Problems for Gym Fans with Eyes

Buried in the hoopla of the Olympics was some not so pleasant news for gymnastics fans who may have an interest in, you know, actually watching the sport that they follow.

First, in vile and disastrous news for elite fans, Universal Sports announced that live streaming of events on their website will henceforth be available only to subscribers of DirecTV and Dish Network who already have the super expensive sports plan of which Universal Sports is a part. So, um, no one.

Universal Sports distributed the following letter from the CEO:

Dear Fans of Universal Sports,

With more than 30 different sports and 25 world championships, Universal Sports Network is your destination to watch your favorite Olympic sports and athletes year-round including exclusive and live event coverage of the Vuelta a España, Giro d’Italia, Diamond League track and field, Kona Ironman, Alpine Skiing World Cup and world marathon majors each year.

This Friday, July 27th, our website will become fully authenticated which is a necessary measure in our efforts to continue to provide, and expand upon, the world-class sports content you have come to expect from Universal Sports.  Authentication, or verification, is the ability to login to our website using your current satellite or cable provider account to access live streaming content and online video on demand.

Effective Friday, all online live events and replays on demand will be available exclusively to DIRECTV, DISH and cable customers who have Universal Sports as part of their television package. Individual long-form events and sport packages will no longer be offered for sale online, but will be free to users who verify their subscriptions on our website.  There is no additional charge for this service and a customer’s subscription will not be affected. As always, anyone who visits our website can enjoy video highlights, photos and breaking news for free without authentication.

Thank you for your loyalty.
David Sternberg
CEO, Universal Sports Network

Coverage of Secret Classic? BYE.
Coverage of the first day of Nationals? BYE.
Live coverage of Worlds before NBC decides to broadcast it? BYE.

Not good news. 

Also in NCAA coverage news, many cable providers (including mine) are not currently carrying the Pac-12 network. People are in a huff about that right now because college football season is coming up, but I don’t so much care about that.

However, the Pac-12 Network is purportedly going to have some excellent coverage of gymnastics come the springtime, so if they don’t have a deal worked out by then, they will have some (at least one) very cranky gymnastics fans on their hands. What we lack in numbers, we make up for with mammoth levels of acute judgment and sarcasm. If the situation doesn’t improve, we may have to organize an extremely public and angry group reenactment of Anna Li’s 2010 routine as a protest. And if all else fails, we’ll just make fun of your hair.

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