Sky Cycling Channel

by Gkam84   February 12, 2012  

I'd always been one against Sky taking on cycling as i believe it should be a free to air sport, but just lately i'm getting more and more frustrated with the coverage that is available.

With Sky being a major sponsor of GB cycling and having their own pro team, is it not about time they had a dedicated cycling channel?

Show EVERYTHING, but let ITV and Eurosport still show the Grand Tours

The reason i bring this up, I like to watch track cycling as much as i do road and cross, BUT in the UK, the only major coverage left is of road. I have to hit the internet for most other events, cross has a big following in the flat countries and is televised, so could quite easily be shown over here and track normally gets air time somewhere, so there is always a feed, meaning that there must be TV coverage to hook up to.

What are your thoughts?

The reason i posted today is i've just seen the World Para-Cycling Championship results, GB doing great

24 user comments

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I think Sky sports showed the TdU but i agree, with the team and all the money they have for sports they should at least show the races.

They are to busy discussing the merits of having a tax cheat to run the national football team....blah blah blah Angry

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2714 posts]
12th February 2012 - 15:29

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...and Rupert is a little distracted at the moment. Smile

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posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
12th February 2012 - 19:54

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Great idea Gkam, but I wouldn't pay extra for the sky sports package, and theres no chance they'd do it as a free channel,so I feel that people who did pay for a sky sports package just for the cycling would end up effectively funding more pay rises for premiership footballers! I'd be dissapointed if I lost the coverage on Eurosport! maybe they should do more cross and track?

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posted by andybnk [92 posts]
12th February 2012 - 20:03

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Eurosport show a wide variety of things, so they cant fit everything in.

Also, they could do a channel along the lines of Sky Sports F1 which will launch soon, it can be part of your sports package or a stand alone channel, you can order it without having to have all the sports

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
12th February 2012 - 20:34

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andybnk wrote:
Great idea Gkam, but I wouldn't pay extra for the sky sports package, and theres no chance they'd do it as a free channel,so I feel that people who did pay for a sky sports package just for the cycling would end up effectively funding more pay rises for premiership footballers! I'd be dissapointed if I lost the coverage on Eurosport! maybe they should do more cross and track?

I have the full sports package and believe me it's worth every penny. I'm not a big fan of football, other than the toon - and lets forget about yesterday ! but there are numerous other sports on to enjoy and all done / presented very well so if cycling was considered i'm sure it would also be a hit.

Admittedly not everyone can afford the package and this would be the stumbling block. Sad

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2714 posts]
12th February 2012 - 20:49

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If they can make a channel out of the dull sport of Formula One there might be some hope Big Grin

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posted by jimmythecuckoo [1246 posts]
12th February 2012 - 20:56

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jimmythecuckoo wrote:
If they can make a channel out of the dull sport of Formula One there might be some hope Big Grin

Correction - if they make a channel of another great sport, Formula 1, then it might be some hope!

Obviously Sky is interested in great sports!

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posted by seabass89 [235 posts]
12th February 2012 - 22:47

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It's hard to draw a line, maybe a few hardcore cycling fans would buy it, casual cycling fans might not, and then where do the sponsors get the exposure they want?

I think pay tv in the UK has a problem, it's not the most open or accessible, it's not subjected to the same regulation and fierce competition as a mobile telephone service for example, it has no incentive to offer better services or more customer friendly ways of doing things.

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posted by the_mikey [146 posts]
13th February 2012 - 0:46

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I may be wrong here, but i think the UK TV scene is covered by lots of regulation's, Ofcom, CAP (Committee for Advertising Practice) and ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) to name but 3

If it was fairly priced and also added like F1 channel will be automatically to the sports package and also if you have the HD package, you'll get it for free, then i can see it being a good thing.

Sponsors would still get exposure from everywhere the receive it just now, its not just TV that the rely on because alot of things dont get broadcast

I just think its about time that a major company got on board OR even the UCI (which would mess it up royally) and start a dedicated cycling channel, too few races and formats are being show at the moment and to me, they are missing a great opportunity where a gap exists in the market, with the rise of Pro cycling popularity

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
13th February 2012 - 2:28

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Checked the screening times last night and we also have the Tour of Algarve (was that cancelled last year over viewing rights ?) being shown on Eurosport, however neither are on the HD version which is a shame.

It will be interesting to see who is commentating on the Algarve but i wont get into the arguement over commentating quality - a bit like the hlemet arguement Devil

I think everyone is in agreement though about a dedicated cycling channel - it's a must, just the pricing to sort out.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2714 posts]
13th February 2012 - 8:13

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NOOOO! I'm all for increasing coverage of cycling, but as soon as I heard Sky were getting involved in sponsorship I have been counting down the days till they get together with the big organisational guys and start working out how to divide up the potential spoils of the UK TV contracts.

I'm not bothered about watching football (unless it's a real team like Boro Stumps!) but I remember when you could watch First Division football on TV at no extra charge, and it looks like other popular sports are going the same way now and moving over to pay TV

Sky has changed their pricing structure recently but I have always had Eurosport (along with the news and documentary channels) for £1 on top of the base pack charge. I would not be happy if I had to start paying Sky Sports charges to watch, but I can see it happening in a few years time.

Downhill bikes don't make you cool.

www.beestoncc.co.uk

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posted by charliemac74 [168 posts]
13th February 2012 - 11:37

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charliemac74 - you have my sympathy, being a boro fan is not much fun especially as you should have beat the mackems. Surprise

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2714 posts]
13th February 2012 - 11:45

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stumps wrote:
charliemac74 - you have my sympathy, being a boro fan is not much fun especially as you should have beat the mackems. Surprise

Middlesbrough & Scotland fan - I have developed a thick skin. The lads did well though for a virtual Championship Academy squad against the Premiership.

Back to the thread though and a real sport...

Downhill bikes don't make you cool.

www.beestoncc.co.uk

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posted by charliemac74 [168 posts]
13th February 2012 - 12:35

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...Only watched the match because it was on ITV Wink

Downhill bikes don't make you cool.

www.beestoncc.co.uk

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posted by charliemac74 [168 posts]
13th February 2012 - 13:00

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I know what you mean charliemac74, but unless some of the other channels step up and start covering things a little better then its only a matter of time.

I know Qatar is a "smaller" profile race than the grand tours, but because its just finished i'll use it as an example.

By the time Eurosport came on live, it was just a procession to the finish with a sprint, I know it was an all flat race, but it happens in other races aswell, by the time the broadcast comes live all the action has happened and thats not what i want to see.

I will say that i know channels couldn't really free up 3 hours of scheduling a day to cover one stage and i'm not sure the interest in the smaller tours would be there for full stage coverage, but it might be for the grand tours.

If not full stage, at least more than its being given at the moment and in my eyes unfortunately, only Sky have to means to do this, as to launch a dedicated channel to anything takes a risk on the broadcasters part and would need a well know name behind it, along with the financial backing it would need.

I just started this thread to see thoughts and what kind of reaction people would have to a cycling channel. IF pro cycling can keep its popularity high and with its ever increasing exposure in countries who were previous not that involved (China) I can see there being a channel in the future.

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
13th February 2012 - 13:19

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charliemac74 wrote:
Middlesbrough & Scotland fan

Blimey. If the smog doesn't get you, the diet will Wink

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [8036 posts]
13th February 2012 - 13:28

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Given James Murdoch's public standing at present he could do with a bit of positive PR. I understand he is a recently converted cyclist and was the main protagonist behind sky's investment in the sport.

Why doesn't he make a grant gesture and screen all cycling free-to-air? If he's as passionate as his PR people tell us about cycling and getting people out of cars and into their saddles, then what better to do than this?

Imagine what it would do for Sky and cycling if Cav won Milan-San Remo again in the Sky-liveried World Champs jersey on free UK TV?

Of course, it'd never ever happen....

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [551 posts]
13th February 2012 - 13:29

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Those are regulators, they're not doing anything to encourage choice, while ofcom have ruled that sky must offer some of their channels to other providers at wholesale price, it's not the same as creating a competitive market place, the competition is missing! Where is Orange, Canal+ or another pay tv service? Where is an open internet pay tv service that delivers to anyone with a broadband connection, ie without subjecting customers to vendor lock-in.

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posted by the_mikey [146 posts]
13th February 2012 - 23:30

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Ignore this post

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posted by the_mikey [146 posts]
13th February 2012 - 23:31

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This point got me so irritated last year too.
Eurosport keep mixing the times of coverage of the races that you lose track of where they are and they never seem to series link either. I complained to Eurosport about this but unsurprisingly I never heard anything back. Angry

I noticed last year Sky just seemed to cover the Grand Tours and maybe some of the smaller one such as ToC IIRC.

When you need your riding fix and you can't get it this gets so frustrating. Crying

posted by Marauder [239 posts]
15th February 2012 - 10:43

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Eurosport is a NIGHTMARE for going off schedule, i also follow the Biathlon and series link to record it, I've sent in complaints to them about it, but never heard back

One this season got totally cut out and my recording ended up with 2 hours of ski jumping and 15 minutes of Biathlon when it should have been 2 hours of it Angry

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
15th February 2012 - 13:11

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I am joining the Eurosport rant.

Once again they mess up. I sit down to enjoy the live tour of algarve only to find women's tennis. Ok the match hadn't finished but the series link records the time not the programme. Now that is annoying. Therefore the viewer misses out despite there surely being the technology to stop this happening.

Don't even start me on how the other 2 Eurosport channels were showing the same snooker match at the time too.

Aarrgghhh !

posted by Super Domestique [1599 posts]
15th February 2012 - 17:28

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I recall my frustration last year when BRITISH eurosport chose to show cricket instead of coverage of a race in Canada, it was showing cycling on European versions of the channel, but of course UK is the land of cricket, so cricket was chosen over cycling.

Sometimes Eurosport are victims of bad scheduling from the host broadcaster, events don't always turn out as planned, if the live satellite video feed is scheduled for an hour between 1400 and 1500 hours, for example, it could be that the race finishes early, due to an incident or favourable conditions, the host broadcaster may not be expecting to fill that hour with anything other than live video, and if Eurosport don't have any video, then they'll choose to show something else.

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posted by the_mikey [146 posts]
15th February 2012 - 19:46

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Funny enough Mr. Kirby mentioned the 'waiting for the tennis to finish' frustration in yesterday's coverage of the Tour of Algarve.

posted by Super Domestique [1599 posts]
17th February 2012 - 16:01

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