Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Cyclo Cross on the Net

Cyclo cross: we'd watch it legally on TV,
except we can't because it's not shown
(image credit: Anwol CC BY-SA 3.0)
We'd love to be able to tell you which British TV channels are showing the big cyclo cross races so that you could watch them punctuated by adverts, thus generating advertising revenue for the stations and - ultimately - supporting the sport, but unfortunately cross is even more ignored by British broadcasters than road cycling is. So we'll have to provide you to links to sites that provide online streams of more enlightened Belgian and Dutch channels instead.

Sport-Livez tends to be one of the best, in our experience: clear, reliable and, on some channels, accompanied by a chat facility. Very, very occasionally, a stream breaks down - and when it does so, it'll be right at the most crucial moment in the race. However, this is due to the malevolence of inanimate objects rather than any failure on Sports-Livez's account - and in any case, flicking to another one of their channels (they frequently have between four and six) will allow you to see the remainder of the race. Sadly, it' very rare that they show the women's races, but this is again not the fault of Sports-Livez as they're merely streaming, rather than creating, footage and can't show us what isn't filmed.
Sports-Livez todayGVA Trofee Azencross Loenhout 14:30 CET (13:30 GMT) Channels: 123456 (6 is geo-restricted)
In the unlikely event of Sports-Livez not working, try Procycling Live. They'll generally have four channels on offer - the first three will link to Sports-Livez channels, but the fourth is frequently a Belgian channel apparently available only to viewers in Belgium. However, it can often also be seen in Britain if the viewer reloads the page several times (there's also the possibility that it might work through a Belgium-based proxy server, of course - we haven't tried).

Cycling Fans offers high-quality, reliable streams of the and Sporza channels, warning that Sporza may be geo-restricted on some channels. We've not had problems in that direction, but with three options from which to choose viewers should be able to see whatever's being shown - or give up and try instead.

We should mention at this point that viewing streams of this type - ie; re-broadcast footage - is of questionable legality. Some of the sites providing streams take advantage of loopholes or local laws (Swedish law is especially fortuitous to those who wish to provide this service, apparently), but the law in the viewer's nation may be very different and therefore you should absolutely never, on any account whatsoever, watch streams if they're illegal where you live because doing so is very naughty and if you get caught Santa won't come. As ever, Cyclopunk strongly encourages readers not to do anything that might get them in trouble with their mum.

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