NBC and Universal Sports have ceded a bit of American TV turf to a new network, beIN Sport.
I get emails...
What: Italy’s elite cycling event, the Tirreno-Adriatico, will air starting today on beIN SPORT from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. ET. The rigorous course features a seven-stage route between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic coasts of Italy totaling a distance of more than 650 miles. Considered by many to be a tune-up event for the Milan – San Remo classic race (that will also air on beIN SPORT on March 18th), it attracts the greatest cyclists in the sport. Last year’s winner, Vincenzo Nibali, will try to protect his crown from other favorites, such as Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish, as they tackle the course in a must-see event for any serious cycling fan. beIN SPORT will air every one of the seven stages as it extends its multisport coverage to cycling, showing its commitment to offering sports fans the best competitions in each sport. Tune in over the next week to catch this exciting coverage.
- Stage 1 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. ET Thursday, March 7
- Stage 2 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. ET Friday, March 8
- Additional coverage of the remaining stages to be announced.
Where: Coverage on beIN SPORT available from the following providers: DIRECTV channels 620 (English-language) and 426 (Spanish) DISH channels 408 (English) and 871 (Spanish) Comcast Xfinity Time Warner Cable Bright House Network Advanced Cable Communications Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico
And on it goes. The take-home message is, if you're watching on cable, forget about Universal or NBC for one set of races -- and if RCS sold them Tirreno and MSR, the chances of that package including the Giro d'Italia is about 99%, with a 1% margin of error. Another suggestion is that Universal Sports' quest for more cable network inclusion isn't going well.
But don't cry for Universal; they are now on the Dish Network and DirecTV, so their reach is growing. Also, their cycling lineup for 2013 still includes the Vuelta a Espana, Volta a Catalunya, E3 Prijs and a few other races not packaged by either ASO, RCS or Flanders Classics for bigger channels.
Who are beIN Sport? Well, a new American joint venture of America's favorite overseas news provider, Al Jazeera. Personally I have no complaints, though Al Jazeera's role in the world is frequently misrepresented in the more reactionary post-911 corners of the US. Anyway, if you're planning now for the Giro (and why wouldn't you be?), you need to know this is where the video will come from.