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Universal Sports HD Bait and Switch?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by fleckrj, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

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    While watching the Vulta a Espagna on Universal Sports, a commercial played often with the following script:

    "World class events & your favorite athletes are on Universal Sports. Michael Phelps, Shawn Johnson, Usain Bolt, Lindsey Vonn. But they're NOT in HD. See them the way they're meant to be seen: in High-Definition! Contact your cable provider & tell them YOU want Universal Sports in HD! Click "Request Now" Today!"

    The commercial said to go to iwantuniversalsports.com to demand Universal Sports in HD. I went to the web site and found that it was a Universal Sports site that made it easy to ask cable providers and Dish to carry Universal Sports. There was no place to request that DirecTV carry Universal Sports in HD. There was, however, an announcement that Universal Sports is now on DirecTV with a link to DirecTV to apply for the sports package.

    The commercial and web site were misleading in that they imply that Universal Sports is available in HD but it is not being carried by anyone other than DirecTV. The reality is that Universal Sports is not on DirecTV in HD either.

    A press release on Universal Sports says that the Rugby World Cup will be in HD. It would have been nice if the Vulta was in HD.
     
  2. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    That web site is a joke it listed comcast in both the have it and does not have it list.

    any ways if there is a Universal Sports HD why is it not on comcast? or is this like chiller HD not on any system and never went live.

    Any ways Universal Sports HD will just make NBC HD look like crap OTA.
     
  3. dvdmth

    dvdmth Icon

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    DirecTV's contract with US may have a provision allowing them to carry the channel in HD when it becomes available. I know that several months ago, when DirecTV had a survey asking people what HD channels they would be interested in, Universal Sports HD was on the list (that survey was posted here at DBSTalk a while back).
     
  4. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    But for much longer will Universal Sports stay as it is?

    Will it be dropped from OTA when it goes HD and how will it fit in with NBC sports network?

    also what about the other missing NBC HD channel? chiller HD? Does D* still have a contract to carry it when it be comes available?
     
  5. susanandmark

    susanandmark Godfather

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    I hadn't seen that ad, though I've watched a lot of Universal Sports this past weekend for the National Gymnastics Championships (and, actually, think it looks better in SD than most channels, though obviously nothing like HD). Thought the gymnastics footage looked better than the cycling coverage I also saw.

    Anyway, at the website the original poster links to (http://www.universalsports.com/iwantuniversalsports.html), the first option is labeled: "Got US in HD?" with a button to request it from your cable company in HD ... DirecTV is not listed among the radio button choices, though there is an "other" selection.

    Now, knowing for a fact that Universal Sports isn't currently OFFERED in HD (unless something has changed in last few weeks), means that, yes, that IS misleading phrasing. I will rehash though that 95%, if not more, of the content shown on Universal Sports is recorded, produced and even originally transmitted (uplinked) in HD, so one would think the switch wouldn't be too hard. (Of course, they haven't actually done it so there must be some fundamental hurdle, which I gotta think is financial.)
     
  6. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

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    I imagine this might just be a way for them to gauge interest in an HD version of the channel. If a ton of people vote for wanting it in HD it might help speed up the process of NBC upgrading the channels equipment to do HD. Voting for the different providers might just be useful for them to then go to that provider and say "hey look we had 1 million of your customers tell us they want our channel in HD, you should sign a new agreement with us to get it!" DirecTV might not be listed because like someone else said they might already have an agreement in place to carry the channel after it launches.
     
  7. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

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    This press release from Universal Sports states that the Rugby World Cup will be in HD, and that event starts on September 9. Will US be in HD by then?
     
  8. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

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    To me it doesn't sound like any of the games are going to actually be on the Universal Sports channel. The games are going to be on NBC Sports (the new name for Versus I believe), or online at UniversalSports.com. And sounds like maybe through a Universal Sports streaming app they will come out with.
     
  9. wings91

    wings91 Cool Member

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    What a shame, the PQ of the Vulta made it unwatchable.
     
  10. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

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    Before there was Versus HD, the Touir de France in SD looked as good as SD could look. I agree that the Vuelta is unwatchable on my HD plasma and LCD TVs. It actually looks better on my old 27" SD CRT, but still not as good as the Tour looked when Versus was still SD. It must have something to do with the original feed being in HD, then downconverted to SD, then upconverted to show on my TV. It does not matter if I have "native on" and let the TV do the scaling or "native off" and let the receiver do the scaling, the Vuelta (and all other cycling events) on Univresal Sports have a much worse PQ than anything on Versus SD ever did.
     
  11. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/sports/rugby?footernavtype=-1&lpos=header

    it seems the Universal Sports games will be SD only and some PPV games will be SD only.

    http://www.universalsports.com/rwc-faq.html
    Are the games in HD?
    The only way to see games in High Definition is with DIRECTV HD PPV on match by match basis for $34.99 (per match). Please note that DIRECTV will not be airing the matches in HD on their Universal Sports Channel 625, only on their PPV offerings. The games aired for free on TV will be SD and the Universal Sports online package will be streamed in 480p.

    Now How DID Directv get a Comcast owned channel that Comcast does not even have?

    wait it likely shows much in demand sucks

    http://indemand.com/events/

    but that site shows that some games (less then directv) will be in HD.
     
  12. YakeVlad

    YakeVlad Legend

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    I'm certain you hit the nail on the head. I watched the commercial after double checking that US has no HD version of the channel available at this time. If you look at it from that informed perspective it becomes more clear that what they are looking for is two things:

    1) Gauge level of interest from viewers in an HD version
    2) Build a case for negotiating with individual providers to pick it up once it does become available​

    You'd think though with the Olympics coming in 2012 and NBC trying to re-brand and establish a portfolio of high quality, consistent template sports channels by January 2012 that US-HD is a necessity for meeting those directives. That being said, I'm pretty confident we'll see US-HD in time for the Olympics
     
  13. RD in Fla

    RD in Fla Icon

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    I'm amazed that Directv would add a sports channel in SD. I'm happy it was added, but most of it is unwatchable in SD. I assume it will be in HD prior to the London Summer Olympic Games in 2012.
     
  14. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    UHD is definitely SD over the air in Philly (WCAU-DT 10.3). WCAU is O&O by NBC, so I"d assume they'd get it first.
     
  15. joshadam84

    joshadam84 Cool Member

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    Found this article regarding Universal Sports switch from OTA multicast to fee based carriage. Towards the bottom of the article it states it will launch "an enhanced signal in January." Perhaps the normally poor video quality will finally be put to an end early next year. Also, the final paragraph mentions "video-on-demand" and "TV everywhere" services launching with DirecTV in the 4th quarter. Too bad it wasn't implemented in time for the Rugby World Cup..

    I'm not able to post the link as of yet.. but it can be found on multichannel's website under the heading "Universal Sports Launches Ad Campaign to Support Move to Fee Based Carriage."
     
  16. espnjason

    espnjason Armchair Referee

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    As long as US will be in HD before the London Olympics, I'll be content. No use pushing it right now.
     
  17. Unknown

    Unknown Godfather

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    Universal Sports will not longer be available on OTA starting in 2012. They going to cable and Satelitte only.

    http://www.multichannel.com/article...ign_To_Support_Move_To_Fee_Based_Carriage.php
     
  18. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

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    Will it move out of sports pack then? or based on where it ends up on other systems? Will comcast try to put NHL playoffs games on it?
     
  19. espnjason

    espnjason Armchair Referee

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    I have no idea. But my guess would be that it would remain on the Sports Pack unless there could be a deal worked out where US could be on a Choice Xtra or Ultimate package during the Olympics and the Stanley Cup Playoffs (I don't see US going to Choice in any case).

    Things don't always work like that though.
     

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