block people based on location, but my guess is no, as I've watched their content from NH, CT, and CO.
While not all races are available, a good portion are. There's also a good chance you'll be able to find race broadcasts (probably not in English) after a few days on youtube.
The best bet, though, is to use a site like sportlemon.tv to get a live feed (usually Eurosport) while the event is ongoing. This is inconvenient, yes, but ... there isn't much better available (at least, that i'm aware of).
Ahhhh Bruins thank you so much! I think I got busy around Kitzbuehl last winter and when I came back late spring, they were all gone! Looks like CBC has them all online, just some are doubled up with each other....llike Womens GS from Slovenia and Mens DH from Kitzbuehl on same video.
Looks like I have the rest of my month cut out for me.
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Spent the last four years in southern Europe, and was able to see as much skiing (live on TV, I mean) as I wanted. Also caught a women's world cup race in person in Lienz, Austria two years ago. Took my daughter and had a really good time watching the skiers and taking in the atmosphere. Too bad skiing is better covered here in the States.
I'm just going to suck it up at pay US. I did that last year and I didn't have any issues with them, aside from the fact I'd rather not be paying for it. I can hardly wait to watch the races as they are broadcast--I'm not going to wait until the season is over to watch--so the thought they might take them down after the season is over doesn't affect me. I am not going to get up at 2 am to watch live feed. We get CBC on our cable but their coverage is sporadic and terrible, and I don't want to wait for their next day online coverage (I don't want to wait to watch any sporting event! It's not as exciting when you know who won).
Yes I would rather US be on Comcast like they were but they aren't, and I feel like it's my only real option if I want the races.
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What is VPN and how exactly to do that? I was looking at the Eurosport last year and seems like they are the best option. LMK for some details , Sammy..
Really the best option is to pay the $2-$3 to VPN to get a European IP address (or whatever it's called technically, I'm spacing now), and you can stream directly from the Eurosport website.
Can you watch on-demand, or just live?
Since I'm pretty agitated at US, I am learning how to do VPN (virtual private network). In laymen's term:
What is it? It provides you with an (IP) address that is allocated to a particular country/market where Eurosport is authorized to be shown.
There is a Swiss provider that can give you a Swiss address to fake out Eurosport into thinking you are in an authorized country. Why Swiss? It doesn't matter it could be any country where Eurosport is offered.
So I pick these guys.
http://www.purevpn.com/vpn-service/swiss-vpn.php offeres it for $10/month.
I tell it to give me a server in Switzerland.
I figure I just pay month by month. When the season ends, I end the subscription, then get a new one in the fall, to limit my expense.
I'll put my $10 in and play with it for this month.
I'm presuming Eurosport will give me lots of choices. I'm also presuming that Eurosport is free, I'm just paying for a VPN service. I hope..
If I'm mistaken in this approach, speak up!
Sorry for not replying to this earlier. I forgot.
Not sure if eurosport is free - you should check on that. It was free (for me at least) a few years ago, but these things change a lot. I didn't use a work-around the last couple years - I was unengaged for most of the races and ended up waking up a bit early and streaming the races live (or at least 2nd runs for tech events - 1st runs if I knew people in the race). If Eurosport isn't free, I guarantee it will be better quality than US's online coverage.
billskis gives a good description of what a VPN does, though.
Since WC racing starts in a week or two, I'm getting setup to do this via VPN.
From Eurosport FAQ
Eurosport Player is the home of Eurosport TV online. Watch live streaming of Eurosport's channels on your computer.
Subscribing to Eurosport Player offers you unlimited access to Eurosport's channels within the territory you are connecting from.
- Watch selected channels live online
- Watch TV on demand at a time that suits you.
- Watch events such as tennis, snooker, and wintersports with bonus live feeds
Eurosport Player also includes:
- The ability to watch up to 3 channels simultaneously using the multiplex function.
- An high-quality online viewing experience.
- User-friendly Eurosport Player website.
- Access from 70 countries.
Your Eurosport Player subscription gives you unlimited access to live streaming of the Eurosport channel, all the videos available in the country you connect from, plus bonus live feeds.
Eurosport Player is available in more than 70 countries.
However, due to rights restrictions and local markets, programming can vary from region to region.
Local versions of Eurosport are available only if you are connecting from the same country. For example, there is no access to British Eurosport if you are connecting from France and vice versa.
Eurosport Player proposes two standard subscription rates:
The Discovery Offer is a monthly subscription that is renewed automatically every 30 days following the date of your initial subscription. There is no minimum sign up period and you can cancel your subscription at anytime up until 2 days before the next renewal date. You can cancel your subscription via the My Account section of Eurosport Player.
1 year Season Pass:
A 1 year season pass is a subscription that is valid for one year from the date of purchase. You will be charged the full amount of the subscription at the time of purchase. Your subscription will terminate automatically, 12 months from the date of purchase.
Eurosport Player proposes a certain number of special offers throughout the year. You can see if there is a Special Offer currently available by going to the following page: www.eurosportplayer.com/subscription.shtml
These special offers are proposed at an advantageous price and allow access to Eurosport Player for a fixed period only (ex: 1 month, 3 months, 1 year). If you subscribe to one of these offers, your subscription will terminate automatically at the end of the period in question without any action required.
Too bad pro skiing hasn't done what pro surfing has done by creating a webcast (free & with commentary) that offers both live coverage and excellent replay options. A contest in Portugal just ended and I was able to see all the best wave scores with the Heat Analyzer. It's a pretty amazing set-up and attracts millions of online viewers. Seems like pro skiing could really expand its reach with better online viewing options and perhaps they could copy this model.
Here's a link if you're interested. On the Heat Analyzer section click on the little circles at the bottom to jump to different waves/rides.
It seems that Europe is the only Continent that goes ga-ga over skiing. That might explain the business model - easy access when everyone wants it /lots of $. When few people want it, charge them up the wazoo.
Where is pro surfing the most popular?
Pro surfing is huge in Australia, California, Hawaii, and also Brazil, so most of the contests are in those places, though they always have a couple fall contests in Europe and a few in remote places (Tahiti, Fiji - which was epic this year) where the only real viewing option is the webcast. The easier it is to watch the more will watch, right? Sailing is also getting into this - the America's Cup contest has a really great YouTube channel where you can watch the sailing live or on replay.
I did it. Wow. This is wicked awesome. It's so clear. Pick the right server and it's honking 1800Kbps. No buffering. Can't wait for the WC's to start in 7 days....
The total cost:
VPN - $55 /year
Eurosport - $8 month to month, ir $58/year,
One year for everything: 113$ /year
Setup time - 45 minutes for both services, including dorking with credit card.
Addtional hour to find the best honkin streaming server.
and, it covers all sports, whereas I had to pay separately with universalsports for each sport.
You can not only watch live, but on demand. You can also stream multiple channels concurrently if you are totally addicted.
I'm pretty happy. Saturday the 27th will be the WC test. Can't wait!
Excellent customer services. Lots of servers, even on the cheapest plan.
Don't buy more services than you need.
Yes. I don't do that, but according to the online guide, you go to the itunes app store, download an app and pay for a subscription. I don't know the cost.
but any serious nut job gets up at 3am to watch Vonn, Bode and Jules!
Shop around. I didn't take my own recommendation!
All the plans I looked at have a steeply discounted annual rate.
That $10/month plan is $75/year.
The breakeven on most plans seems to be about 6-7 months.
With all technology and markets changing so fast, the pricing is a combat zone worth exploiting!
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I live in the boonies & satellite tv is our best option, I have DishTV I have had an ongoing battle with them for years to get USN. Finally last Spring when it seemed like everyone else lost it, Dish picked it up. I was able to watch the last few races of the season & the finals, but then they pulled it & made it part of their Sports Channel package, which really pissed me off. I already spend way too much for hundreds of channels that I never watch! Earlier in the season last year I was able to pirate a few of the races from eurosport. The coverage was great, but it was a PITA to time it right, hook up the AV to my big screen & then get the feed jammed etc. & have to switch mid race. I was also able to get a few races on a Canadian CBC(?) internet feed, but that was sporadic. Two years ago I subscribed to the USN package, but it never really streamed very well for me & it wasn't worth the frustration to do it again.
After reading this thread the VPN thing seemed like a good option & their coverage is actually a lot of fun to watch, but again the hassle of setting everything up when you want to watch a race. So last night I made the dreaded call to Dish & threaten yet again to switch to DirectTV which also carries USN & get in on a cheap introductory offer. After some negotiations, I was able to cut $20 off my monthly bill for the next year & get USN at least for the season! I am pretty stoked to have actually won a battle with Dish, although I know that I will never win the war.
Apparently NBCsports channel is covering some of the races this year, I don't think I get that one. Does anyone know if those races will also be broadcast on USN, since I believe they are both owned by NBC?
End of rant,
JF (Happy for now)
This is better than nothing, but finding a link is still a good option:
PARK CITY, UT (Aug. 29) – The U.S. Ski Team and NBC Sports Network will partner for historic first-ever U.S. live TV broadcasts of Audi FIS Alpine World Cup ski racing as part of a pre-Sochi broadcast schedule announced by the network and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. The live coverage will feature Olympic champions Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso from the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational Thanksgiving weekend along with fellow Olympic gold medalists Ted Ligety and Bode Miller at the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup in Beaver Creek, CO a week later. It’s part of an extensive coverage package between NBC and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association including 11 hours on NBC and 22 on NBC Sports Network.
- U.S. Ski Team and NBC Sports Network partnering on first-ever U.S. live TV broadcasts of alpine ski racing with Audi FIS Alpine World Cup events in Aspen and Beaver Crreek, CO.
- Coverage is part of package with U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association featuring 11 hours on NBC and 22 on NBC Sports Network including alpine ski racing, freeskiing, freestyle and snowboarding.
- The broadcast initiative is part of a concerted effort by the USSA under new Chief Marketing Officer Mike Jaquet to grow the public awareness of its sports through television and digital distribution.
- The broadcast schedule includes events in Aspen, CO, Beaver Creek, CO, Telluride, CO, Copper Mountain, CO, Lake Placid, NY, Deer Valley Resort in Park City, UT, Canyons Resort, UT, Squaw Valley, CA and Heavenly, CA
- The broadcast schedule features the most same-day and same-weekend coverage ever, including two live programs from the Audi FIS World Cup.
- Key events from the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Park City, UT and Copper Mountain, CO will run next day on NBC showcasing new Olympic sports in freeskiing and snowboarding.
Bill Marolt, President and CEO, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
Live broadcasting of the Audi FIS World Cup from Aspen and Beaver Creek is an historic step for our organization and our partner NBC Sports Network. This first-ever live coverage will help create greater relevance for our sport and great stars like Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso, Ted Ligety and Bode Miller.
Michael Jaquet, Chief Marketing Officer, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
Our partner NBC has helped us take some huge steps in developing a more relevant broadcast schedule with not only live broadcasts but more same weekend coverage than ever. Across all of our sports, including alpine, freeskiing, freestyle and snowboarding, we have the most impactful broadcast schedule ever which will help us grow viewership and increase the value of our sports for our fans, partners and athletes.
Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network
We applaud the efforts of our great partners at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association on their 2012-13 season schedule across the NBC Sports GROUP portfolio. The live windows and quick turnarounds across the board are truly wins for our viewers and the fans of these sports.
Sarah Lewis, Secretary General, International Ski Federation
NBC is hugely committed to Olympic sport and the development of its partnership with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association is an important step for the FIS disciplines with live coverage in the United States. The top US athletes are already stars in many nations and this will be a great chance to increase their popularity at home. With the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships taking place in Vail-Beaver Creek, this agreement will enable the opportunity to build up national interest towards the Championships.
Lindsey Vonn, Olympic Champion
Broadcasting our World Cups from Aspen and Beaver Creek live is a great way to promote the thrill of alpine ski racing and build excitement for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. NBC did an amazing job with the London Olympics and its coverage continued to prove how passionate Americans are for Olympic sports.
Julia Mancuso, Olympic Champion
This is a great step for our sport and I'm glad we can bring the excitement of alpine skiing into American homes in real time. I'm very excited to see ski racing go live in the U.S. - it's when sports need to be seen!
Ted Ligety, Olympic Champion
Broadcasting the Audi Birds of Prey giant slalom live is a huge step forward in showing the intensity and excitement of alpine skiing to the U.S. audience. It’s one of the best races of the season.
2012-13 USSA NBC/NBC SPORTS TELEVISION
NOTE: NBC Sports Network programming listed below is confirmed with final times to be announced this fall.
Nature Valley Aspen Winternational, Aspen, CO – Nov. 24-25
NBC: Sunday, Nov. 25 – 1:00 p.m. ET (women’s GS, next day)
NBC Sports: Sunday, Nov. 25 – 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET (women’s SL, LIVE)
Audi Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek, CO – Nov. 30-Dec. 2
NBC: Sunday, Dec. 2 – 1:00 p.m. ET (men’s DH, same weekend)
NBC Sports: Sunday, Dec. 2 – 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET (men’s GS, LIVE)
NBC Sports: Super G TBD
USANA U.S. Snowboardcross Cup/Audi FIS Skicross World Cup, Telluride, CO, Dec. 13-15
NBC: Saturday, Dec. 22 – 3:00 p.m. ET (SX, SBX, next weekend)
NBC Sports: Team SBX, time TBD
Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, Park City, UT, Dec. 21-22
NBC: Sunday, Dec. 23 – 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET (ski/SB halfpipe, next day)
NBC Sports: Halfpipe skiing, time TBD
NBC Sports: Halfpipe snowboarding, time TBD
Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix, Copper Mountain, CO, Jan. 11-12
NBC: Saturday, Jan. 12 – 2:00 p.m. ET (halfpipe/slopestyle, next day)
NBC Sports: HP/SS Freeskiing, time TBD
Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, Copper Mountain, CO, Jan. 9-12
NBC: Sunday, Jan. 13 – 3:30 p.m. ET (next day)
NBC Sports: HP/SS Snowboarding, time TBD
USANA U.S. Freestyle Cup, Lake Placid, NY, Jan. 17-19
NBC: Sunday, Jan. 20 – 3:00 p.m. ET (moguls/aerials, next day)
NBC Sports: Moguls, time TBD
NBC Sports: Aerials, time TBD
Visa Freestyle International, Deer Valley Resort, Park City, UT, Jan. 31-Feb. 2
NBC: Saturday, Feb. 9 – 2:00 p.m. ET (moguls, next weekend)
NBC Sports: Aerials, time TBD
Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, Canyons Resort, Park City, UT, Mar. 1-2
NBC: Saturday, Mar. 9 – 12:30 p.m. ET (SX, SBX, next weekend)
NBC Sports: Skicross, time TBD
NBC Sports: SBX, time TBD
Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships, Squaw Valley, CA, Mar. 20-24
NBC: Sunday, Mar. 24 – 12:00 p.m. ET (same weekend)
U.S. Freestyle Championships, Heavenly, CA, Mar. 29-31
NBC Sports: TBD