Posted by Editoress on 11/15/23
Global Cycling Network has announced that GCN+, the streaming service that provides cycling coverage for Road, Track, Cyclo-cross and Mountain Bike racing will shut down as of December 19th. The GCN app will also close, but the GCN website will continue.
This is of particular concern to cycling enthusiasts outside of Europe, who do not have alternative sources of coverage. The company has stated that "GCN+ subscribers will receive a refund for the time remaining on their subscription".
GCN is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), which has made a big push into cycling in recent years, including taking over Mountain Bike World Cup coverage from Red Bull in 2023. Discovery is also behind the UCI Track Cycling Champions League, where Canada's Dylan Bibic recently won the Men's Endurance title.
According to a statement from GCN, the parent company WBD has decided "to consolidate its streaming services, and to offer content in fewer places". This is part of a larger pull back by WBD that involves hundreds of job losses across its properties (which include HBO, Discovery Channel, TLC, Eurosport, CNN and TNT Sports) due to falling revenues and billions of dollars in debt load.
In Europe, coverage for many events will still be available from Eurosport and various national broadcasters, however, in other regions, including North America, GCN+ has often been the sole provider of coverage. The company states, "WBD is reviewing how content is delivered to its fans" outside of Europe.
For World Cup level Mountain Bike it is a worldwide issue, since WBD negotiated with the UCI to take over the exclusive rights to broadcast race coverage, after more than a decade with Red Bull (they also charged for access, while Red Bull was free worldwide).
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