The UCI has announced that the EWS team will be working on future organisation of the DH and XC World Cups for Warner Bros. Discovery from next year.
Earlier this year the UCI announced that from 2023 to 2030
the coverage of mountain bike World Cups would be leaving Red Bull to be taken over by Warner Bros. Discovery. Today the UCI has shared a press release saying the EWS team will be taking the lead on next year's World Cup organisation. For the first time, we will see the three main mountain bike disciplines organised by the same provider.
The EWS team (Enduro Sports Organisation) will be working alongside Discovery Sport Events to provide the organisation, media production and broadcast, promotion and commercialisation of the mountain bike World Cups from 2023 to 2030. Warner Bros. Discovery previously invested in the EWS
last year and looks to be building upon this with the use of its team for World Cups.
Today's announcement sees the conclusion of exclusive negotiations and follows an extensive competitive tender. Currently, the plan is to announce more details and a full 2023 calendar soon.
|I am elated by our partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery, which will take our UCI Mountain Bike World Cup to the next level. Discovery Sports Events has already worked wonders with track cycling – thanks to the innovative UCI Track Champions League – and I know that the exciting discipline of mountain bike will also benefit from their expertise, their in-depth understanding of the expectations of athletes and fans, and the increased exposure that this partnership will bring. Mountain bike will get the impetus it deserves as we work together for the future of this vast and varied discipline.— David Lappartient, UCI President|
|Extending our relationship with the UCI to support the next phase of development and growth for mountain biking fits Warner Bros. Discovery’s expertise and ambitions perfectly. We will bring the scale of our global broadcast, streaming and online platforms to engage millions of people with the sport, as well as the capabilities of Discovery Sports Events and ESO Sports. Together they have the expertise and tools to develop the sport, alongside the understanding of the intricacies and existing strengths of mountain biking that are essential to best support the mountain bike community and grow the sport.— Andrew Georgiou, President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe|
|The next eight years will see a new era for mountain bike racing and events and we’re proud and excited to take the lead for the sport with the UCI from 2023. This is an incredible opportunity to further mountain biking's development, with the power of one of the world's largest media companies and producers of live sport behind us. For the first time, all mountain bike formats will have a central point of leadership that can amplify the sport 365 days a year, champion the athletes, support the growth of the teams and elevate the sport around the world.|
Building on the brilliant work done within Cross-Country, Downhill, Enduro and E-MTB in recent years, we will begin this incredible long-term project by working with riders, teams and destinations to bring the mountain bike community together at festival-style events celebrating the entire discipline. We will elevate mountain biking alongside the biggest sports in the world and within the home of cycling. Over the coming years we will improve this cycling discipline’s environmental credentials, push forward course design, innovate safety standards, and give fans an entirely new experience, whilst making mountain bike more accessible than ever before.— Chris Ball, CEO, ESO Sports
|It is hugely exciting to partner with the UCI and deliver a new vision for mountain biking. The long-term nature of the agreement means we have time to develop mountain bike and introduce innovations that will support this, whilst being aware of the strengths of the discipline today and the sizable and committed audience it attracts.|
As we have started to show as global promotor of the UCI Track Champions League, we have all the expertise and tools to help enhance and grow a sport for the better. This goes well beyond overseeing broadcast coverage and commercial rights, but to the heart of the sport from developing the calendar to the event experience, on-site and on-screen fan engagement, venue selection and management and much more besides. Together with UCI and our ESO colleagues, we can pull on all these levers at our disposal to grow every aspect of mountain biking for the benefit of everyone connected to the sport.— François Ribeiro, Head of Discovery Sports Events and SVP, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports
Check out the full press release below:
|The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has selected Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) to deliver a new vision for mountain biking which will see the leading global media and entertainment company combine all its assets and expertise to elevate the sport and reach a new global audience.|
To deliver a completely new vision for the future of mountain biking, the UCI will harness WBD’s global scale and vast media platforms, as well as collaborate with two of the company’s specialist organisations. This will see Discovery Sport Events join forces with the Enduro Sports Organisation (ESO Sports) to deliver the organisation, media production and broadcast, promotion and commercialisation of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
Discovery Sports Events, the global promoter and event management leader, will extend its relationship with the UCI to help promote the sport in support of further growing its global audience. ESO Sports, the owner and operator of the Enduro World Series and in whom WBD recently invested, will drive the project to globally unify mountain biking and elevate it to new levels, in collaboration with the UCI.
Building on mountain biking’s popularity, this new approach will also bring innovations to the on-site and on-screen fan experience in order to continue growing the fanbase and improve the global footprint of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
David Lappartient, UCI President, said: “I am elated by our partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery, which will take our UCI Mountain Bike World Cup to the next level. Discovery Sports Events has already worked wonders with track cycling – thanks to the innovative UCI Track Champions League – and I know that the exciting discipline of mountain bike will also benefit from their expertise, their in-depth understanding of the expectations of athletes and fans, and the increased exposure that this partnership will bring. Mountain bike will get the impetus it deserves as we work together for the future of this vast and varied discipline.”
Andrew Georgiou, President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said: “Extending our relationship with the UCI to support the next phase of development and growth for mountain biking fits Warner Bros. Discovery’s expertise and ambitions perfectly. We will bring the scale of our global broadcast, streaming and online platforms to engage millions of people with the sport, as well as the capabilities of Discovery Sports Events and ESO Sports. Together they have the expertise and tools to develop the sport, alongside the understanding of the intricacies and existing strengths of mountain biking that are essential to best support the mountain bike community and grow the sport.”
Alongside the Olympic Games, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup forms the pinnacle of the sport and sees the world’s best riders compete in multiple cross-country and downhill events throughout the season. Taken together, WBD’s cycling portfolio of content – across Eurosport, GCN, GMBN, discovery+ and more – already features more than 200 professional events across road, track, BMX, cyclo-cross, mountain bike, as well as all Olympic cycling disciplines.
Discovery Sports Events also partnered with the UCI as the founding global promoter who devised and delivered the game-changing UCI Track Champions League which launched in 2021.
The agreement concludes a period of exclusive negotiations and follows an extensive competitive tender. Further details around the 2023 season and calendar will be announced soon.—UCI
We will continue to update this article with more information as we get it.
EWS coverage is literally the worst known to mankind.
Their videos are so lame, with almost no riding and are old style linear tv design: interview, charts, same riders on the same couple of seconds of track over and over again.
Let´s promote the responsible team. Yay!
You friends with these guys or what? Cuz EWS is a mystery.
I'd just been reminding the show in the early days and wondering if I was feeling nostalgia or if it really was an interesting presentation.
Same conflict going on in the PGA tour at the moment, where participants from the Saudi funded tour are banned from PGA now...given that MTB does not pay as much as Golf and these athletes won't ever make a fortune, they better not shit where they eat.
yeah maybe a good way to improve EWS coverage is to focus resources on one stage, I'd rather get 1 stage of good coverage like in DH, than a bunch of choppy short clips of all stages.
It went downwards the last couple of years and so I stopped following it except for Instagram and WynTv. Although I'm actually very interested, even took part myself a couple of times.
Same goes for the race as a participant. The EWS races are getting shorter and shorter, with less stages but still cost the same entrance fee.
Vid Persak and Texi even said that in Petzen the good stages will be E-Bike only.
Or Zermatt in 2020: one stage was fire road + pedally flow trail - what a shit.
Then uci & chris ball will find rider channels gain far more exposure then the event as brands start dropping event sponsorship and move funds into a few racers which offer more exposure for less money then backing the event.
I raced it last year and it was one day of racing on easy tracks that we've all ridden a hundred times before and it was £150 for a day. The whole event was really disappointing so I didnt even bother going this year.
For half the price I can race on a harder course with the local race organisers and in a much more relaxed and organised environment.
I'm not sure whats happened but I feel like since the EWS started working with the UCI its lost its soul.
I'm especially concerned because arguably enduro is the MOST marketable segment of the mountain bike industry, trail & enduro bikes are the ones we consumers actually buy.
I know we hate to hear about roadies, but they are evidence that the coverage of multi-day stage racing can be plenty marketable. Roadies are buying the bikes they see on TV, and the athletes are getting paid on the other end.
And we have to stop investing in E-Bike racing, I'm sorry but when the next economic downturn comes around we're going to look like rich pricks, leave that market to equestrians and golfers. It's just not consistent with the sport's image.
Whatever "working alongside" means let's hope the media production and broadcast is a world away from the homebrew amateur hour that is the EWS official coverage.
Buh bye, Boudin.. ya dirty commie. Gascon is next.
Of course people give a fvkk, head stuck man. Why the fvkk do you think he got recalled by a 20 point margin? Stop finger pointing.. a failed tactic, typical, and rejected widely and confirmed by vote.
He also said the internet would explode, but reckoned a week later they would all move on.
So at the moment, without further info I suspect: No Rob and you will have to pay for it all.
By move on do you mean stop watching?
I know he's not the be-all and end-all of the sport but 50% of my enjoyment of the current Red Bull feed is his commentating.
Nevermind eh. Bring on 2031!
I love Warner too but there’s gotta be a bunch of people in the scene who could be acceptable. I’m much more concerned with access. This shit must be live!
Now you got me scared!
This is so f*cking hilarious...
Let's hope let's hope if we see this huge change from night yo day...
Thanks dude... HERE IS THE BULLETPROOF!
Again another outdoor sport they want to destroy....
This is not casual guys!...
Wake up! All athletes and media jumping to an alternate championship next season before it's too late!
It's similar to motorcycle Enduro; the normal EnduroGP, but we also have Hard Enduro shown on RBTV, and with a few RB sponsored rounds Red Bull Romaniacs, Red Bull Erzberg Extreme, etc
Sign me up!
Also, what @lestooge is saying. The less UCI, the better. That organization is rotten to the very core. Literally. With their president cuddling up to and possibly taking bribes from literal dictators.
The last thing the sport needs is more gmbn interference and shilling.
To quote a great man; "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them".
I am honestly hopefull that Discovery/Warner can pull something off, and if it is good i will pay, this will get the neg props cuz people dont like change. But come on there was a lot of complaining on the last years, plus redbull bias was keeping people away too.
On the other hand if Discovery doesnt take the project with the current commentators they will only make their hurdle to overcome way higher, so might as well open up the wallet right now and secure Rob, Claudio and Elliot.
Is MTBiking helping to sell more Gas and Tobaco?...
Ahhj makes people healthier and happier hanging around woods eating mushrooms and buying less expensive shity cars...
Sure they wanna make MTBiking snagging the audience of their big shows...
But more importantly the amount of money in sports like Football and F1 just dwarfs that of mountain biking. Expecting Redbull to provide free coverage on the same level as something like the NFL is just ridiculous.
Also how was Redbull bias keeping people away?
Cycling at best is a very niche sport, the race organizers are going to benefit from the revenue that streaming provides, but if I were a sponsor of a cycling team I would seriously wonder why I should spend my money advertising in a medium that few people at least in North America watch.
My guess is that these guys are all looking at the success of the F1 & Premier League coverage and think that they can duplicate that success with cycling. My bet is that in 2-3 years none of them will make any money and cycling coverage will once again return to those days in the '70's when you got a once a week dose of the Tour de France on Wide World of Sports. This move is good for the UCI, and likely horrible for the sport. Red Bull wasn't perfect, but its not bad. I'll save my money and spend it on more expensive bike parts.
On the other hand cycling is no longer a niche sport imo, it is a growing sport actually, discovery/warner is just trying to Capitlize the current sport streaming success at its corresponding level of course and there is nothing wrong with that.
My bet is that the first few years it will suck but after the 4th year numbers will start to grow. I watch Monster Jam with my daughters, the app is pretty good and the streaming is not bad . It is a redneck sport but it is a discovery IP, they are nowhere at the levels for F1 but they have been streaming for years.
I would argue your point about cycling being a growing sport, it was when it had a North American Marquee rider in Lance Armstrong, but no one has come along to match him (and I'm not a fan, but he was a showman), and I don't think cycling is back to those halcyon days. I'd be curious to understand the viewership of Monster Jam, you raise an interesting example.
If they can't provide any live coverage, they need to improve the race highlights show; the latest one wasn't good enough - too short to tell a story.
Imagine if during a football match they zoomed in so the ball filled 85% of the screen and you just saw a foot come in from one side, a lot of green fly past in the periphery and then netting and everyone shouting. You'd have no idea how the goal had happened and it would be awful, not exciting.
Steady on now Chrissy baby - we just want it a bit better with more rounds, more cameras and rob Warner still on the commentary.
Sounds like a bunch of Execs with a load of industry revenue data are getting excited, I'll grab my popcorn.
But more money doesn't make a better coverage when you have idiots at the top forcing you to make bad TV from the start.
Source: Work in live television and have worked on MTB coverage.
In practical terms how would the current Red Bull coverage likely work? Would the same trucks, cameras, operators be attending all the European rounds (with perhaps just a few key people going to North America to head up a local team)? Are operators full time employees, or just contracted for the key weekends? Would they be working other sports (football, etc) the rest of the time? When you watch RedBull coverage do you think these operators understand mountain biking, or is the fairly predictable nature of it (one competitor at a time down a set course) mean that any half competent camera operators could film it after a few hours?
I haven't worked in Europe but worked on World Cup/Champs in Aus and other Red Bull(MTB and other) in Aus and the US.
The broadcast facilities provider that does the WC coverage is the biggest in the world and they have trucks and gear absolutely everywhere. In an ideal world you would use the same truck/flyaway everywhere but with the big breaks between races makes it hard compared to every weekend sport.
90% of the crew will be freelance. The only full time people on site will be some people from Red Bull, a few people from the production company and tech crew for the facilities provider. The director, producers, replay lead and maybe the broadcast engineer/techs will be the only ones to do every round. If the budget is there to travel the same crew to every event they will. Operators will do any work, sport, studio, news.
The director is in control of what the camera operators do, they tell them what shots and look they are looking for. The cam ops do get a bit of creative control but not much. Once again budget sets what level of operator you get as all the good ones will be booked on season long contracts with the other major sports and studio shows for top dollar.
"For the first time, all mountain bike formats will have a central point"
Lol. Don't let that ego inflate any more Chris, it might just explode. 3 racing disciplines is pretty damn far from "all mountain bike formats". And no, it's not the first time main racing disciplines are under one logo.
a pretty shitty one by the looks of it
I hope I’m proved wrong, but this could be the start of a downward trajectory of the sport I love.
No. Even highlights on television have to pay and wait a couple of hours/days to give the pay wall company enough time to monetarise
Seriously though, if there's an option to just pay for mtb coverage, especially per event, I might justify it. Maybe. Or maybe I'll just go and ride my bike. No way I'm paying a subscription that includes anything else that I'm not interested in.
Same reason I do not pay for anything like Sky TV or any other TV package. Frankly, I do not understand why anyone is willing to waste money on this completely outdated model of content consumption. All the "TV" I need is available either for free (i.e. for ads) or in a model where I only pay for what I'm interested in. Those old school TV packages from Sky, Virgin, BT etc. seem so strange to me. Paying for loads of pointless fluff to get a few little bits of material you actually want to see.
Exactly what I think. I support capitalism 100% but every one decides for them selves what a product is worth and what they want to pay for it. I was not willing to pay the (high) price to watch motogp and I will not pay to watch DH.
We should crowd fund him to get a slot at a radio station broadcast so that we can mute our screens, tune in, and have him commentate on what he’s watching.
Hell, he could just live stream his reactions on Facebook (with his screen out of shot (for legal broadcasting reasons). I’d even rejoin Facebook!
It can be like Freecaster days, when he drank during the show.
MTB doesn't need a new vision...it just needs promoting to a wider audience, and bringing in new sponsors.
The new EWS coverage isn't an improvement on last year. Course preview after the Pro Stage, shorter, less informative race highlights, and a new show which didn't offer what it should have.
Let's hope the Discovery/EWS partnership is a step forward in terms of change. Not just in management and production, but also in venue choice and track design.
Ive thought over the past few years the Red Bull ocoverage really has been very good. Its free... there arent really any ads. The web player and how its segmented to runs / sections of the action is reliable and good, and the teams covering it are great. Commentators still feel a bit "Core" and Roots" with Warner, Bart, Elliot, Tracey with the odd cameo from popular riders. I think Discovery will really stuggle to match whats currently there, it will feel way more corporate, and we will have to pay for it. PAH
Not saying this current move is good (it sure isn't for me as I enjoy the free coverage from RB and won't pay for Eurosport subscription so likely no world cups for me) but admittedly if new people are to learn about mtb's existence it's not going to be from RB.
If people outside of MTB are likely to watch anything related to our sport it's more probable that they'll go for things like Rampage.
I'm sure you will be right, personally I have GCN subscription , currently paying £40.
If it's all included that's fine by me.
They've got to have a realistic goal to work towards.
You could also make the last stage the Pro-Stage or the Queen-Stage or whatever you want to call it, and make it worth the bonus points.
It will create a race within a race, and a spectacle.
It is near impossible to give proper coverage of all the stages, so why not highlight the last one? The race may be won by then, but the extra points are up for grabs (and if is a tight race, it will be extra exciting).
I truly hope Discovery puts some serious $$ into the coverage and actually puts someone in charge who knows bike racing.
We all fear that this will be the death of good racing coverage... but maybe lets maintain hope until we see the product.
Bart is able to provide incredible insight and notices things in the race that I think most people just wouldn’t see, myself included.
When I hear Rob commentate the DH it’s highly entertaining but listening to Bart on the XC I feel like I’m learning something.
The EWS Team is completely irrelevant. If they f*ck up something for Warner Bros they'll be out in their ass really quick. The coverage contract is with WB until 2030, the EWS team is simply helping out this year. I assume on a trial basis or to help the transition.
Seeking Sister Bike
Little People Big Wheels
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“It's a pedal.”
Nice one UCI
This is what discovery is good for:
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