Long before the merger I used to call and badger the Comcast folks about why we couldn't get NBC Universal Sports in HD here (Olympia WA). They always told me it was NBC's fault, with a fair amount of hemming and hawing. I didn't (and still don't) get why it's important enough to have 2 instances of ESPN in HD, and 2 instances of ESPN2 in HD (one would be enough of each, I would think) but they can't allocate the resources to show all the glorious sports on Universal Sports in anything other than blotchy crappy low def. it looks really bad.
What's this year's excuse? Is it because I haven't leapt at the opportunity to pay MORE than the $150 a month I pay now for TV and internet (which is slower than ever after 7 years)?
Thanks for that info WarEagle. I get that the post-merger organization isn't necessarily aligned right away, but I don't really understand how dupe channels fail to take up bandwidth.
I suppose it's neither here nor there - my gripe is in being shown HD commercials (on another channel, in true HD) for U.S. whereas the ACTUAL channel isn't shown in HD. I'm sure there are MANY wonderful reasons why they can't provide the service they APPEAR to be advertising, but it's frustrating nonetheless.
I've come to expect disappointment from Comcast/Xfinity - no reason to think this will ever change.
Bandwidth is only required in the transmission of the signal to the box. Once that is done, the signal can be mapped to multiple channels by the box -- they're just numbers, and the box actually tunes in the same frequency for all the duplicates.
Very well, that explains the mystery of the "free" duplicates. Thanks! Do you have any inside knowledge regarding an HD feed of Universal Sports, or why such a thing would be impossible for a struggling mom 'n' pop such as Comcast?
I too would like to see Universal Sports in HD. I've been watching the Paris-Nice bicycle race on Versus HD. They are showing ads for the Tirreno-Adiratico race coverage on Universal Sports. Now that Comcast owns NBC-Universal, how about upgrading the whole operation to HD?
Universal Sports is primarily a subchannel carried by various NBC broadcast stations and affiliates. It's not an independent cable channel. Comcast will typically just pass on what is broadcast. If NBC wanted to add HD, that would mean most of the stations would have to cram TWO HD's into the broadcast bandwidth, which is only half that of cable. NBC is a 1080i network, and cramming two 1080's together would be horrible. As it is, many of the ABC's that carry Livewell HD broadcast 2x720p, and look bad.
Does Comcast carry universal sports, they used to but now universal should be showing gymnastics world championships according to universal website on channel 207 for area code 22192 but there is some sort of infomercial on? Comcast listing says 207 is wrc sports?
All, I have sent over your feedback request to the appropriate department. You can also submit feedback back by going to www.comcast.com click on customers, click on contact us, click on option 6 email Rick.
Thanks Andy! We do get US now, just not in HD. We've found that the non-HD picture on our new HD tv is not as good as on our old tube TV. We actually watch quite a bit of programming on Universal Sports.
As far as upconverted SD, it varies from TV to TV. Many try to 'enhance' the picture to try and squeeze blood out of a stone, and end up making it look worse. Set your TV for Movie or Cinema mode, and it should disable most of the enhancements. Sometimes, a 'softer' picture will look better than trying to overenhance a low-res picture. Also, if your new TV is bigger, that alone can make SD look worse unless you move far enough away to make the picture the same apparant size.
Comcast is not "dropping" Universal Sports in the true sense of the word "drop". The local NBC broadcast station in your area is changing the format of their subchannel and Universal Sports is moving from being a free over the air channel avaialable in a few areas to becoming strictly a cable channel that could be avaialable in more homes - this of course usually means additional costs for cable companies.
But since Universal Sports is partly owned by NBC Universal and NBC Universal is a part of Comcast ... hmmm. my guess is that you may stil see Universal Sports somewhere on your comcast lineup, in fact it likeley will be avaialable in even more locations across the country.
I still see it on Channel 249 here outside of Philadelphia.
below from wikipedia
Until early 2012, Universal Sports is distributed by:
On September 12, 2011, it was announced that Universal Sports would convert to being exclusively distributed to cable and satellite providers, and would no longer operate as an over-the-air digital multicast network beginning in early 2012, not long after NBC Universal was bought by Comcast and took over operations of Versus. On the month before the announcement happened, in August 2011, DirecTV became the first provider to carry Universal Sports as a basic network.
Universal Sports Launches Ad Campaign To Support Move To Fee-Based Carriage
'I Want Universal Sports' Multimedia Initiative Prompts Consumers To Call Their TV Providers
Mike Reynolds -- Multichannel News, 9/12/2011 12:01:00 AM
Looking to upgrade from multicast positioning to fee-based carriage by year's end, Universal Sports is launching an ad campaign aimed at raising awareness and getting consumers to call their TV providers.
The "I Want Universal Sports" consumer and trade campaign will begin this week, with promo spots featuring on-air talent on the network's air and website, as well as ads in local print and digital outlets in priority markets. Messaging will feature the above tagline and a toll-free number, 1-800-55-GET-US, aimed at connecting them to TV providers.
A joint venture of Leo Hindery's InterMedia Partners and Comcast's NBC Sports Group, Universal Sports is currently available in some 55 million homes in all of the top 10 DMAs and 20 of the top 25 via multicast carriage and its first affiliate deal with DirecTV. The nation's top DBS provider made Universal Sports available to all of its customers via a freeview in July and now offers it on a sports package. License fee terms were not disclosed.
David Sternberg, CEO of Universal Sports, said the network launched via multicast on broadcast stations in 2008 and after monitoring that approach determined that transitioning the service to a fee-based cable network was "the best way going forward." He noted that contracts with the stations expire by year-end and are "synced up in a way to facilitate" this migration.
Sternberg said the network has engaged in such talks with cable, satellite and telco distributors since he joined the company in 2010, with an eye toward increasing distribution for the service, which presents an array of Olympic- and endurance-style sports, competitions and championships.
He noted that Universal Sports is in "advanced discussions with a number of MVPDs. We expect to have some announcements very soon and throughout the fourth quarter. "
The campaign is slated to run through the balance of the year with tactics changing as new distribution partners and carriage in markets are secured. Tent-pole network programming will be used to inform viewers of the switch, including promos running on its coverage of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup, Kona Ironman, the Gymnastics Worlds, New York City Marathon, alpine skiing, figure skating and its countdown to London Olympics fare.
Sternberg said the network will also ply on-site grass-roots marketing initiatives at a number of events, including the NYC Marathon and Skate America in Los Angeles.
Part of Universal Sports' pitch for carriage centers on primary and secondary research indicating that its affluent, highly-educated and gender-balanced audience has affinity for these types of sports throughout the year. The network also over-indexes against premium channel, high-speed data and high-definition subscribership.
Speaking of HD, Sternberg said Universal Sports will launch an enhanced signal in January, an offering that was previously hamstrung by multicasting bandwidth constraints.
Since Universal Sports holds the rights to its myriad sports properties, it can also present video-on-demand and "TV Everywhere" services. Sternberg said DirecTV will launch an authenticated product with Universal Sports in the fourth quarter.
Is Comcast dropping the Universal Sports channel? If so, we need to voice our objections.
Earlier this year, Universal Sports elected to switch from being carried over-the-air as a multicast broadcast channel to a cable channel. The change is scheduled to take place at midnight on December 31, 2011.
As a result of their decision, Universal Sports is currently in negotiations with Comcast and other companies for how the channel will be carried in 2012. While these negotiations take place, you may continue to enjoy Universal Sports programming on the channel its offered until the end of the year.
Thanks, Joe XfinityTV.com/Xfinity.com Support Twitter: @XfinityTVJoe
Joe - thank you for the info. I hope Comcast and Universal Sports can come to an agreement. W need Universal Sports because of their unique packages e.g. only one that shows rugby, 7s in progress and recently concluded world cup. Please we need USports.
I can not believe we are losing universal sports. Especially with the olympics coming up this summer. Last thing we need is another shopping or music channel. Universal carries a unique line up of sports that ESPN does not choose to provide such as olympic qualifying events in volleyball and world cup skiing. May have to look to the dish providers and see if they are going to offer it if the owners of Universal will not offer their own material.
I love the Track & Field (great coverage of the World Championships this year! Diamond League too!), the FIS coverage, the bicycling coverage.. If I get cut off I will be looking for some other way to get this channel.. Hopefully there will be one.
It is the only way to get the second tier sports that interest me.
Again, as mentioned, Universal Sports is ending it's broadcast verison and going cable only. In most if not all cases, it's the broadcast subchannel being changed, which means it will change on Comcast. Since both are part of the same company, at some point it will come back, but most likely on another channel. It may even be available in HD.
We need Universal Sports - it has lots of programs we watch regularly! Most would benefit greatly from a switch to HD! I'd hate to drop Comcast and switch to DirectTV, but is looks like that may be necessar in order to get this channel.
Please do not drop Universal Sports. It is the only station that has been carrying figure skating, and a range of other sports. If Comcast drops Universal Sports, I will have to seriously consider switching to another cable provider. Thank you, Ladeene F., a current Comcast customer.
It is up to local stations what to carry on the subchannel. There are several options. They can go with what NBC feed decides to show or choose another over the air broadcast network. There is sports, movie, music, religion, or family over the air broadcast networks. I am hoping it is ME-TV or a movie channel and comcast keeps it.
Please count me in as another person who does not want to lose Universal Sports. It's the only channel that shows figure skating, except for the teeny little bit we get on NBC. I loved being able to see all the Grand Prix events this year. NBC has never shown that.
It is extremely unfortunate that viewers suffer when corporate giants bicker and can't come to terms. This is the case between Comcast and Universal Sports. Regardless of who's to "blame", the sad fact is that the programming will no longer be available on Comcast systems. For this reason, it is likey that we will discontinue service with Comcast after January 1, 2012.
Hey Comcast, I guess now that you'll no longer be carrying the Universal Sports channel (which really blows; where else can you watch Swimming, Skiing, Rugby, and the love of my life, Track and Field?), I guess I can downsize on which level of programming I'm willing to pay for. I lose, but so do you, financially. And isn't it always about the money? I hope other people follow suit.
damouth, I am still getting that network. Some local stations broadcast stations are switching to another sports network or to my tv. I don't think comcast actually owns the universal sports network channel but I am not sure. However, it is up to each cable system to deciede to carry USN and what level to put it on.
Two days ago, I spoke with a Comcast Customer Rep in Atlanta about the pending changes to Universal Sports in our area, and I was assured that US would continue to be part of the Digital Starter Package. What a load of bunk
I tuned into channel 247 (Universal Sports where I live), and it is now gone - it's been replaced by some worthless channel airing old series like Dragnet, Adam12, and other boring stuff that's already being shown on channels like Retro. The cable guide, however, still shows 247 as US with it's lineup of sports programming.
Universal Sports is the only channel that broadcasts Figure Skating, World Cup Skiing, Bobsled/Skeleton, and other winter sports, all of which I am a huge fan. On top of this, in our most recent bill, we received a notification that all of the programming packages will now cost more money, with fewer channels on the lower-tiers.
If this is Comcast's idea of superior customer service, I would hate to imagine what they consider poor customer service to be.
Direct TV will be getting a call from our family to set up satellite service.