Cycling.TV---don't use them.

Oct 25, 2009
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Does anyone bother with them any more? I ask because a couple weeks ago I decided to get on the trainer and watch a re-run of Liege Bastogne Liege on their site. I set it up but got a "geographic restriction" message. I tried other races but got the same message. These are races I watched live back in the spring but now they're geographically restricted? I emailed them two weeks ago and again a few days ago but have not gotten a response.

Has anyone been having success watching on-demand races on cycling.tv or are they just circling the crapper and taking my money with them?

They are supposed to be showing the World Cup 'cross race this weekend but I'm not holding my breath expecting them to actually come through.

My subscriptions are paid up into 2010 but I'm hoping for a refund if they cannot offer any service.

Anyone have any similar experiences?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
cyclingtv...

CyclingTv has just gone into the crapper...I agree...this year they advertised both the Giro and the Vuelta as part of their package...I signed up again...lo and behold, they had neither...there were also various single day races they had last year that were not shown this year...eg. the Worlds, Lombardy, and some others. I have no idea what is going on there but they never respond to emails, give no explanations on their public site. I just wouldn't bother with these folks anymore...I think they took the money and screwed the pooch...
 
Depending on your country of residence will depend if you can get the programs stated. Sometimes the re-runs get restricted in certain countries due to licencing laws and that they only paid for live coverage.

Even for live coverage, certain countries are not able to see all races on their packages as they are broadcast by a tv station in that country, for example in the UK, Eurosport show a few of the races cycling.tv show.

Hope that helps answer your question.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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I've been very disappointed in Cycling.tv Especially the lack of Giro (which I paid for). They emailed to say we would get money back, but haven't heard anything in months.

A waste of money to be sure.
 
Oct 25, 2009
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Big_Blue_Dave said:
Depending on your country of residence will depend if you can get the programs stated. Sometimes the re-runs get restricted in certain countries due to licencing laws and that they only paid for live coverage.

Even for live coverage, certain countries are not able to see all races on their packages as they are broadcast by a tv station in that country, for example in the UK, Eurosport show a few of the races cycling.tv show.

Hope that helps answer your question.
Do you work for cycling.tv?

I'm in the US, so none of these races is shown live on tv. These on-demand were available to me earlier in the year, now they are not. I cannot find one on-demand race that I can watch. This cannot be right. And how do you explain them not returning my emails?
 
Tom T. said:
Do you work for cycling.tv?

I'm in the US, so none of these races is shown live on tv. These on-demand were available to me earlier in the year, now they are not. I cannot find one on-demand race that I can watch. This cannot be right. And how do you explain them not returning my emails?
Nope, if I did I could tell you exactly whats going on. Not returning emails suggests they either have many like that or can't be bothered to answer it.
 
Apr 17, 2009
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Sounds worrisome. I've recently signed up (from Canada) and had no trouble with my UCI package (signed up for CX) - but I sure wish I could see the GvA series as well.
 
I've had, er, mixed experiences.

First of all, I live in Canada, watched a race on demand (coincidentally, LBL) about a week ago, no problem. I also watched the Worlds live and free on their site, with their commentators, but can't find it anywhere on demand. Then I watched Paris-Tours and thought I would watch Lombardy, but found out after the fact that they weren't showing it. Grr.

They got scooped on the Giro and Vuelta by Universal Sports in the US (although I'm told Universal OWNS Jump TV who owns the site, so I'm not sure what's going on there), and as a result didn't show it anywhere (well, they showed 'highlights' of the Vuelta). Garbage.

As for customer service... horrendous. They ended up giving us a free 3-month subscription for losing the Giro after hounding them, but last year I had a problem with my UCI account (cyclocross, etc) where it renewed automatically every month, while it was a 3-month subscription, so they were charging my account every month for it. When that was fixed, I couldn't access the site. It took a MONTH of emailing, waiting, receiving a confusing reply, repeating that process, before it was functional. They gave me an extension for free on my subscription, after I asked for it, but their customer service is beyond unacceptable.

That said, their coverage is great, with amusing commentary and good feeds, when it works. I'd consider a 3-monther next year for the spring classics next year. But yeah, there are so many goddamn problems.
 
I don't know this for a fact, but I believe only a handful of people pull CyclingTV off. And they probably took a big hit when the Giro and Vuelta were covered by Universal Sports in the US this year.

Webcasting is the future, but right now they face so many restrictions because they are treated as if they are broadcasting over the airwaves, and other copyright issues, that TV stations normally pay for without much issue, and bootleggers don't worry about (and aren't prosecuted) when dumping to the web.

Not that any of that excuses putting out a shoddy product. If they can't deliver what they say, they need to let customers know. That's bogus.

No, I don't work for them either.
 
Oct 25, 2009
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I have never in my life been forced to get as nasty with any type of customer service as I have with Cycling.tv. Last April they automatically took money from me via PayPal for a recurring subscription but my end-of-subscription date did not move out. They basically were taking my money and giving me nothing in return. More infuriating was the fact that they refused to listen to me and ignored the evidence that I emailed them. I had to go ballistic and threaten to post the episode on every cycling forum I could find before they finally budged and credited my accounts. I was beyond furious. I also told them that if anything like this happened again it would be posted all over the forums—so here we are.

All they had to do was answer my original email from two weeks ago. They have not yet done that. I hate to take this route but they are f**king me over yet again. Hopefully enough people will hear about their shoddy service and they'll be forced to react or go out of business.
 
A

Anonymous

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you clearly never had a phone conversation with setanta customer services then...

biggest bunch of lying, thieving, obnoxious ****s you have ever dealt with..
 
Mar 18, 2009
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One guy from cycling.tv used to post at another forum I frequent. he was loud and obnoxious and everyone hated him.

One day, he made a completely gratuitous comment about him "nailing the girlfriend" in graphic detail. I told him in a completely normal non-aggressive tone that that was no thing to post not only on an unrelated topic, but in a forum where kids could easily be reading.

He PM'ed me back that I was an *succession of expletives* and that he'd "kill my account" (at cycling.tv).

I could no longer log in at cycling.tv from that day on, despite the fact I'd paid until the end of the year (it was october). I e-mailed support but they never answered.

At the end of the year they had the audacity to e-mail me that the automatic renewal of my subscription (which I of course hadn't asked for) was failling as the payment wasn't going through (I had cancelled that credit card meanwhile and was using a new, different one)

Hurray cycling.tv :p
 
Jun 24, 2009
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Tom T. said:
I have never in my life been forced to get as nasty with any type of customer service as I have with Cycling.tv. Last April they automatically took money from me via PayPal for a recurring subscription but my end-of-subscription date did not move out. They basically were taking my money and giving me nothing in return. More infuriating was the fact that they refused to listen to me and ignored the evidence that I emailed them. I had to go ballistic and threaten to post the episode on every cycling forum I could find before they finally budged and credited my accounts. I was beyond furious. I also told them that if anything like this happened again it would be posted all over the forums—so here we are.

All they had to do was answer my original email from two weeks ago. They have not yet done that. I hate to take this route but they are f**king me over yet again. Hopefully enough people will hear about their shoddy service and they'll be forced to react or go out of business.
I had a similar experience occur to me with the automatic renewal. But I did end up losing some money, which made me swear off of cycling.tv. Nowadays it is just too easy to get races on the internet. Steephill.tv is a great resource for races that aren't widely covered. I haven't gone near cycling.tv since my unsavory experiences with them, almost 2 years ago this coming spring.
 

flicker

BANNED
Aug 17, 2009
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Yeah its a ripoff. They are probably in the bathroom with Tom Boonen powdering their noses with our money.
They did an automatic payment on my pay pal which I put a bank hold on.
When I try to log in to their service my computer freezes. Looks like they have sold out to the computer hackers to me.
The owners' now own a small carabbian island with Carlos Lehder.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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CTV IS A FRAUD!!!

DO NOT BUY ANY OF THEIR PACKAGES!!! YOU WILL HAVE A VERY HARD TIME TO CANCEL THE SUBSCRIPTION!!!

THEY RUTHLESSLY STEAL PEOPLE'S MONEY, YEAR AFTER YEAR IF YOU GIVE YOUR VISA/PAYPAL ACCOUNT!!!

I hope I made it clear what my experience with CTV was. Took forever to cancel my subscription.
F*** them.
 
Mar 16, 2009
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peloton said:
CTV IS A FRAUD!!!

DO NOT BUY ANY OF THEIR PACKAGES!!! YOU WILL HAVE A VERY HARD TIME TO CANCEL THE SUBSCRIPTION!!!

THEY RUTHLESSLY STEAL PEOPLE'S MONEY, YEAR AFTER YEAR IF YOU GIVE YOUR VISA/PAYPAL ACCOUNT!!!

I hope I made it clear what my experience with CTV was. Took forever to cancel my subscription.
F*** them.
I shouldn't use them? Did you not care for the service?
 
Mar 3, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Webcasting is the future, but right now they face so many restrictions because they are treated as if they are broadcasting over the airwaves, and other copyright issues, that TV stations normally pay for without much issue, and bootleggers don't worry about (and aren't prosecuted) when dumping to the web.

Not that any of that excuses putting out a shoddy product. If they can't deliver what they say, they need to let customers know. That's bogus.
Agree with both points.

Personally I've not dealt with Cycling.tv but judging by the number of negative posts here, I don't think it's unreasonable to think there's obviously some customer service issues.

Somewhat separately from that, it is a challenging business model for the reasons Alpe d'Huez points out above. For these sorts of services to work, the broadcast industry itself needs to evolve - I'm talking about a larger scale than just cycling. Unfortunately I fear that by the time this occurs on the scale required, it will be in reaction to free streaming websites that have already gained a foothold in the online market.

Cheers
Greg Johnson
 
Mar 12, 2009
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krebs303 said:
I shouldn't use them? Did you not care for the service?
Sure, if you want to throw money to a very poor service, by all means.
Often races were shown in low res, making it almost impossible to see what was happening. Buffering was also nonstop, especially on higher feeds.
It's your money, you can do whatever you want with it, but CTV is not a good place to spend them, even if you have extra cash, imo of course.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Cycling TV - Scum of the Earth

I subscribed 3 years ago and was rewarded with more viruses than could be counted on both my home machine AND my work pc! You can imagine the crap that caused me! They swore up and down it didn't come from them but my IT guys traced it directly to pop-ups from their site (which you HAD to allow to use the site).They are a buncha lying scumbags and I'd really love to get 'em alone somewhere and kick the livin' crap out of 'em. Just the absolute worst.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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racerralph said:
I had a similar experience occur to me with the automatic renewal. But I did end up losing some money, which made me swear off of cycling.tv. Nowadays it is just too easy to get races on the internet. Steephill.tv is a great resource for races that aren't widely covered. I haven't gone near cycling.tv since my unsavory experiences with them, almost 2 years ago this coming spring.
I also had a similar experience regarding an unauthorized re-subscription charge made to my credit card, and I've yet to be reimbursed that money. It's true the customer service is awful (No answers to my e-mails either), I'm also saying f**k it with cycling.tv. It's not worth it!
 
Jul 22, 2009
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CSTV (College sports television) used to do the same thing for their webcasting. They set you up for an automatic renewal plan and you couldn't get them to stop. I had to cancel my credit card number to put it to an end.
 
I tried to figure out their service but the site was so utterly unclear about which races came with which packages. I emailed them with specific questions, and the answers were completely useless. I passed, and am glad I did.

The simple way to get streaming video for just about any race is to type "Giro live stream" or some such thread into search.twitter.com or the search field of a twitter application like TweetDeck.

You usually get hundreds of results and get sent to live video streams on justin.tv or another streaming video site.
 
Greg Johnson said:
...For these sorts of services to work, the broadcast industry itself needs to evolve - I'm talking about a larger scale than just cycling. Unfortunately I fear that by the time this occurs on the scale required, it will be in reaction to free streaming websites that have already gained a foothold in the online market.
As I have mentioned before, I work in broadcasting, and this topic comes up weekly and is constantly debated. How and what to stream. How and what to release. What to post to our site. What to piggyback on something like Brighcove or Vimeo. What to try to stop that's posted elsewhere, etc. Then there is constant changing in the sales department, what they can sell, how to sell it.

But this issue is bigger than a local CBS affiliate. Or the CBS "mothership" as we call it. And the fact is what's happening before our eyes is this:
red_flanders said:
The simple way to get streaming video for just about any race is to type "Giro live stream"....You usually get hundreds of results and get sent to live video streams on justin.tv or another streaming video site.
So this lumbering giant of broadcasting is trying to move, they know this, and saw what happened to the RIAA, and know it will fairly soon be where everything on your TV or Computer is available, up to you. But it's a very painful adaption.

None of this of course excuses CyclingTV. I had no idea of some of these stories. These guys give webcasting a bad name.

As an aside, NeuLion purchased the rights to USL Soccer in North America from TBS/Play On. In 2008 they charged something like $30 for an season pass to watch all matches on line. In 2009, they charged...$0. It was free. All you had to do was register, and sit through some ads. This isn't the future, this is the present.

For a glimpse into the not too distant future, I'm hoping the Amgen ToC will improve again in 2010. Their webcast of last year's even was excellent (sans some stage 1 glitches). Good quality, steady stream, plenty of extras.
 

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