How to stream cyclocross for the 2022/2023 season

Welcome back, cyclocross fans! Let's review your choices for cyclocross streaming (as well as some other types of bicycle racing too) for the 2022/23 season. Thanks for reading this updated version of my cyclocross streaming guide, which I've updated with new info for the 2022/23 calendar.

Please note: this article applies worldwide, but my focus is on the USA - before subscribing, you should carefully check the list of what races you'll have access to in your specific country, as rights vary by location.

Let's begin with a review of your paid subscription options for cyclocross streaming:

GCN+ (GCN Plus Race TV) cyclocross streaming

GCN+ has quickly become of the best streaming services for bicycle racing, and especially cyclocross. The short summary with GCN Race Pass for cyclocross fans: you get basically every race EXCEPT the World Cup, for which you need FloBikes, see below.

GCN got their start offering free streams on YouTube and social networks like Facebook, before launching the paid subscription package. The commentary is English and usually top-notch, with expert commentary from retired pros like Jeremy Powers.

In addition to GCN+ (what used to be called "Race Pass") GCN also offers a Netflix-style "Films" section which can be watched on demand. It's a nice bonus, but most people probably care most about live racing coverage primarily.

Before subscribing to GCN+, read my full test and write-up to see if it's a fit for your lifestyle and devices. GCN+ offers live streaming of these races for the 2022/2023 cyclocross season: 

  • 2023 cyclocross world championship
  • the X²O Badkamers Trofee series
  • The Superprestige series
  • the new Exact Cross series (formerly Ethias Cross / Brico Cross)
  • the USCX cyclocross series (Roanoke, Rochester, Baltimore etc.)
  • Monuments: Milan-San Remo and The Tour of Lombardy
  • The Giro d'Italia
  • only Highlights of the Tour de France and Vuelta de Espana Grand Tours (no live coverage) as well as only highlights of Paris-Roubaix and the Ronde (tour of Flanders). You'll need a different streaming service to watch those in full.
  • An assortment of other minor classics and smaller local stage races, like the Tour of Poland and the Tour de l’Avenir
  • a weekly subscriber-only show, World of Cycling

A word about the USCX series - GCN previously announced a new deal to live stream the USCX series races (Jingle Cross, Rochester, Charm City, and Kings CX) for 2021. It went... OK. The streams suffered from some technical problems that weren't up to the usual high quality typically offered by GCN+. Ultimately, GCN only has access to the provided feed, and some coverage is better than no coverage. You should have reasonable expectations - these streams won't be Belgian "Monday Night Football" level of production value.

GCN Race Pass can be accessed on your web browser or via a mobile phone app, and costs $49.99 yearly.

Link: https://racetv.globalcyclingnetwork.com

Peacock Premium (formerly NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass)

NBC Sports Gold Cycling pass is now a dead product, replaced by Peacock Premium, who inherited most of NBC's broadcast rights. This includes the Tour de France - which is the primary reason most riders would consider a Peacock subscription. 

If you're expecting to watch cyclocross World Cups on the NBC networks/apps as you have in the past, though, look elsewhere. FloBikes has those rights in the USA now.

The best news about Peacock is the reasonable price, and subscriptions run month-to-month, allowing you to turn it on for certain races then unsubscribe. A steal for just $4.99 a month even if you only use it for the TDF.

You can watch your Peacock content on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and more. It is not available on cable/satellite. 

Link: https://www.peacocktv.com/plans/all-monthly

FloBikes cyclocross streaming

FloBikes has the most robust streaming calendar of the competing services, but is also the most expensive at $150 yearly.

In December 2020, FloBikes announced a new deal with the UCI to stream the World Championships* in road, MTB, cyclocross, track, BMX, plus the cyclocross World Cup series, to USA subscribers. Strangely, when it came time for the 2022 cyclocross World Championship, coverage was nowhere to be found - GCN+ had it instead! 

FloBikes is the new source for the cyclocross World Cups as well, replacing NBC Sports Gold Cycling pass. With a whopping 13 World Cups on the calendar for 2022/23 Flo is going to be a must for serious 'cross fans who have no other way to watch those events.

Also on FloBikes - the USA Cycling cyclocross national championship, which used to be free on YouTube, but is now exclusively on Flo.

Link: https://www.flobikes.com

Free Streaming options

With GCN+ Race TV, FloBikes, and Peacock Premium, there are now 3 major paid subscription cycling streaming providers for the United States. Let's take a look at what is still available for free (and it's not much):

EKZ CrossTour

EKZ (Switzerland) is an annual cyclocross series. It might be considered a "second-tier" series, compared with the Superprestige, but still attracts big talent, who often use the EKZ races as tune-ups or opportunities to grab UCI points.

In the past, EKZ CrossTour has live-streamed some events on their Facebook page, free of charge and with no geo-restriction. Some of the EKZ fell victim to COVID-19; so we'll see what re-emerges this Fall.

To stay in touch, follow their Facebook page and turn on notifications:

Link: https://www.facebook.com/ekzcrosstour/

USA Cycling / national championships

The USA Cycling cyclocross national championship used to be streamed free; in Fall 2021 coverage was moved to FloBikes, eliminating this option. USA Cycling no longer offers a free YouTube stream.

Using a VPN for cyclocross streaming

Each streaming provider only has broadcast rights in certain countries, so it's fairly common to run into the dreaded "this video is not available in your country" error message. It's not the fault of the streaming provider - they'd love to show it to you, but they have to make a best effort to honor their contracts, which means blocking some countries. Usually (but not always) if you are "geo-blocked" it means that some other provider is streaming the event. 

A way to work around this is to hook your computer or device up with a VPN. A VPN is sort of a "fake-out" tool that tricks the streaming provider into thinking your location is in a different country. The best VPN I've found for streaming cyclocross is NordVPN, primarily because you can simply click in their app to choose a different country on the fly, until you find one that works for your stream. 

Unfortunately, quality VPNs are not free, however, once you're a subscriber you can use them for all sort of non-sports streaming as well, like Netflix, so they're a handy tool. 

Link: https://nordvpn.com

Streaming Other Cyclocross Races

Some "second-tier" cyclocross races simply aren't large enough to show up on the streaming calendar, largely due to the expense of setting up multiple cameras for live streaming, paying for internet connectivity, and so on. As a result, only bigger races with a larger audience are streamed.

You'll also find a small handful of races that only appear on Belgium's Play Sports service. This streaming subscription is not available to customers in the USA for any price, and generally there has not been any USA coverage of these events at all, even if you wanted to subscribe. Fortunately, this only happens 2 or 3 times per season, so a European, elite-level cyclocross race that isn't available for streaming in the USA almost never happens.

Dead / defunct cyclocross streaming options: 

Over the years, several streaming providers have come and gone. The following options are now dead:
  • Trek Bikes coverage - Trek no longer streams free cyclocross.
  • RedBull.TV coverage - this free coverage in some countries, featuring Helen Wyman, appears to be gone.
  • GCN Racing (free) streams on their Facebook and YouTube channels. These have been replaced by the paid GCN+ Race TV subscription.
  • Fubo.TV has ceased offering their Fubo Cycling Pass subscription service. All subscriptions ended Dec 31, 2020 and the service won't be offered for 2021 or going forward.

Conclusions

Cyclocross fans who subscribe to two packages, GCN+ Race TV and FloBikes will have 95% + coverage of elite cyclocross races worldwide. The other events (i.e. road, MTB) covered on these services, for 'cross fans, is a free bonus.

If I missed a streaming provider or any details, please reach out using @RideCX on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to let me know and I'll update this article. 

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