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If you are a sports junkie like me then you have to check out NBC Universal Sports. These people used to be known as World Championship Sports Network (WCSN), but they were bought last year by NBC and became NBC Universal Sports. I mentioned them several months ago when they were showing the Tour de Ski, a cross country ski race run with a similar format as the Tour de France. I said it then and I will say it again now. NBC Universal Sports rocks.


Most of us are used to going to Versus to get our dose of fringe sports (or Obscure Sports Quarterly(OSQ) or ESPN 8 'the Ocho' for you 'Dodgeball' fans), but NBC Universal Sports is the new champion. In the winter they have alpine skiing, cross country skiing, ski jumping, ski flying(yes, there is a difference), luge, skeleton, bobsled, curling(hey, it is now an Olympic sport so give it a little

respect), etc.


Unfortunately, they don't carry my favorite winter sport, Women's Biathlon (that's cross country skiing and shooting for those of you are uniformed). They make up for it by showing a lot of triathlons and running races. It's all good.


The big news is that for us cycling fanatics, especially those who don't care to see professional bike racing pre-empted by Indy Car racing, NBC Universal Sports is now carrying live coverage of some select events. Starting tomorrow, you can watch the Tour of Basque Country at 11am and 9pm EDT(that's Eastern Daylight Time - 8am and 6pm PDT for those of us on the West Coast).


The catch is that right now, you can't get NBC Universal Sports on either cable or satellite. The good news is that you have two options. First, if you have a digital TV or a set-top converter box with an NTSC tuner, you can get it for free, over the air. Simply go to the channel of your local NBC affiliate and surf through a the several multiplexed sub-channels to find it. In the Bay Area, NBC is channel 11.  NBC Universal Sports is 11-3.


Unfortunately, NBC Universal Sports is not available in all areas, but they continue to expand their market. They just got added to the Denver area.


The other option is to watch the programs on the NBC Universal Sports website. You can watch the Tour of Basque Country live each morning at 9:30am EDT (6:30am PDT) and if you aren't mobile that early, you can watch cycling and a number of other sports 'on-demand'.


Check it out. The people at NBC Universal Sports are onto something big.



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