I love to watch bike races on TV, but since AT&T is my cable provider I am out of luck when it comes to races like the RAI Tirreno Adriatico, the Giro d’Italia, the Milan-San Remo and the Tour of the Basque Country. However, UniversalSports.com offers these races as a package for $35.00 and you can watch online them at your leisure.
While watching races like the Tour de France on Versus (via AT&T) I can sit in my easy chair and watch the race while working on my laptop. The downside to watching races on UniversalSports.com is that I have to sit in front of a computer instead of in my easy chair. Fortunately, I have a high-speed DSL connection at both my regular office and my home office so I can put the race video (either live or a replay) in a small corner of my 21-inch iMac screen while I am working. Sweet!
There are a couple of problems with UniversalSports.com videos that need to be addressed. First, the video quality is highly compressed so I feel like I am watching a video stream on a dial-up AOL connection from around 1995. I know UniversalSports.com does this to reduce bandwidth, but YouTube videos have better quality and they are free! The second problem is that since all videos on UniversalSports.com require the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in you cannot watch the videos on an iPad or iPhone. In fact, you can’t even watch the videos while running Firefox in 64-bit mode.