Posted by Editor on 02/21/22
The UCI quietly announced earlier today that the 2022 season will be the final one for Red Bull providing livestreaming coverage of the Mountain Bike World Cup. Instead, next year Discovery Sports will have exclusive rights through 2030, for eight years beginning in 2023.
Red Bull has provided free worldwide coverage for more than a decade and, for those who remember pre-Red Bull, brought a level of professionalism that raised the profile of the sport.
Discovery Sports is moving aggressively into cycling, and late last year produced the Track Challenge series that replaced the Track World Cup. That series was televised/livestreamed through paid partners - luckily, in Canada the CBC picked it up and offered it at no charge, but it is very likely that the free coverage will disappear, and we will see a more traditional broadcasting package, without the sometimes goofy commentary from Rob Warner and friends.
The Track Challenge series focussed on a small group of athletes in short, packaged for TV program. Hopefully, they will not do the same to mountain biking.
The UCI statement:
At its recent meeting in Montreux (Switzerland) from 10 to 12 February, the Management Committee of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) decided to enter into exclusive negotiations with Discovery Sports for the organisation and promotion of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup for eight seasons, from 2023 to 2030.
The proposal by Discovery Sports, which was selected by the UCI as part of a tender process, comprises several strands: those relating to sporting and commercial matters, as well as those concerning the production and broadcasting of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
More detailed information on the concept developed by Discovery Sports to further drive the development of the discipline will be communicated at the signing of the contract that will bind the two parties.
The UCI would like to thank Red Bull Media House, the producer and main broadcaster of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, who has used all its expertise to satisfy the passion of mountain bike fans around the world for more than 10 years, while significantly increasing the series' audience during this period.
Discovery Sports will get in touch with the 2022 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup organisers as well as all the organisers that expressed their interest in hosting a round of the series for 2023 and 2024.
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