Watching adventure sports on TV
We’ve written elsewhere on Sleepmonsters that, for fandom, adventure sports is best experienced online. With competitions running at least 24 hours with no true breaks and quite possibly located in a time zone which may or may not align well with one’s, likesay, work schedule. On top of this, with courses covering hundreds of square miles of usually untamed land, visual coverage isn’t exactly conveniently done.
And while the modern ironman triathlon boomed in popularity due to TV coverage in the late 1970s/early 80s, these events were naturally heavily edited, and the wider fad died out relatively quickly. The truth is that adventure racing, like rally racing and tournament poker, just do not translate well to the small screen in the post-reality TV era.
Thus is dot-watching – viewing teams’ progress via GPS tracker projected live onto the course map online – de rigueur. However, for the old-fashioned and/or those needing something better to watch on the tube, hope does exist.
The world of adventure
So we exaggerated a bit promising some adventure sports on actual TV but again, this is a 21st-century sport for a niche audience. However, proper enthusiasts should definitely find the World of Adventure series – as of this writing, 14 seasons in! – for some incredible binge-worthy video.
Available for viewing on Grind TV, Outside TV and the official website theWOA.com, the World of Adventure specializes in coverage of individual sports within the adventure sport framework; news about the industry or competitions; coverage of shorter competitions such as the Swimrun USA race; documentary footage of great locales for adventuring; and even semi-instructionals on technique in the various disciplines. In short, for aficionados, the World of Adventure series must-see … um … TV?
About Grind TV and Outside TV
Grind TV and Outside TV are generally thought to be in the internet’s leaders in providing videos based on the adventure lifestyle (in fact, each claims the top spot for that distinction).
Grind is much more the sport-based of the two, and the adventure sports fan can also get his/her fill of extreme sports, if he/she is into the kind of voodoo. Motor vehicle sports and surfing are among this site’s favoured sports to cover, and Grind also features profile pieces on the athletes. Meanwhile, Outside TV tends to emphasize the lifestyle of adventuring along with related products and exotic locales.
On TV: The Extreme Sports Channel
Now we’re talking! A cable/satellite station running live extreme sports events (including coverage of adventure racing) and related content 24/7/365! In short, this is an adventure sports fan’s dream station.
Before you get to calling your television provider, we have some incredibly sad news for those in the Americas: The Extreme Sports Channel is available by cable and/or satellite in 80 countries – in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. On top of this, Extreme Sports offers very little internationally online beyond a few old videos and some light information. The “live webcasts” idea apparently did not catch on in-house and this concept also appears to be dead in the water at Extreme.
For now, it seems, adventure sports enthusiasts will be relegated to watching coverage of their sport(s) online. On the other hand, you really shouldn’t be watching this stuff at all; get out there and start training for your next adventure race! Or at least stick to simple dot-watching a few times a year…
How televised adventure sports created a billion dollar industry: World of Adventure TV: www.thewoa.com