MTB World Cup broadcast rights go to Discovery from 2023

by 68

2022 will be Red Bull TV’s last year as World Cup broadcaster, as the UCI announce 8 year deal with Discovery Sport.

This brings up all kinds of questions. Will it go pay-per-view? That’s the case with Discovery-owned Eurosport’s road cycling coverage. Will Red Bull still put as much money into mountain biking?

Red Bull athlete Tahnee Seagrave. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

We have no answers at the moment. Sorry! While we try to find out more info, here’s the UCI’s official statement…

UCI Press Release

The UCI set to partner with Discovery Sports for the organisation and promotion of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup from 2023.

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.

Meanwhile, all rounds of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz UCI World Cup will be available for viewing on Red Bull TV (RBTV) and on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup broadcasters’ channels.

2022 World Cup DH and World Championship schedule

  • March 26th-27th – Lourdes, France
  • May 21st-22th – Fort William
  • June 10th-12th – Leogang, Austria
  • July 8th-10th – Lenzerheide
  • July 15th17th – Vallnord, Andorra
  • July 29th-31st – Snowshoe, USA
  • August 5th-7th – Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada
  • September 2nd-4th – Val di Sole, Italy
  • August 24th–28th – World Championships, Les Gets, France

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Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 68 total)
  • MTB World Cup broadcast rights go to Discovery from 2023
  • captain_bastard
    Full Member

    Well I guess having all that great Redbull coverage completely free was too good to last

    frogstomp
    Full Member

    Wonder if it will end up on GCN+ alongside the road racing coverage?

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    I can stomach a pay service because I have really enjoyed Red Bull’s coverage but……are they going to pick up the current commentary team? Rob Warner would be a hard act to follow in my eyes. Plus all the other stuff around the Red Bull coverage, are people like Ben Cathro going to be cut out? In short I fear change 🙁

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Suppose I’d better get some beers in the fridge ready to enjoy this years coverage just in case Discovery bugger it up for the following eight

    frogstomp
    Full Member

    Plus all the other stuff around the Red Bull coverage, are people like Ben Cathro going to be cut out?

    Cathro is part of the Pinkbike coverage.

    But yes, won’t be the same if they don’t pick up Warner & co.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    are people like Ben Cathro going to be cut out?

    Cathro either predicted this or got lucky – he’s on pinkbike now; Racing, team managing, team coaching, and video making. I dont know if thats going to mean some of the previous format videos are goingto be cut 🙁

    Who has GCN+, is it any good?

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Yes but I think even before he joined Pink Bike Ben Cathro had some hassle over access as Red Bull had the rights.  My concern is that Discovery will be more protective of their investment

    moonsaballoon
    Full Member

    I suppose it could be a positive for world cup racing if this means there is enough money to maybe have a 10 race series and attract more outside sponsors so riders can earn a bit more but that might be a bit naive of me to think that’s where the cash will end up .

    The question for me is how much am I willing to pay to watch would cup downhill ? I don’t have an interest in road racing or cyclo x so if the world cups are only available through discovery plus would i pay 7 quid a month to watch 6 or 7 races . I suppose you could cancel over the winter so maybe 35 to watch the season 🤔  doesn’t sound to bad .

    frogstomp
    Full Member

    My concern is that Discovery will be more protective of their investment

    If they are forking out cash the cost may partially get passed on to 3rd parties like PB.. so we could see their coverage end up behind the Outside paywall.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    I’m gutted about this as I’ve been watching and enjoying it for years. If it’s PPV they’ll lose 90% of the audience. Not everyone wants a dozen different subscriptions coming out of their bank account every month.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Hard to know what it means really – Eurosport is now part of Discovery, I believe.. . the Winter Olympics were all on Eurosport 1 & 2 and also something called Discovery+ (guessing a streaming app), so I would’ve thought it would be the same as that. Will find out next year, I suppose.

    (similar story here about a tennis tournament, the last paragraph saying it’ll be on Eurosport on TV – https://www.digitaltveurope.com/2021/09/16/discovery-sports-acquires-10-year-rights-to-laver-cup/ )

    5plusn8
    Free Member

    Not everyone wants a dozen different subscriptions coming out of their bank account every month.

    OMG, Me too so boring, so expensive.

    northernmatt
    Full Member

    That’s another sport I’ll not be watching then. I’m a bloody cheapskate so I can do without same as I’ve done without F1 since Sky took it from Channel 4. There’ll inevitably be highlights on youtube anyway.

    llama
    Full Member

    Who has GCN+, is it any good?

    Lots of road races live
    Some of the features are quality

    It could be great but the whole experience is hit and miss. Examples: race highlight programs are rubbish; cross world champs bizarrely had no commentary; sometimes the app just will not stream what you want, especially live streams; there is a smart tv app but for some reason the content is different to the smartphone app, and it has streaming problems; and so on……

    its great to have on in the background if you wfh

    MTB will be a good addition

    beej
    Full Member

    It could be great but the whole experience is hit and miss. Examples: race highlight programs are rubbish; cross world champs bizarrely had no commentary; sometimes the app just will not stream what you want, especially live streams; there is a smart tv app but for some reason the content is different to the smartphone app, and it has streaming problems; and so on…

    All true, with some caveats. Highlight quality varies by race, dependent on what they can show. Some are good, some pretty poor. The cross worlds had two streams on the app, one with commentary, one without (the one with was the “includes live show” version). The app can be a bit flaky and they’ve definitely had capacity issues in the past with popular races or the finishes suffering from buffering and delays. It’s got a bit better over time I think.

    The documentaries are generally well made, there’s a lot on there but mainly road/gravel/adventure rather than MTB. If I was only an MTB fan I’m not sure there’s enough current content to keep me interested.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    Should sit nicely with other Discovery Plus highlights such as ‘Ghost Adventures’, ‘Worst Cooks in America’, ‘Extreme Makeover – Home Edition’ and ’90-day Fiancé’. 🙂

    I believe there is an offer where you can have a year’s free Discovery+ if you have Sky Q, if that’s any use to anyone. Also something if you’ve got a Vodafone account.

    https://www.capitalmatters.co.uk/posts/discovery-plus-deals-trials

    Whether that includes sport is another matter.

    malv173
    Full Member

    Pretty disappointed by this. DH is pretty much the only sport I watch nowadays.

    I will strongly consider subscribing to continue watching it, but it really needs to be done at least to the standard that RedBull currently provide. That definitely includes the commentary team.

    ossify
    Full Member

    GCN+ is this a streaming thing or TV channel? Lot’s of crossover nowadays I’m sure but I’m a bit out of the picture…

    TLDR: I don’t have a TV, will I be able to watch it on my PC like now with Red Bull? I shall be severely miffed if not.

    crumpsbutts
    Full Member

    Sky Q customers can currently get 12 months of disovery+ for “free”:
    https://www.sky.com/pages/vip/discovery+

    I’ll reserve my judgement but I can’t see it being free to air. Red bull spends money for marketing and branding purposes, whereas discovery are just a broadcasting company and I can’t see them airing their content for free.

    mrwhyte
    Free Member

    Gutted if it is PPV. I like others don’t want an endless number of subs going out each month just so I can watch one show/event.
    Will it have loads of annoying adverts too?! Never watched Discovery.
    Really like the Red Bull TV app and watching the DH on there. It’s the only live sport I watch now.

    Gribs
    Full Member

    You’d think people would have realised now how bad for a sports overall development putting it’s professional level behind a paywall is. Hopefully we might see more Hardline type events in response.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    You’d think people would have realised now how bad for a sports overall development putting it’s professional level behind a paywall is. Hopefully we might see more Hardline type events in response.

    someone on the pink site suggested redbull could start their own race series.

    MSP
    Full Member

    How long have redbull had it now? I remember freecaster before when Rob Warner was a little less guarded as to what he would say with the guests in the commentary booth, it was bloody hilarious. I hope it doesn’t go another step towards beige sensibilities.

    Personally I never thought that redbull really got it right, but equally they never **** it up either. So I think it can be done better, but it could also be done a lot worse so fingers crossed.

    You’d think people would have realised now how bad for a sports overall development putting it’s professional level behind a paywall is.

    Especially for a sport that is largely funded by bike companies promoting their bikes. How much money does the Discovery deal give the teams, will it compensate for the lack of visibility they get compared to what they had on red bull.

    pothead
    Free Member

    I’ve watched a few crankworx dh races is the past with Andrew Neethling doing the commentary, whilst he knows the sport inside out its just not the same without Rob Warner. Hopefully someone at Discovery will recognise this but I doubt I’d subscribe if the DH was the only time I’d watch it, and definitely wouldn’t if they go with a different commentary team

    I remember freecaster before when Rob Warner was a little less guarded as to what he would say with the guests in the commentary booth

    Redbull TV would’ve been in trouble if they’d broadcast some of the jokes Warner came out with in the freecaster days

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    I remember freecaster before when Rob Warner was a little less guarded as to what he would say with the guests in the commentary booth, it was bloody hilarious

    Thanks for that.ive been trying for ages to remember who the Belgian outfit were that had it before RedBull

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    Oh well, that’s me not watching it in ’23…… Not paying £60/year just to watch a limited season.
    Better make the most of Warner & RBTV this year.

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    Perhaps Red Bull can pick up the EWS coverage?

    ocrider
    Full Member

    Discovery already bought the rights to the EWS coverage last year.

    dogbone
    Full Member

    Is that World wide or is it time for a VPN?

    TrailriderJim
    Full Member

    GMBN will launch a paid-for racing channel with Warner the anchorman.

    johnnystorm
    Full Member

    Real shame that. Hope Warner is still involved.

    sidders34
    Free Member

    Just finishing my years free trial of Discovery plus through Sky Q. Had an email today from them to say is now free to sky q customers but will have some adverts.

    Happy with that.

    stevie750
    Full Member

    How can anyone care about DH when discovery has amazing stuff like this to keep you entertained
    Jack Osbourne watches paranormal videos with his famous – and skeptical – parents in 
    The Osbournes Want To Believe

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    How can anyone care about DH when discovery has amazing stuff like

    Mythbusters.  2023 DH will be run on a conveyor belt

    endomick
    Free Member

    I remember when it was on eurosport with that numpty who couldn’t pronounce Nicolas vouilloz’ name, I can’t see discovery getting the vibe right or giving Rob Warner a job. Its gonna suck and cost money, double whammy.

    bri-72
    Full Member

    IIRC discovery bought the GMBN etc channels last year and also now own the EWS series. Pretty sure will be PPV but hopefully some free stuff on their YouTube channels? All biking stuff in one place now.

    wipperman95
    Free Member

    I can’t see how this can be good news. Excellent coverage, production, and free to air. How can they beat that? I just can’t. The best cycling coverage of any discipline is the MTB World Cup. Go and compare a CX World Cup to a MTB World Cup – it’s like night and day. The only time the CX World Cup coverage was any good was the part season Red Bull had it in 2019/20 – and it was the same as the MTB coverage.

    Since then it’s reverted to type, with commentary from a studio in the UK – How is that better?

    I struggle to see any good coming from this. My only hope is that Discovery have plans to increase the number of rounds, and exposure for sponsors, etc
    9 is a small number of rounds for an Elite sport – no wonder there’s very few big money sponsors in MTB (apart from Mercedes-Benz) this may be one of the things Discovery are hoping to change.

    mark88
    Full Member

    Personally I never thought that redbull really got it right, but equally they never **** it up either. So I think it can be done better, but it could also be done a lot worse so fingers crossed.

    Agreed. The comments on Pinkbike would suggest it’s an absolute disaster. Personally I think Red Bull coverage was well overdue a shake up.

    Best case scenario would be some more cameras (no more riders appearing a minute into their run with no idea what has happened!) but continuing to be free to view on Youtube. A GMBN+ or similar seems more likely in my opinion, with EWS and DH footage both behind the same paywall it would look like better value than paying for DH alone.

    Warner has really proven himself as a commentator and he does more than just DH for Red Bull. If I was buying the coverage I’d be pulling out the stops to get him.
    Claudio should have gone years ago, his previews were funny but he is a clueless commentator. Tracey and Elliot have been welcome additions but both are replacable – I like the idea of that co-commentator rotating regularly, also providing the track preview.

    P-Jay
    Free Member

    I guess it’ll end up on Discovery+ At £4 a month it’s not the end of the world I suppose, especially as it’s not an annual Sub. If it was happening this year, you’d need to spend about £12 to see the whole season, including Worlds, if they show it.

    Let just hope they build on what RedBull have done and not use more mainstream commentators, I’m sure we all remember the horrors of listening to non-MTB commentators in the past.

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Best case scenario would be some more cameras (no more riders appearing a minute into their run with no idea what has happened!) but continuing to be free to view on Youtube.

    I’ll be honest, if there are a few more cameras and they bother to show more than a handful of the field (women’s especially) it would be a significant improvement. I like Warner but he’s no more irreplaceable than anyone else, that isn’t too say they could get a replacement spectacularly wrong mind but I’d even be willing to accept James bloody Corden as commentator if the trade off was ten more cameras on each race.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 68 total)

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