CommunityFeatureNewsUS BiathlonWorld CupViewing Cross-Country and Biathlon in the United States

Ken RothNovember 15, 2022
Julia Kern leads the pack during the first leg of the 4 x 5 k mixed relay in Falun, SWE in March 2022. (Photo: NordicFocus)

This season’s cross-country and biathlon World Cup races promise to be some of the most exciting in recent years; however, this season also presents dramatic changes in how American fans will be able to—or unable to—watch races.  The new season will be quite different from what we’ve come to expect in seasons past. NBC’s coverage is gone; it will be replaced by a combination of paid streaming services and accessing European coverage.

Cross-Country

There will no longer be coverage of cross-country events through NBC or any of its platforms.  Fortunately, coverage of World Cup races held in Europe will be available on Ski and Snowboard Live—specifically, https://usskiandsnowboard.org/latest—allowing access that’s searchable for any cross-country World Cup race.  U.S. Ski and Snowboard has told FasterSkier to expect commentary with these broadcasts.

The bad news related to viewing options for European races is that viewers will need to pay in order to watch.  There will be several payment options:

  • There will be a monthly all access pass ($15.99/month) which provides full viewing of all sports on the channel. If you watch more than the Nordic sports, this will be your choice.
  • For cross-country only fans, there will be a “Monthly Discipline Pass.”  While this may sound like some type of high school program for misbehaving students, it’s actually a platform that allows viewers to enjoy all coverage in the sport of their choice ($8.99/month).  If there’s one race in particular you want to watch, you pay $1.99 for any single event.

For complete details, visit U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s site at: https://usskiandsnowboard.org/news/how-watch-2022-23-world-cup-events.

There are known alternatives for those who want to access coverage in the VPN universe (virtual private network), but that’s not something FasterSkier has investigated in regard to cross-country events.

Sean Doherty (USA) – IBU World Cup Biathlon, sprint men, Oestersund (SWE). (Photo: NordicFocus)
Biathlon

As of this writing, there will not be network coverage of biathlon events by any American broadcaster or streaming service!  The principal option will be to watch via Eurovision live stream: go to https://www.eurovisionsports.tv/ibu/ for coverage of individual races.  According to U.S. Biathlon, they are still investigating other streaming options for the American audience.  U.S. Biathlon also indicated that “without NBC (coverage), American viewers should be able to watch live via this link this year.”  Races should also be available later for replay.  “It is our understanding that you may need to create an account, but it should be free and there will be no need for a VPN as NBC is not a rights holder this season…”

Joanne Reid (USA) -(Photo: NordicFocus)

A recent test of Eurovision’s site indicated that viewers would be able to use the link without a VPN, and could gain full access to the entire biathlon race library.

Better or Worse?

Depending upon streaming options that viewers have accessed in the past, these broadcast/streaming changes may be an improvement or a deterioration in coverage options. Being able to watch Eurovision without a VPN will be a game changer for many.  Stay tuned to FasterSkier for updates—especially in Biathlon coverage—as changes may occur.

Ken Roth

Ken lives in Southeastern Michigan. He's an avid outdoor sport enthusiast. He's an attorney, former Mayor of Northville, Michigan, and former bowling center owner. He's spent much of the last 35 years trying to chase down his wife on classic skis; to no avail.

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