With Universal Sports gone, U.S. fans get less coverage

  • By Spencer Powlison
  • Published Nov. 23, 2015
Photo: Tim De Waele | (File).

Cycling fans were worried when the news broke that Universal Sports television network would end its 10-year run in November. Unfortunately, they were right.

The channel, although sometimes hard to come by with certain cable providers, was one of the best places to watch pro cycling on TV, with coverage of such events as Tour Down Under, La Course by Le Tour de France, the Vuelta a España, and the UCI world championships of cyclocross, track, mountain biking, and road racing. NBC has picked up the rights to those and other events covered by Universal, and it recently revealed an outline of its anticipated cycling coverage for 2016.

Major events will continue to air, both on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and NBC. However, the network will not air many smaller races, which were on Universal in 2015. Events left off the preliminary schedule include Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Le Samyn, Volta a Catalunya, E3 Harelbeke, and a few others. An NBC representative explained that the rights for those specific races were not part of the Universal acquisition.

NBC cycling coverage

Tour of California
Critérium du Dauphiné
Tour de France

NBCSN cycling coverage

UCI Road Cycling World Championships
UCI Track Cycling World Cup
Santos Tour Down Under
Cyclocross World Championships
UCI Track Cycling World Championships
UCI BMX World Championships
Tour de Suisse
UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
Vuelta a España
UCI Cyclocross World Cup (available only on


Spencer Powlison

Spencer Powlison

When it comes to bike racing, Spencer is a jack-of-all-trades. He loves pinning on a number, whether it’s in a local criterium, a mountain bike enduro, a cyclocross national championship, or a gran fondo. Name any cycling discipline, and more likely than not, Spencer has ridden or raced it. He has been lucky enough to work in the bike industry for the majority of his adult life, from his time turning wrenches in a Vermont bike shop to his five-year tenure at the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

Stay updated on all things VeloNews

Subscribe to the FREE VeloNews newsletter