Five Bucks For A Crit?

Five bucks?! Yes, five bucks. For the first time ever, you’re going to have to pay to stream a criterium race in the United States. On July 24 for the final day of the Intelligentsia Cup powered by SRAM in Chicago, we’re posting a $5 cover charge to watch. Now, I know you’re used to free streams, but this will be worth your money, I promise, and I’m going to explain why. Not just why it’s worth it, but why it’s important, and why, if you love criterium racing as much as I do, you need to tune in and watch.

Creating a live television production is an expensive proposition. There are a lot of people involved, using a LOT of gear, which all has to powered, insured, and setup. And up until now, we’ve asked the promoters to find the money to fund all that. The same promoters we ask to fund a prize list every year. And pay the police to close the roads. And hire the staff it takes to run the bike race in the first place. We’re now dropping a new five figure expense in their lap in the form of a live streaming production.

This simply isn’t sustainable. I know what you’re thinking. “Just sell some sponsorship.” Great idea, but if you’ve ever tried, you know it’s harder than it sounds. Just take a look around the current landscape of pro cycling and you’ll see, relying entirely on sponsorship is dangerous, unsustainable, and ultimately destined for failure.

So that’s where you come in, dear criterium fan. You asked for great live streaming, and now (thanks to some generous people risking a lot of money), we can offer it to you. We’re going full HD. We’re hooking up with some of Chicago’s best TV vendors, from the truck to the staff. Real pro sports stuff. Drones! Graphics! Still no on bike cameras (that’s coming, I promise), but you should see a much better live experience than we’ve been offering so far.

You’ll be able to get a preview of the quality of the show on Saturday July 23, when we’ll broadcast the Lake Bluff Criterium. You can register for free access to that here. 

But I need you to watch Sunday too. A purchase is a vote for us to do more events like this. If you want to be able to pay a few bucks to watch awesome streams of your favorite crits, it’s time to pony up. And just like when you’re racing, pre registering really helps us plan better. Even if you can’t make it on race day, a registration still gets you access to on-demand replays and highlights. So get a few friends together, get a case of your favorite beverages, and make plans to join us for some solid crit racing July 24. If you don’t like what you see, I’ll buy you a $5 beer at the next bike race.

Both streams are available at intelligentsiacup.com/live 

Thanks for watching,

Brad Sohner

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About Brad Sohner

Hi, I'm Brad. I'm a professional announcer for all kinds of sports, with a specialty in professional cycling. View all posts by Brad Sohner

5 responses to “Five Bucks For A Crit?

  • Ayesha Rosena Anna McGowan

    For the sake of not assuming, will you be streaming all of the categories? Just the Pro Men? Pro Women?

  • Amy

    I (and others I know) will be doing a mountain bike race that day, or I’d be at the race in person. Happy to support this, but would like to know if there will be a replay of the live stream available later for those of us who can’t watch live?

  • Garrett Olsen

    I love the idea of sharing a more in depth and clearer view of criterium racing, something that can capture the essence of it and draw in new athletes to the sport. Rather than continuing to further divide the pie until we have mere crumbs, this is a step to make the pie bigger. Thanks Brad and all those involved taking financial risk and gamble to grow the sport.

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