Thursday, January 28, 2021

Pulling The Plug On NBC Sports Gold

If you enjoy bicycle racing on TV, then you probably noticed the recent announcement by NBC that it is restructuring its sports networks. That includes NBC Sports Gold, a standalone streaming package to which I have subscribed since 2017. At that time it was a good deal: $39.99 for a year of top events, the centerpiece of which was Tour de France coverage far in excess of what I could get elsewhere. We’re talking wire-to-wire coverage of most stages … even the boring neutralized roll-outs. But each year the package has gotten more expensive:

That’s a 45 percent price increase. Did your income go up 45 percent during the same period? Mine didn’t. And recently the package has gotten less comprehensive. Where are the cyclocross races I used to enjoy? They’re now on FloBikes, whose cheapest option is $12.50 per month. Screw that. I’m not going to pay NBC and FloBikes and GCN and whoever comes along next. I didn’t get rid of cable years ago so that I could replace it with a hodgepodge of different subscriptions. My NBC Sports Gold subscription runs through the end of May, so if the pandemic doesn’t wipe them out, these are the last races I will pay to see:
  • Paris-Nice (March 7-14)
  • Volta a Catalunya (March 22-28)
  • Paris-Roubaix (April 11)
  • La Flèche Wallonne (April 21)
  • Liège-Bastogne-Liège (April 25)
It sounds like NBC Sports Gold is going to hold on through the end of 2021, so I’m walking away from a lot of Tour de France coverage … probably. Again, who knows what the pandemic is going to do to the schedule? I’m not willing to gamble good money on it.

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