Cycling Fans on Satellite Pro-cycling satellite race coverage


World Championships

Filed under: BBC,Coverage,Eurosport,Live Events,Road racing — MJ Ray @ 08:36+00:00

The World Championships from Mendriso, Switzerland sees UK coverage switch back to the BBC with coverage on BBC Two, BBCi (usually called STREAM-0 up to STREAM-6 – both 28e) and online. It looks like only the senior races are on the BBC.

Across Europe, more races are on Eurosport at 19e and RAI Tre and RAI Sport Píu at 13e. The senior races and short reports from others are also on SLO-2 at 13e.

It doesn’t appear to be on RTBF-Sat, TVEI or RTPI. If you spot it on other free-to-air satellite channels, please leave a comment here.


World Track Championships

Filed under: BBC,Coverage,Criticism,Eurosport,Live Events — MJ Ray @ 02:37+00:00

One of the few events with BBC coverage, the World Track Championships start today.

BBC are FTA at 28e, aimed at the UK. Generally shown in the evening. See the BBC Two and BBCi schedule – it’s interesting yet disappointing that they’re already listing September’s World Road Championships but nothing in between.

Eurosport is FTA at 19e, aimed at Europe. Generally shown in the afternoon. Eurosport Bahn-WM schedule.

RAI is FTA at 13e, aimed at Europe. Teletext listings (usually today and tomorrow). Also seems to be generally evening-time shows.

Anywhere else that you know of?



Filed under: BBC,Coverage,Criticism,Cyclocross,Eurosport,Road racing — MJ Ray @ 10:16+00:00

Bad BBC! Their olympic schedules are useless, so I’d missed the Men’s road race by the time I found the right page on their website.

The Women’s road race is 0700-1030 BST tomorrow (Sun 10 August), with the time trials on Wednesday 13 August 0430-1010 BST.

BMX fans (any reading this? I’ve yet to find any) can see the finals up to 0418 BST on Thursday 21 August, while mountain bikes run 0800-1030 BST on Friday 22 (Women) and Saturday 23 (Men).

Events are shown on Eurosport (19e), ARD/ZDF (19e), RTBF-Sat (19e), La 2 (5w), SLO-2 (13e), RAI Due and RAI Sport (13e) and maybe others, but most broadcasters don’t make it easy to find which events are on which channels when (see above flame of the BBC), so good luck!

Update: highlights of Men’s Road Race at 2300 CET tonight (Saturday) on Eurosport (19e).


Questions About Cycling on Satellite

Filed under: BBC,Coverage,Eurosport,ITV — MJ Ray @ 02:10+00:00

We’ve a few days before the next race and Erol asked a few questions in a comment which I think are good for a wider audience:-

“I came across your site doing a Google search for Cycling coverage on TV, and am hoping you can spare a few minutes to provide me with some information. At the moment I currently receive British Eurosport 1 & 2 through my Sky box but I am fed up with having to pay for poor coverage of cycling events, especially when compared to International Eurosport which is also free.

From the google searches I’ve done it seems that Internation Eurosport’s English feed is only broadcast through analogue, whereas the digital feed for International Eurosport is in German. My problem is that I live in South Wales where analogue is due to be switched off next year so it won’t be very cost effective to buy all the analogue kit if it won’t work in 12 months time. Is my only realistic long term option to buy a dish that would allow me to pick up digital International Eurosport (plus a German dictionary!)?

By the way – fascinating stuff reading about all the foreign channels that show cycling. Are you able to recommend a good dish that could pick up these channels? I like the sound of the motor control too. I don’t fancy climbing up a ladder every other day to reposition the dish!

I’ll give the easy answers first: I believe pretty much any dish on sale in the UK should pick up the channels located at 28e and 19e from South Wales. 60cm or larger will also pick up 13e and 5w without much trouble and that’ll cover most of the cycling channels in the main European languages. 80cm will pick up a few more, but I don’t have listings for most of them, so don’t often cover them. I’m currently just over the water from you, in Somerset, using a 60cm solid dish which I think was Technisat-branded, but I’m not climbing the ladder to check today.

Usually, the biggest challenge is finding a place for the dish that has an unobstructed view of several satellite positions and not just Freesat’s home at 28e (which is all most people here care about, after all). There are online tools which can help, but nothing beats standing outside with a compass after using one of the satellite position calculators.

To watch several satellites, you can either use a motor or an offset bracket with several LNBs and a switch. A motor is better because you only need one LNB and can use a smaller dish; an offset bracket is better because I hear that it’s a bit simpler to install and offers near-instant channel-changing between satellites. I use a USALS motor bought a couple of years ago from Brymar, but other direct sellers like SatCure or high-street stores like Maplin have them too.

You’re quite right that the free-to-air Eurosport digital broadcast is only in German at the moment, while English is available on analogue. While that analogue signal will probably be switched off eventually (watch AnalogueSat for news), that’s not the same as the “analogue switch-off” or “digital switchover” (DSO) advertised on your local TV channels. The date given in those adverts is for terrestial broadcasts received through your aerial: around that date, the old BBC-1, BBC-2, itv, C4/S4C and five signals will cease and only Freeview will be broadcast. It has nothing to do with satellite TV: the main UK satellite TV system went digital-only years ago.

I’m not sure whether we’ll get Eurosport in English on digital after they switch off the analogue, but I don’t think they’ve even announced when switch-off will happen yet. AnalogueSat reports that some other analogue channels at 19e will switch off in 2011 and 2012, so you’ll probably get a couple of years of viewing. If you get a combined analogue/digital receiver, or a digital receiver with a “LNB pass-through” socket and a second-hand analogue receiver, you can run both from one dish and a single LNB very easily.

Eurosport 2 doesn’t seem to be free-to-air anywhere, but more of the cycling is on International Eurosport than Eurosport 2. I think I’ve read that Sky has a stake in British Eurosport, so I doubt that will ever be free-to-air, even if BBC+itv’s Freesat is successful.

Anyone with any more questions? Please ask in a comment and I’ll try to answer.


Tour of Britain launch notes

Filed under: BBC,Coverage,Criticism,ITV,Road racing — MJ Ray @ 07:31+00:00

ToB Taunton Banner The Tour of Britain organisers emailed me to announce their launch. The race this year will be 7th – 14th September (starting stage 2 in my old stomping grounds of MK and finishing stage 3 in Burnham on Sea, the next town south from my home) and they announce daily coverage on itv4
on their front page.

Well done ToB and itv! That should be a vast improvement on the 2 hours on the last day that BBC were giving it, although I expect it’s highlights rather than live.


World Masters Coverage 2

Filed under: BBC,Coverage,Eurosport — MJ Ray @ 09:41+00:00

In addition to the BBC and Eurosport coverage posted before, I’ve spotted the World Championships free-to-air on ZDF (some point between 12:47 and 18:00 CET tomorrow) and SWR (highlights today, but they seem to be the host broadcaster…) and SLO2 too.

RAI3 also shows it in the programme guide, but didn’t seem to cover all of the time trial…


World Masters

Filed under: BBC,Coverage,Eurosport — MJ Ray @ 02:51+00:00

The UCI Road World Masters are showing on Eurosport and BBCi.
BBC have posted the BBCi schedule in a handy form. (Thanks BBC!) Most BBCi video channels are visible to most of Western Europe at 28 east (instead of the UK-centric beam that is used for BBC Two and the other national channels).

Eurosport’s site still won’t give simple listings, so here’s their schedule for the free-to-air channel at 19 east as far as I can make out:

Wed 26.09.2007 – ITT Women 16:00-17:30 CET

Thu 27.09.2007 – ITT Men Under 23 11:30-12:30 CET, highlights? 12:30-14:00 CET, ITT Men 16:00-17:00 CET

Fri 28.09.2007 – ITT Men 13:15-14:00 CET

Sat 29.09.2007 – highlights? 09:00-12:45 CET, Men U23 16:15-18:00 CET

Sun 30.09.2007 – Women 09:00-0930 CET, Men 10:30-14:00 CET, Men (highlights?) 16:00-17:30 CET

Mon 01.10.2007 – highlights? 15:15-16:15 CET

I think it will also be on RAI Tre at 13 east, but I don’t know if that will be free-to-air. Show times should appear here the day before broadcast.

Which other free-to-air satellite broadcasters are showing this?


Tour of Britain

Filed under: BBC,Coverage — MJ Ray @ 02:29+00:00

ToB Taunton BannerJust a quick reminder that the BBC’s only Tour of Britain highlights show is on BBC 2 at 12:30 today (Astra 2D at 28 east, the same satellite as Sky UK+IE, but no subscription required).

Official listings say this is highlights of the final stage but hopefully it will cover the other stages too.

Hopefully, live coverage will get better next year, either online as cyclingfans editor Pete predicts or on TV.


Tour of Britain – stage 2: Taunton

Filed under: BBC,Coverage,Criticism,ITV,Live Events — MJ Ray @ 04:23+00:00

ToB Taunton BannerAs mentioned yesterday, I went to watch the Tour of Britain for real in Taunton.

It’s taken me a while to encode these (I’ll write about the technical details on another page soon), but here are the videos. They’re in the super-cool Ogg Theora format, in case that helps you update your media player with filters like these. (I probably should do some clever tricks to embed these videos in the page, but it’s taken me long enough to get this far, so please either download the files or drag-and-drop the links to your media player. If anyone can explain how to embed videos simply, please leave me a comment…)

First of all, I went to Staplegrove Road, where I thought the peloton might slow slightly to get past a roundabout on their first pass through Taunton (Ogg, 514K) a bit after 11am, but they didn’t really.

Then I got a brilliant position in the second row just by the finish line, which meant I didn’t see the big crash of the day until I saw the TV news in the evening, but I did see both the main sprints, for the stage win (Ogg 919K) and the yellow-jersey group (Ogg 382K).

Finally, I went and watched the presentations – the yellow jersey (Ogg 1.3M) and the champagne spray (Ogg 643K) are shown here.

The BBC has the broadcast rights to the tour of Britain and seem to be doing a terrible job:

Live race news seems to be limited to a quick mention in the half-hourly sports bulletins on Radio Five (on satellite Astra 2D at 28 east to much of north-west Europe, or Medium Wave 909 and 693kHz).

Each night, there’s a short (3 minutes?) summary report in the BBC1 TV news of that stage’s region, some time after 18:30 BST (so tonight in West Midlands, tomorrow Yorkshire and North Midlands, Friday North-west and Saturday Scotland, all Astra 2D). This is not shown on BBC News 24, as far as I’ve seen, not even in the Sportsday show.

There will be one national highlights show on BBC 2 at 14:30 on Sunday (again, Astra 2D), the day after the race has finished. Official listings say this is highlights of the final stage but hopefully it will cover the other stages too.

I feel they should take the rights away from the BBC and give ITV a chance. We had better coverage of this year’s Tour of Ireland (from itv4) than we have of the Tour of Britain – this is silly.

For non-TV coverage details, including Twitter, see

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