Discovery to Broadcast World Cup Coverage from 2023

Feb 21, 2022 at 5:43
by Ed Spratt  
Tracey Hannah with the number 1 plate strapped to her bike once more will she be able to carry on her form from last season

The UCI has announced that from next year Discovery Sports will take over the organisation and promotion of UCI Mountain Bike World Cup for eight seasons, from 2023 to 2030.

After a meeting this month, the management committee of the UCI entered into negotiations with Discovery Sports to take over both the organisation and promotion of mountain bike World Cups from 2023 through to 2030. Previously Red Bull has been the producer and main broadcaster for more than ten years offering free live streams of the races.

The shift of World Cup coverage to Discovery follows the EWS as the company invested in Enduro Sports Organisation Ltd, the company that owns and operates EWS and EWS-E, last year. Currently, Discovery Sports streams World Tour Cycling and the Olympics through its paid-for services, but the coverage of the EWS has remained free through the GMBN YouTube channel. It is not clear what format World Cup coverage will be presented in, but there is the possibility that it may move away from being free to watch.

A better view of the plans being created by Discovery is set to be released once a contract has been fully signed with the UCI. The full 2022 season will still be streamed through Red Bull TV and on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup broadcasters’ channels.

bigquotesAt 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.
UCI Press Release

Discovery Sport has been contacted for further information. We will keep this story updated as we find out more.


411 Comments

  • 492 10
 It always amazes me when people f*ck with a system that is already working well.

I will be stunned if the "New and improved in 2023" doesn't actually end up being "We had a good thing & now it's trashed by idiots that think they're smart"

If it goes PPV they will loose half the viewers instantly ... if not more.
  • 25 4
 couldn't have said it better myself aye
  • 53 2
 £££££ is the only reason
  • 84 94
flag calmWAKI (Feb 21, 2022 at 7:24) (Below Threshold)
 God how lucky I am that I get paid for my work without my boss complaining that it is no longer free as it used to be when I was an intern.
  • 18 37
flag prevail (Feb 21, 2022 at 7:30) (Below Threshold)
 @Darknut on the other hand I know of brands that shy away from supporting teams because the sport has only screen time in the Red Bull TV bubble. In the long run this move will increase viewers.
  • 124 4
 A system that is already working well?

It always amazes me when people f*ck with a system that is already working great.

That was Freecaster. Where we got to see all the racers and Warner was off the rails.
  • 84 0
 I’m sure it will be better for the UCI who likely only cares about how much money they make off the deal. But considering Redbull is pretty much the premier broadcaster of action sports, it’s hard to see how this ends up not being worse for us as fans.
  • 40 0
 In the good 'ol USA this means it will not be broadcast live, and you will of course be required to have paid for plan from your TV provider... Time to bring back freecaster!
  • 6 12
flag mi-bike (Feb 21, 2022 at 8:55) (Below Threshold)
 @sino428: I wouldn't be surprised if RB got more money out of it than the UCI. RB may have tried to push for greater profits or more control resulting in the UCI changing partners.
  • 12 30
flag CM999 (Feb 21, 2022 at 9:08) (Below Threshold)
 On the flip side it will be nice to see a focus on all the top riders and not just those wearing the correct helmet
  • 19 0
 Yes, I always hated the complaining about Red Bull broadcasts. Reflexive idiocy.
  • 18 22
flag jimmythehat (Feb 21, 2022 at 9:21) (Below Threshold)
 Change, omg!
  • 12 2
 Whilst I also enjoyed freecaster and redbull coverage, I'm curious to know if you have info about a" a system that is already working well"

Does redbull actually want to do world Cup coverage?
Can they cover their costs?
Do they need those employees to work on something else?
Do they have capacity to train new people for normal employees turnover?

I think redbull is doing a bang up job and I would have liked to see them keeping it up, but truth is that world cup coverage is resource intensive. I hope discovery is going to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.
  • 96 1
 More importantly will Rob be doing the commentary?
  • 18 4
 If you’re really pissed about this, join discovery and upload the race footage to youtube
  • 12 2
 I was having a shitty day, my shitty day just got worse.
  • 2 0
 @mi-bike: I’m taking about going forward with the new deal. Im sure in the new deal with discovery the UCI will be making more than they were with the deal they had with Redbull.
  • 32 0
 @CM999: I’ve never noticed any Redbull Bias I the broadcasts. Redbull happens to sponsor many of the best riders, and the best riders get the most coverage, so it may seem that way. But I’ve never sensed they ignored none Redbull riders if they were deserving of the coverage.
  • 2 0
 @BryceBorlick: we can’t even get it in Canada
  • 14 0
 @calmWAKI: I think I found your problem. Interns should be paid to begin with.
  • 61 9
 @Spencermon: I was being sarcastic. My job pays interns. I got paid as intern. My point was that every single whiny mdr fkr here wants to get paid for everything they do, while at the same time demanding stuff for free. Hey raise hands who earns enough and can consider to be paid less?

But it would be too easy to end here. While they were getting free broadcast from Redbull, they were shitting on it for being a shitty soda giving heart attacks to teenagers - #drinkwater and all this. The collective level of hipocrisy of this comment section is incredible.
  • 14 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Rose tinted glasses? Freecaster working well? There weren't enough cameras and half the time the feed was down.
  • 3 0
 @sino428: interestingly the article said they chose Discovery through a Tender process. So one would assume Redbull would have been given the opportunity to quote?
  • 11 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict:
"It always amazes me when people f*ck with a system that is already working great."
what; you mean like the venerable, extremely reliable derailleur?
  • 30 33
 @calmWAKI:

It's not being whiny. Stop pretending to be an adult. I've spent 15 years in content acquisition and programming (TV, Cinema, Streaming you name it). Discovery is competing with my employer for content. With this deal as with any big content deal there is risk that some countries will not be able to see it beause discovery bought global rights but they don't have global streaming services. So please stop talking shit like you know it all when you don't know anything about the content world.

So stop talking about hipocrisy when you're doing your typical shtick of having an opinion about a subject you know shit about. All you do is play contrarian and think that just being against any complaint makes you smart but peoples complaints here are legitimate and justified.
  • 4 0
 @Shatner: early red bull streamss were better but also problematic. So while people overexaggerate how good freecaster was they also overestimate the difference because they compare forecaster to redbull tv now not rebull tv just after they took over.
  • 23 1
 Downhill doesn’t need the UCI. At all. Time to move on to a new governing body.
  • 1 0
 @Shatner: I guess the FREEcaster name checks out.
  • 13 8
 @spaced: It IS being whiny. Nobody is entitled to anything they did not work or pay for. Not sure anybody needs industry insider information to make this statement. While I am sure you are very proud of your experience, I doubt anybody here cares, nor is it relevant in any way.
  • 1 3
 Totally. And forget about Warner being part of it moving forward.
  • 9 0
 @fektor-b: I’m sure Redbull did have a chance to bid for a new contract and likely got outbid. Redbull is a huge company and while they do a ton of media and events, they are ultimately a drink company. They still make almost all their money from selling cans of Redbull, so buying the right to something like DH is simply a marketing opportunity to advertise their product and sell more drinks. They aren’t trying to monetize the broadcast itself since they aren’t charging for it and there are no commercials in it. So there is a limit on how much they likely pay for advertising.

Discovery on the other hand is likely trying to monetize the broadcast itself, either by charging to watch it, showing ads during it, or both. So they have a completely different motive for acquiring the broadcast rights, and a different monetary value for it.
  • 1 0
 Top priority @oldfaith:
  • 8 10
 @spaced: Reading between the lines of your understandably founded personal issues with me, I appreciate your angle on that issue where availability of streaming MAY be a problem, depending on how Discovery will set it up. However I keep my point that one cannot just whine on free stuff. You can whine on risk of not being able to watch at all due to local limitations - but that is not the most common complaint here. The reality is that each one of us wants to get paid. So you get what you pay for and as long you are living in commercial exposure based free stream, you have very little right to decide. There is also a difference between asking for certain quality of free content and demanding it. Especially when talking about entertainment. This is one of fundamental mechanics of human interaction which no modern media construct can bypass. Your eyes, ears and brain picking up a commercial will never give you as much power as actually paying for the service.

So if you want to complain about X company taking over and monopolizing streaming of Y content, blame click count based free content. Just because Swedish TV has free series and shows doesn't mean it is better than Netflix or worse than shitty Swedish paid streaming CMore. It varies. But I have a right to choose to pay for Netflix and not even bother to get a free month on Cmore. Whatever Swedish TV puts out for free, I am grateful for it instead of whining that they could be like Netflix but for free.
  • 3 4
 @calmWAKI:
"But it would be too easy to end here. While they were getting free broadcast from Redbull, they were shitting on it for being a shitty soda giving heart attacks to teenagers - #drinkwater and all this. The collective level of hipocrisy of this comment section is incredible."
Yes. Since The PB comments is just one guy. Is it now that you realize that this is not DMs between you and one guy but a bunch of ppl screaming opinions at each other?
  • 1 7
flag mrkkbb (Feb 22, 2022 at 3:45) (Below Threshold)
 But a half of viewers paying a fee to watch is still better than all viewers not paying a fee. It’s business, that’s all. It sucks, yes, but in the end you got to pay the piper
  • 1 0
 @oldfaith: and will Rob be back to the freecaster days..
  • 2 6
flag calmWAKI (Feb 22, 2022 at 5:09) (Below Threshold)
 @mtb-jon: that is why I used the expression “collective”. That also means that at least I am personally fine with being covered in crap shouting Mea Culpa!
  • 4 2
 @PACNW-MTB: it's not free. It's paid for by fat people drinking 4 redbulls a day
  • 7 0
 @mrkkbb We should run a poll to see who would actually pay to watch. My theory is its much closer to 99% not willing to pay for something thats been free since its inception for 20+ years. Look at the backlash from Outside Beta on PB.
  • 7 0
 @thustlewhumber: I think that many people would feel the same as I do, which is that I would not mind laying for pinkbike or the World Cup so long as it reasonably priced, and it not bundled with a bunch of other crap that I don’t want to pay for. Unfortunately there is a very good chance that won’t be the case. Outside will bundle the pay stuff on outside+ where you end up paying for all their other stuff you don’t want, and if Discovery charges for the WC it will likely be part of some other larger package of things where we will have to pay for other stuff we don’t want.

It’s funny because the whole idea of ‘cord cutting’ in the first place was to give viewers more of an ‘a la crate’ type of experience, where were didn’t have to pay big cable companies for things we didn’t never watched. But more and more these package deals are popping up which are no different.
  • 3 0
 @sino428: Some do dream of the micro-pay revolution (small fee to read one article, watch one show, etc.), but I agree 100%.
  • 1 0
 So basically, someone at UCI is getting their balls greased (backhander) for cutting the deal with Discovery sports..... Follow the $$$ and the truth will be revealed.
  • 2 0
 @dazlad: Not really. That would imply some kind of shady deal happening. I would think this was likely a pretty open process and Discovery simply outbid Redbull for the rights.
  • 1 0
 Standby for noobie broadcasters. Supercross finally has it going with majoity of broadcasters all ex racers. Not sure why they cant find a better female though.
  • 1 0
 On the one hand I hope the coverage is better? On the other hand this kind of SUCKS...

Cause I was really hoping we'd get to a post covid mountain bike trails got less crowded because people can go do other stuff like they used to era...?

BUT, this is gonna be like every other stupid thing on Discovery; panning for gold, custom choppers, rock hunting, minimalist camping, survival weekends, street racing, battle bots, etc. etc.

It's just going to keep mountain bike trending and trails busy... Frown

Selfish SOB huh!!
  • 3 0
 @stiingya: no way - once they discover how much mountain biking sucks, how much effort is required, they'll go back to beer league softball.
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: We've got it good as mountain bikers compared to other sports blowing up, especially surfing for those of us on coasts. I also surf and trust me, a crowded line up is A LOT worse than a crowded trail network. Perspective Smile
  • 2 0
 @Goldie5: Yea surfers are notoriously douchey when it comes to that kind of thing.
  • 1 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: I CANNOT Upvote this enough !!!!!
  • 1 0
 @sino428: I certainly hope you're right, but the cynic in me knows how the real world works.
  • 136 0
 Red Bull coverage has been great and free.. Almost too good to be true so it was about to go away eventually. Too bad it's all about the money. Hope they'll at least bring Rob Warner to the commentary booth. Any DH commentary I've seen where he was not involved has been cringe worthy
  • 12 0
 I trully hope they hire Rob at least. I can't imagine watching a race without him on the mic... Yes, he'll retire someday, that's a different history thogh.
  • 10 0
 @panterafr: After watching Hardline last year I see Reece Wilson as his natural successor.
  • 4 0
 @commental: I submit Jack Moir for consideration.
  • 5 9
flag office (Feb 22, 2022 at 22:20) (Below Threshold)
 Rob seems like a cool guy but all he does is yell. It's super grating to me.
  • 1 0
 That new Discovery TV app better be awesome AND free, eh!
  • 143 16
 I can see the side shows, The Line Hunter, the Deadliest huck, Shockbusters and Kashima rush
  • 19 1
 not to mention ALONE: Bike Edition, 60 Days In Whistler, Planet Earth: A bike park docuseries, Looks like a Session Laws, etc.
  • 11 6
 @LenaLuthorMTB: Planet Earth: But The Builder does not know yet that The Poucher has spotted his fresh dirt.
  • 37 4
 @calmWAKI: this is comment Kashima
  • 11 1
 Downill was born with spirit of punk. Punk in You is dead.
  • 3 0
 Dirt Flops with Mike Rowe
  • 2 1
 OMG, I'm in tears, lol.
  • 6 4
 @mi-bike: Captain Brake Jack and the Anti Squad in desperate need of midstroke support.
  • 5 0
 I would watch The line hunter if it was run by some scottish dude who used to only race bikes, then started making videos, then went back racing and now also runs a team.
  • 1 2
 @winko: If he only talked like Steve Irvine but with Scottish accent. Look! There’s a big Bouldah! Ferocious piece of trail featuR - one mistake and it will kick yer bloody bum in the air, send you over thee bars, on yer head, breaking yer wee neck like a match stick. I’m going to ride over it!
  • 100 2
 Discovery is also behind the EWS coverage from last year right?

They don't have to change much to have an excellent broadcast. Give Rob Warner a fat contract, and buy a few more cameras so we can see the whole course.
  • 21 6
 Hard to broadcast the whole course when there is an overlap of riders on track. Adding more cameras is a lot of money to invest just to potentially have some replay options of a crash or something. Only way it would work is if the audience is OK with the race not being live and taking WAY longer to watch.
  • 4 16
flag FR33DOMdotCOM (Feb 21, 2022 at 6:19) (Below Threshold)
 yeah, right. Are you going to pay for all of your great suggestions? Or who is?
  • 6 4
 @nickgarrison: I reckon they could cover much more of the course with some cheaper static cameras without having to pay the camera operator as well. Even if you're having to peer through trees, at least you could see the rider's progress. Just have it picture in picture while the rider in front of on the manned cameras. At least you'd know if someone fell, and where
  • 14 36
flag adrennan (Feb 21, 2022 at 6:49) (Below Threshold)
 Give Elliot a fat contract. Fixed that for ya.
  • 31 0
 Just make sure Vital is in charge of the camera work for the DH races. We need more cameras and people who know where to place them.
  • 4 15
flag pisgahgnar (Feb 21, 2022 at 7:06) (Below Threshold)
 @FR33DOMdotCOM: If we got excellent coverage then yeah, I think I would actually pay somewhere around $50 for a season.
  • 13 0
 @dhrracer: How do we clone John Lawlor?
  • 3 0
 @nickgarrison: The idea is that you can shift perspective, show different parts of the track for different racers, and do replays/highlights of things like crashes that we otherwise struggle to see
  • 2 1
 @pisgahgnar: sorry, my comment above was a bit over the top in hindsight. The thing is, you would need a lot of $ in order to make all of those changes possible. And from every $ we pay, half is going to end up in the pockets of the UCI and Disney. I don´t see how this is going to be beneficial in the end, as much as I would like to believe in change for the better ...
  • 6 0
 @adrennan: Not taking away from Eliot Jackson or Tracey Hannah they're both absolutely top notch, but Rob Warner really is our Bob Thorne, our Vin Scully.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: they could do that, but there is a cost involved in adding more cameras. I’m sure they looked into it and decided that adding a few relays/highlights didn’t benefit the broadcast enough to justify the added cost.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: The point is that if they are shifting to a paid subscription model (I'd bet on that), they should have more revenue.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: but it’s not about simply having more revenue. For these companies it’s about profit, and the cost vs benefit of adding the extra cameras. If the cost of adding he cameras doesn’t improve the broadcast to the point of adding additional revenue, then they won’t do it.
  • 2 0
 @mountainsofsussex: my thoughts exactly. There’s no reason why they can’t do a Picture in Picture set up. More drones would help too as they can cover a lot more area than a static camera. What I’m worried about is how they are going to cram commercials into the live broadcast. Because they will, even with a subscription.
  • 1 0
 @dhrracer: and ask the riders...
  • 85 0
 Our little family are really enjoing the RB coverage as it is. The enthusiasm of the commenter-gang is inspiring, always leaving us wanting to go ride asap. And there's always a few surprise guests and angles. It will be a hard act to follow. Crossing our fingers the spirit will live on.
  • 77 7
 The Rob Warner / Eliot Jackson combo is the BEST. I doubt I'd pay to hear anyone else announce the races.
  • 12 1
 @Lokirides: yep. all I can ask is that discovery keeps the current hosts.
  • 33 61
flag dhrracer (Feb 21, 2022 at 6:59) (Below Threshold)
 @Lokirides: Rob and Claudio; Yes. Elliot; Not so much.
  • 21 16
 @dhrracer: We don't want to be mean to Claudio, but nah.
  • 20 1
 @dhrracer: I like all three.
  • 33 4
 @dhrracer: I like Claudio also, I just think Eliot's insightful commentary is a very good balance to Rob's general insanity.
  • 8 4
 @Lokirides: Totes. Been loving what EJ brings.
  • 27 0
 @Lokirides: For me, no Rob Warner means no watching. He is the voice of World Cup bike racing. I'd treat it similarly to when Harry Caray was announcing the Cubs. Warner is definitely in the same ballpark of being a staple of the industry and the silly voice antics we love to hear as well.
  • 31 5
 @nlitworld: 100% this

Also enjoyed Tracey commentating on the womens races.
  • 13 4
 @Lokirides: I like Claudio, but he would probably do a much better job doing the German commentary (even though I don't think translation is needed in the first place). While he is fluent in English, for live commentary he's just not quick enough in building his sentences compared to a native speaker. Many times Rob has to finish his sentences... it's just awkward.
I like that Elliot replaced him... but hands down, the best commentary was the raw Rob Warner on Freecaster, back when he was still allowed to have a beer in the booth.
  • 14 0
 @nlitworld: 100% this.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqYgAX6D43Q
Richard Cunningham and Rob Warner have been the absolute dream team in Downhill World Cup commentary.
It won't get any better than this.
  • 9 0
 @mazze: that's Nigel Page, not Richard Cunningham
  • 5 0
 @jzPV: whoops, you're absolutely right. Anyway, the essence of statement doesn't change.

here you can even see them: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KZV7zfMGTg
  • 5 0
 @nlitworld: 100%, No Warner = no watching!!
  • 6 2
 I prefer EJ. Claudio was always contradicting Rob and you could sense it annoyed him. Also don't forget Bart! Great partnership with Rob in the XC commentary.
  • 2 0
 @mazze: I think Claudio does a great job. I live it when he gets excited and he’s hard to understand!! Brings that international flavor that’s hard to get here in the States.
  • 2 0
 @Teebirdjones: I loved his course previews for that exact reason.
  • 71 0
 So cute people thinking paid service equal better quality
  • 60 0
 2023: When everyone realises just how good the free-to-air coverage was. This is a sad, sad day.
  • 26 3
 What happened to everyone complaining about RedBull coverage? I was told the app is garbage and anyone on PB could do a better job covering the races with an iPhone.
  • 56 0
 Rip free streams. Thanks Red Bull. Fyi Discovery owns Eurosport, so that's where the coverage is most likely to end up. You have to pay AND you still get a ton of adds. No thanks.
  • 23 1
 I'll be out. Imagine be like the world champs on NBC here. Pure garbage.
  • 2 0
 So this isn't the Discovery that runs the Discovery+ app? I would imagine if it is it would wind up on the ESPN sports app for the US.
  • 2 0
 @5chmaus: ESPN is Disney. Discovery is Warner.
  • 6 0
 Eurosport has a deal with GCN...very likely the coverage ends up on GCN+. They already have all the cyclocross world cups, and most of the major road races. fwiw they do a good job, $40 a year here in Australia. Much better commentary/coverage than SBS in my opinion...
  • 2 0
 You get ad-free streams on Eurosport.
  • 1 0
 @UphillGuy: the other option is Kayo, where the CX world cups are, GCN+ doesn’t have any world cups. Kayo is more expensive than GCN+ (I think $20/month) but still much less than a full tv service. As long as it’s not a third option.
  • 1 0
 @UphillGuy: hmm GMBN then surely. There's hope.
  • 56 5
 Well, DH racing is officially over in 23. Been a good run, redbull revitalized dh racing, and UCI to walk away from what redbull built is insulting. Get those fat contracts while you can riders.
  • 1 1
 Do we know that isn't Redbull who is walking away? It would surprise me if they are, but the article doesn't say that Redbull even put out a bid to maintain coverage.
  • 9 0
 @pmhobson:
I´m sure RB did put in a bid, but if we know one thing about Red Bull it is that they do not beg but do things on their own terms. They´re in a position where if you can work with them you can consider yourself lucky, if you don´t want to, well, they´re more than happy to watch the trainwreck happen from a distance.
You can think of that company what you want, but they do not make many mistakes and pushing a niche sport to the extent which they have done in previous years just to let it go without even putting a bid in would be ridiculously stupid of them. And they don´t do stupid.
  • 12 0
 @pmhobson:
"RedBull Media House would have liked to continue broadcasting mountain bike sports. “You could say that RedBull Media House has made the MTB sport too popular. With the high viewing figures, it also becomes interesting for other production companies. Discovery Sports has won the bid at the UCI. Red Bull TV thinks that's a shame," Bart Brentjens told WielerFlits. The 1996 Olympic champion has been associated with RedBull for many years as a co-commentator and also builder of the TV compounds at the World Cup venues."

Basically, Discovery promised more money.
  • 1 0
 @Loki87: Thanks for digging that up. Got a link?
  • 1 0
 @Loki87: so yeah, like @yakimonti said, Red Bull built it up, the UCI takes it and sells it to someone else offering short term money. E we should be really thankful for what Red Bull have done for them MTB world - Everything the UCI never did.
  • 42 1
 I won't pay to watch races
  • 10 29
flag salespunk (Feb 21, 2022 at 7:43) (Below Threshold)
 I guarantee that 95% of the people saying they won't pay will end up paying. We are addicts, no two ways about it.
  • 9 0
 @salespunk: yeah but why admit to it up front, let’s leave them wondering at least.
  • 7 0
 @salespunk: it will be like UFC a few people will pay but majority will find a way to watch it for free legally or illegally
  • 11 0
 I don't mind paying so much as I mind shitty coverage.
  • 3 0
 @jeremy3220: @jeremy3220: I like people getting paid for their work. I do not like when the only people doing something are requiring payment for a worse product. I will give it a chance but if it is worse than RedBull I will just spend my weekends riding instead and check Instagram for the winner lol.
  • 2 0
 @salespunk: Nope. won't do it.
  • 1 0
 Agreed. I won't pay. I don't care that much about it tbh.
  • 5 0
 @salespunk: For that to be true it first and foremost needs to be easily available for those outside the US.
Us europeans usually have to jump through a few hoops to get access to these types of events and PPVs, be it either through some obscure rebroadcast in the middle of the night or some third party provider whose program we do not like. PPV advertising in europe is also pretty much non existent, so many will simply forget about it. So most likely many viewers outside the US will just drop the habit of watching the races without much fuss and simply forget about them.

And as was already said in the UFC example, if i have to jump through hoops to get the PPV in the first place i may as well jump through hoops finding a free stream.
  • 3 0
 I'll pay if the prize money reflects it.
  • 38 0
 Like mondays don’t suck already. Than you get this news. Bad to worse this Monday
  • 35 0
 This is bad news, Discovery/Eurosport means no more free to air coverage. How is that going to grow an audience? Red Bull do a fantastic job for the sport, great coverage, great production, and free to air.

RB had the CX World CUp coverage for most of the 2910/20 season, and it was just like their MTB World Cup coverage; proper previews, interviews with riders, a track walk, etc then the races, and then the post race show.

However, since then it's been on GCN/Eurosport, and it's been a massive downgrade; all done from a studio in the UK, very little of the atmosphere comes through the coverage. I'm almost dreading their MTB coverage.
  • 18 2
 GCN commentary and production on road and cyclocross races is absolute trash.
  • 36 2
 £60 per year or £7 per month. Piss off. I know they feel I’m getting load for that, but have zero interest I watching Gold Rush, 90 Day Fiancé or whatever mindless nonsense they are offering. It’s such a shame watching racing has gone like this. They will do it shitly and probably get new commentators who have no idea what they are talking about, like the Rampage coverage in the past. This is bad for mountain biking.
  • 9 20
flag AlexHunt96 (Feb 21, 2022 at 6:28) (Below Threshold)
 Or you could actually find out what this means before wildly throwing hypotheticals out on how bad it COULD all be.
  • 39 0
 Fucking UCI
  • 33 0
 I hate to join the chorus of negativity, but I haven't seen anything from Discovery in the last decade that gives me hope this will be good for anyone.
  • 16 3
 The most itonic bit about Discovery Channel is that they went from being a channel celebrating science and outdoors to one celebrating destruction and pillage of nature. 180 degrees with a topping. It’s like Some Catholic Baptist TV transforming into a porn site.
  • 4 0
 @calmWAKI: Just like The History Channel. And A&E. Seems like education and insight are enough to get a solid foothold, but that success creates visions of grandeur.

Seems like a lot of MTB stories edging that way lately. Maybe it's time to adjust my perspective on where the sport is headed.
  • 2 4
 @Blackhat: At some point History Channel was owned by neo Nazis or something. Every other time I turned it on they showed WW2 and Hitler Big Grin . Has it changed now?
  • 2 0
 @calmWAKI: Aliens. All about aliens now. Some ghost stories too. And none of them ironic. If you get WWII some intern went rogue and slipped an archival show in the mix.
  • 3 2
 @Blackhat: I do remember a program about flying saucers and Hitler haha
  • 4 1
 @calmWAKI: I thought you came here to shit on people who complain and now you are complaining?
  • 30 0
 Got a bad feeling This will be worse then any outside/pinkbike scenario people have been bitching about.
  • 2 0
 Discovery = Foxtel here in Australia… the market here seems a mismatch to DH racing

www.foxtelmedia.com.au/partners-brands/discovery-channel

Discovery Channel
www.discoverychannel.com.au
Visit Discovery Channel on Facebook
We are courageous, hands-on trailblazers who aren’t afraid to get our hands first! We explore risky and rewarding adventures through the eyes of the toughest people, the toughest jobs and the most extreme places on Earth. Discovery Channel appeals to men in their mid-forties who have a passion for family, the outdoors and who are motivated the learn things that they can use in every day life. Key programming titles are Deadliest Catch, Aussie Gold Hunters, American Shopper, Outback Opal Hunters, Alaskan Bush People, Fast ‘N’ Loud and Shark Week.



Statistics
1.17x more likely to spend on avg $100+ on entertainment per week

1.19x more likely like being well insured

1.16x more likely to care about the appearance of my car
  • 1 0
 @KenZombie: for sport = Kayo. Which has the CX world cups already. Not as expensive as Foxtel.
  • 29 1
 The UCI need to walk naked backwards through a field of dicks.
  • 9 0
 I think you’ll find that is exactly what they are expecting us to do. And pay for the privilege.
  • 25 1
 I'll pay to watch the DH races, but I'm not going to buy a package to watch all of their other content. If they go that route, they'll have lost a customer for life. I've been watching broadcasts since the first years of Freecaster, and reading about the races since before that in print magazines... I will be very sad if I can't watch the races anymore.
  • 4 0
 You mean to say you aren't consuming barbershop harmony or cheerleading on Flosports?
  • 2 10
flag salespunk (Feb 21, 2022 at 7:41) (Below Threshold)
 So you would pay $5.99 per race, but not $5.99 per month?
  • 9 0
 @salespunk: Correct. By my math, there are fewer races than there are months in a year. Also, I'm only interested in watching the DH racing. Enduro racing is... not my cup of tea. Also, does Discovery offer an internet-only subscription? I've only ever seen it as part of a cable package.
  • 6 0
 @salespunk: Trouble is you can't dip in and out of Discovery Plus. Personally I wouldn't want to have to subscribe for the whole year considering how little interest I have in watching the other shit on there.
  • 1 0
 We can’t even get it in Canada.
  • 2 0
 @slyfink: @slyfink: Discovery is merging with Warner so there will probably be a package of hbo + this. The main issue I have is 1. Quality of the commentary + interviews 2. Them not entering every country at the same time so some countries being screwed. I'm lucky since hbo max comes to poland in a month but I know some countries may be SOL
  • 20 0
 New and improved in 2023! ; ( What a shame.

Enjoy the 2022 season with Rob, Bart and Claudio,
  • 20 0
 Next article: Redbull to introduces Downhill World Series in 2023 with triple the prize purse of UCI DH World Cup
  • 8 0
 That would be amazing, the ultimate fuck you to the UCI.
  • 17 1
 I for one will treat this like I do the F1 or motocross races. I won't pay extra for a package of shit, but I will gladly give $1 to the person who uploads it to Pirate Bay the next morning (and commercial free). Thank you slicknick0610 for always having my motocross ready for watching with my Sunday morning coffee.
  • 2 0
 We need the DH equivalent of this:

overtakefans.com
  • 1 1
 Yeah this is kind of my problem. I pay for peacock to watch SX but I draw the line there. I tape F1 at my parents house and watch it when I can, but if they didn’t have cable I just wouldn’t be bothered enough to watch it. When outdoors isn’t on peacock next summer I will probably just give up on watching it. Between SX, MX, MXGP, Motogp, Indy, and UCI DH (I’m not going to the effort of running the exact $’s) I’m assuming it would cost $50 bucks or more a month, just not f*cking worth it.
  • 21 1
 Fu%k that
  • 20 2
 Fck UCI & Disney
  • 3 3
 @FR33DOMdotCOM: what does Disney have to do with this?
  • 5 1
 @mfoga: I was under the impression that Disney were one of the most ruthless corporate machines on the planet so assumed it was a general rage against that through association. The Simpsons episode "sorry but there's profit to be had".

I'm so sad to see this news as I love watching DH WC. Red Bull did a great job, I'll be f**ked off having to subscribe to Discovery.
  • 5 0
 @tremeer023: Regardless of who owns whom, you're spot on about Disney mate. They're pure evil!
  • 3 2
 @tremeer023: I'm not saying disney is great but calling a company that just gatekeeps its content "one of the most ruthless companies on the planet" where you have nestle literally killing kids and joking about drinking water being a right or petrol companies sponsoring really shady stuff in Nigeria or Elon joking about the fact he wille do coup who he wants to coup. Disney is not the best company but they are pretty tame by modern capitalism standards
  • 1 0
 @spaced: maybe, I don't know about those other examples.

We are all conditioned to be the best we can going into the workplace. When a doctor or teacher for example do an outstanding job and save a life or help a young person get educated they are hero's. When an accountant or CEO of a corporation does an outstanding job by helping a client avoid more tax or boost already eye-watering profits, they are the opposite.

I've always been an advocate of capitalism, but when the divide becomes so vast to the point where an individual is allowed to hold more wealth than an entire country, it's a problem.
  • 18 0
 Shame, Redbull did a great job
  • 16 1
 I wish it was the other way around… Red bull getting rid of the uci and launching their own world championship
  • 16 1
 Looks like there could be more Rocky Roads ahead...
  • 5 7
 Perhaps the GMBN brand might be involved like they have been with EWS, might not be too bad, fingers crossed.
  • 36 4
 Pinkbike commenters should unite and start a free streaming service called BroHub. We just need to find a way to monetize dissatisfaction. My total comment log is one of most powerful NFTs in existence
  • 4 3
 @calmWAKI: " We just need to find a way to monetize dissatisfaction" Bloody brilliant, 100%
  • 8 0
 @calmWAKI: PB already do monetise dissatisfaction, they get an extra click every time we pop back to re-read the comments.
  • 4 1
 @chakaping: where is my money then? Big Grin
  • 11 1
 @ddmonkey: Mate, the GMBN /EWS coverage is diabolical. It’s stilted, cheap and so wooden I get splinters after 60 seconds of viewing, so no thanks.
I had wondered why the latest season of ‘Fast Life’ on RB was introduced as their last. Well, now I know.
  • 2 0
 @calmWAKI: can we monetize anti complaining, toxic positivity bs? Because if yes we don't need cold fusion. Just Waki.
  • 10 0
 I hope we'll soon enough know how it will materialize for us viewers. Will it be paying ? Will the coverage improve, remain the same, worsen ? Will it impact the events themselves ?
I have a hard time figuring out what Discovery involvement mean to be honest... Anyone can help/enlight me ?
Smile
  • 21 1
 Well they bought up the Olympics broadcast rights and then only allowed a tiny amount of minutes to be aired free on the BBC in the UK, if that’s anything to go by…
  • 7 0
 @oatkinso: I don't know why, but it is the kind of feedback I would have hoped not to hear, but knew it would be likely still.
I fear we will deeply regret the Red bull era, with stream losses and other weird 360° camera angles haha
  • 25 0
 @Aksel31: I think the thing thats most worrying is the length of the contract; 8 seasons?!
  • 4 0
 @oatkinso: I hope it's because they are investing heavily at the outset in order to make improvements so need the longer length of contract to earn back that investment.
  • 7 0
 @oatkinso: Indeed you're right, I've missed this info in the press release... Sounds like an 8 year jail sentence to me for us, the viewers...
  • 2 0
 Does Discovery even exist in France ? Eurosport maybe ?
  • 5 0
 @km79: we can hope, yep. If it results in a more ‘world’ World Cup, where Australia and NZ are permanent fixtures on the calendar, I’d be pleasantly surprised. If it goes behind a paywall in the form of Eurosport I can only see it being detrimental to the sport from a inclusive perspective and I’ve got no trust in the UCI that the contract monies will actually be reinvested in mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 @oatkinso: they probably did some math and expect to lose some viewers during the first few years but predict they can recover later down the line. The bottom line is they see money somehow. All we have to do is just watch recaps on youtube and dry up their viewer subscriptions throughout that time.
  • 3 0
 @oatkinso:
The problem with that is, the lack of races outside of europe is due to more than the ability to cover races in other places. MTB and downhill racing aren´t formula one. Teams simply lack the funds to transport gear between continents a few times per season. And even if the big teams were to get on board with the idea, it´d be a death sentence for privateer racing. So as much as i´m with you in hoping that we could get more variety, the current status quo seems pretty ideal for those actually involved in the racing circus and i can´t see a change in production company make a difference here.
  • 2 0
 @Loki87: yep. What I meant was, perhaps this new deal might allow for greater team budgets so that they in turn can afford to attend races in more far flung locations compared to the current calendar. The press release states that not only will Discovery become the new producers but also the new ‘organisers’ of the World Cup, so they might have the ability to increase the number of races so as to have a better package to air on traditional tv streams. Who knows.
  • 10 0
 I watched every WC Cyclocross race until it went to FLO bikes. haven't watched one since... this is bad news for a sport that is still trying to grow. Making the sport harder to watch is never the answer. Loved the redbull coverage!!
  • 1 0
 That is the worst service there is. No monthly or trial options. Just drop the coin and get disappointed.
  • 11 0
 Just for the data collection. I will NOT watch without Warner. I will NOT pay to view. It's not that important, and I'm sick of the greed on this planet! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Bullshit.
  • 13 0
 First Outside, now Discovery.. Can we not discover what's outside?
  • 13 0
 THIS is why we should've been drinking RedBull.
  • 9 0
 UCI is the source of the mess, they want money, those dudes only care about money:

www.pinkbike.com/news/how-to-watch-the-2021-mountain-bike-world-championships-from-val-di-sole.html

"The UCI sells all its World Championships in one package so if a broadcaster wants to show the road event then they get the mountain biking included as part of the deal too. Unfortunately, mountain biking isn't as high ticket as some other disciplines so often it can be broadcast by those channels after the fact or on an unusual station."

Get your VPN to Japan ready!
  • 9 0
 I will be riding and digging a little more starting in 2023 by the looks of it, not a bad thing. But I think our sport will go backwards for 8 years. That first race weekend of 2023 will be sad, but we will forget about it soon enough, along with all the riders & teams we used to follow as they fade into oblivion. If only we could eliminate the UCI.
  • 10 1
 This is the 'growth of the sport' that people have been banging on about, in positive glowing terms for the past few years. Bike sales are through the roof, bike brands are being bought out by multinational investment firms, and mass media is keen to cash in on a captive audience, Adidas buy out FiveTen. Look at skateboarding and the scourge of Nike and how it has decimated skater owned brand's share of the market those brands created and which was all there used to be.
Who knows maybe something good will come of it, but the tactic of streaming services to corner a coveted item and then make you subscribe for the whole package. Sky Sports started this process with the creation of the Premier League in England in 1991 and it's all catching up. Why did Foxtel by the rights to Game of Thrones for Australia, because now they have heaps of people who have subscribed to their products for one specific thing... Disney+ and Star Wars. These example are obviously waaaaay bigger than some people riding toys down a hill 6 times a year but the logic is the same. Cash in on an audience who want something that only you have, and make them pay for all your shit to do so.
I always thought a lot of the stick RB got for the coverage was unfair and unfounded and personally reckon, despite a few failures here and there, that ultimately they delivered a great product especially when consider they didn't charge for it upfront. I suspect we'll know what we've missed in a couple of years!!
  • 10 0
 discovery does have a paid streaming service so this is looking like an RIP for a free stream.
  • 7 0
 Really hope this improves the sport even more I honestly can't see it tho.the combo of redbull TV Rob Warner pinkbike,vital,Eliot Jackson,cathro etc etc is the best it's ever been.can see this going sour let's hope
  • 1 1
 No reason that Pinkbike, Eliot and Cathro won't continue coverage under this model. Discovery owns the race broadcast rights. They don't own exclusive rights to the entire event.
  • 1 0
 @salespunk: yet ... if they invest in the race coverage, they will look to make money elsewhere. You wont have enough revenue just from the 5 or 6 races in a season ...
  • 3 2
 @FR33DOMdotCOM: are you saying that PB won't have enough revenue from the 5 or 6 races or Discovery? If you are speaking about Discovery, I am their target market. I watch road, EWS and DH races consistently. I would also happily pay their $5.99/mo for good coverage all in one place which it seems is their direction. I already pay Peacock that amount to watch Supercross and Outdoor moto races.

The real question is whether they will continue to have the same or better quality of broadcast. I can understand the difficulty of covering EWS races so figuring out the model there will be incredibly difficult. DH is already packaged for broadcast consumption so they need to ensure that the quality doesn't fall off.
  • 6 0
 It will be like PB selling to Outside. I decided to pay for Beta because I’m a sucker for anything mountain bike related. So I get a paid prescription and immediately find out that you have to pay for the full Outside+ package to get all the content on Beta, which is supposed to be a dedicated bike product. So I have to pay for Climbing, River Rafting, Skiing, Hiking and other shit I could care less about to get full Beta content. Subscription cancel time. Disney will do the same in the long run. You won’t be able to pay for just bike coverage. You will end up having to pay for all of Disney’s content to get the small amount of what you want.
  • 1 0
 and thus the cable tv packages come full circle
  • 6 0
 I became a fan through Red Bull’s free streams…was able to recommend a low effort way to get others to check it out: “Red Bull teevee dude check it out.” Red Bull refined the product into a great tv show—tight two hours, good characters, fun.

Bored / uninformed / uninspired coverage can kill anything—anyone tried to watch the Olympics? Ugh. Don’t ruin this!!!
  • 1 0
 The olympics are on......?
  • 9 0
 No Warner and I'm not paying
  • 2 0
 +1.
  • 8 0
 Can Redbull now make their own Mountain Bike World Series as a big F U to the UCI.
  • 8 0
 Everything gets paywalled in the end
  • 5 0
 Agreed. Soooo tired of the greed on this planet.
  • 2 1
 @mybaben: I really don't see how people feel entitled to get free content.
  • 2 0
 @Muckal: There is a difference between "expecting things for free" and taking something that's always BEEN free, and then making people pay for it.
  • 9 0
 you suck UCI
  • 4 0
 We’ve had it so good for a while now and I don’t hold out much hope that Discovery or the UCI will do DH racing justice and add more riders to the TV broadcast or more events to the schedule. Maybe Crankworx and Redbull will combine to bring the DH racers and us a worthy series with worthy coverage.
  • 6 1
 This could quite possibly kill off WC racing entirely if they decide to make people pay. I can't speak for others but I know that if they do decide to monetize it like that, I personally won't watch another world cup again.
  • 4 0
 Well that's it, RIP World Cup Downhill and XC. I definitely wouldn't have minded paying RedBull for access to see the races, and it's kind of puzzling they'd let that kind of exposure go to someone else.

Definitely not going to sign up to Discovery+ in the US to watch a 6-race season. Not that I expect bike coverage to be free, but definitely not as part of a bloated and expensive package for a lot of crap that I don't want.
  • 4 0
 "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."

"but now we want to bleed more money out of fans." the UCI - Probably
  • 4 0
 Bad move if it goes to pay per view. Downhill, I thought, was just in a bit of a resurgence the last couple years after enduro took off and less people felt the need for a dh bike , certainly in the UK anyway. This would just be making it less accessible to people which is only going to be more damaging to the sport of dh racing.
  • 4 0
 Freecaster and redbull made mountain biking successful again after years of shite coverage, now the uci have seen the potential for a payout. We really should dump the UCI, enduro resisted it for years and was run brilliantly, it has only gotten worse since joining the UCI. It's too money focussed and centred around road cycling. It's always made bad decisions about mountain biking and continues to do so.
  • 5 0
 Does this mean the possible end of Rob Warner commentary? hopefully Discovery see sense but I wouldn't be surprised to see changes
  • 1 0
 Can't see RW fitting into the current Eurosport/Discovery/GCN/GMBN studio based commentary set up or culture for that matter - More commentary work for Rik Mclaughlin (covers EWS for GMBN) I guess
  • 7 0
 Is the Discovery website any easier to navigate than the redbull tv one?
  • 3 0
 no haha
  • 1 1
 It's my belief that it can't possibly be worse. The RB app for (our old) AppleTV and our Samsung tv are immensely frustrating. I've seen my share of poor user interfaces, but "our" RB apps reign supreme. And this isn't just coming from us old farts, the kids yell at the remote too.
Which is weird, as most of the other stuff RB Media do is really sharp & sweet. But I digress.

The sum of the product - watching the races live/recap - is just excellent, but take away or add wrong bits & bobs (the voices, interviews, expertise, or inject commercials every few minutes) and it will crumble.
  • 5 2
 If this means audited satellite and cable broadcast numbers that are freely available, It means potentially good things for Athletes.
During the reign of RBTV, viewership numbers have never been publicly available.

If this brings back some non-endemic team sponsorship, it’d be swell.
  • 8 0
 sad news Frown
  • 3 0
 This must have gone down like a fart in a lift at redbull media? Will they move their attention to crankworks? Or create their own downhill championship? Rampage and hardline with another new event for riders to get an overall champion???
  • 3 0
 Is there any indication as to whether RedBull were ever in the running for this? Have they dropped MTB coverage after the UCI raised the rent or did the UCI go out to the market with the whole bundle and Disco came in as the highest bidder so it's sayonara Redbull? Either way it's harsh on Redbull given they've bankrolled the whole thing for so long.
I doubt we'll ever know the ins and out f the reasons behind this but I guess we've just got to thank RB for all the investment and the free coverage. They've obviously sunk a decent amount of money into the coverage of the sport and we as viewers have reaped the benefits through their free to air channel. Ok some of the coverage hasn't been perfect but it has had Warner and A/N Other and it's been free and readily available and they've figured out ways to work with the likes of Cathro and other outside guys to provide a much richer coverage.

Worse case scenario is that it goes behind a paywall at an outrageous price, has adverts and the coverage is poor by comparison to the FTA predecessors.
Best case is it's everything we could want; good filming, rich content, informed commentators (Warner) and represents decent value for money. I'd certainly consider paying for the latter.

Fingers crossed here. Interested to see what they're proposing.
  • 3 0
 I heard Discovery is buying Outside and you’ll have to subscribe to Beta, Outside+ and Discovery + to see all the events. Practice will be broadcast on Beta, Qualis on Outside + and Finals on Discovery +. Also there will be a Wicked Tuna DH team in 2023.
  • 3 0
 I used to commentate on Eurosport for the DH World Cups before RedBull came onboard.
The viewing figures from the Moto GP were in the millions. Up next after the break we have the UCI Downhill Mountainbike World Cup live from..

The viewing figures were significantly higher than on RedBull.com/bike which is of course only seen by hardcore MTB enthusiasts.

Think back to the golden days of DH sponsorship, Volvo Cannondale, Mercedes Marin, Ford Kona etc.. Riders we’re getting $$$.

RedBull and Warner do an amazing job, problem is your next door neighbour never see’s it. It’s not mainstream.

Is it a good move? We will of course thank and miss what RedBull have done. Who knows if it’s a good thing, we will all be wiser at the end of 2023.
  • 6 0
 the end of free live stream ?
  • 8 2
 Bring back Freecaster!! When Warner really said what he thought.
  • 3 1
 Most probably this will be available with a Discovery+ subscription. Might be something good for sport, more money from TV rights maybe we can see more rounds...I don't know. Definitely they need to keep Rob Warner, last time when I watched world champs on Eurosport the commentary was cringe.
  • 5 0
 Discovery+ sports paywall is like 15euro a month. That's a no thank you :-(
  • 6 1
 Bad move for the sport on the long run. That one will bite UCI in the butt.
  • 4 0
 Unfortunately, they will still make money out of it. And that´s all they care about...
  • 1 0
 @FR33DOMdotCOM: I don’t think UCI will actually make much off this move. Especially if it’s pay per view. And what happens when Discovery wants to cut out of their obligations to this multi year contract?
  • 5 0
 You and me babe, ain't nothing but mammals Let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel
  • 2 0
 Do it again,now!
  • 2 0
 Well....I cut the cord years ago, to save money...got an HD antenna for local channels. Then added netflix, prime, hulu, youtube premium, Peacock, I am sure I have others....now I gotta buy disco plus....hell, I will be back to spending more than I did on cable soon!
  • 1 0
 @stiksandstones - agree it's infuriating. Random side note, is there a specific HD antenna you find work the best?
  • 1 0
 @bman33: No, I bought it at HomeDepot about 10 yrs ago, its getting a little weathered and such actually...it was about 80 bucks, and is about the size of this 21" imac im on haha. I am about 40 miles from Mt Wilson where all the antennas are, so I get all the Los Angeles locals super clear....hell, even the 100 or so weird channels after channel 13.
  • 5 0
 How the f* is Discovery even allowed to be involved in UCI events after sponsoring Lance and friends?
  • 1 0
 Good point, but lots of people seem to have given Lance a pass now and they just shrug the biggest cheat in cycling off.
  • 3 1
 Last week everybody hating on Red Bull, this week can't live without them.

When the switch was made from Freecaster to Red Bull there were a ton of complaints on Pinkbike but ultimately RB was way better than Freecaster in terms of reliability, quality of broadcast and cost to watch. The constant was Warner who has in truth improved a lot since the "drunk in a shed Freecaster" days. It makes no sense to move a away from Warner, he's the voice of the sport, XC and DH. Lets hope he sticks around.

Apparently these racers are on minimal money and it seems as though that won't change until coverage moves more mainstream. There are plenty of sports people watch without participating in and a wider TV audience might help some of these riders move off the $5,000 / yr income bracket. Personally I'd like to see that, they deserve it!

I imagine there will be other significant changes to how we watch TV in the next few years so who knows how Discover will package and broadcast this. I'll guess I'll have the option watch it live through the Discover App on my smart TV the same way I do Red Bull TV. In the end the change might not be so great and like the transition from Freecaster to Red Bull hopefully brings about some positives.

Thanks for all the coverage Red Bull, you've done an incredible job!
  • 2 0
 First off how are we suppose to watch this races now Red Bull was free. Now with cycling sales at a all time high the UCI is now milking it even more than before as the place that host the race is paying a lot to host it guess they weren't making enough money. Bad enough that the uci limits the sponsors at dh races so the prize money is pathetic for the racers. Now who are the announcers going to be doesn't rob warner have a contract with redbull and clearly discovery ain't gong to be able to afford him
  • 2 0
 Money is the lubricant of this society.
So I won’t blame the money.
On vital, stikman makes a nice succinct summary of how we got here.
My biggest takeaway is a feeling I’ve had before:
If you love dh racing: organize it.
If you’re worried about “the state of the sport” organize it.
If you just wanna ride: RIDE.
This whole thing makes me want to go do a local dh race with my buds more than I did earlier today. Which was a lot.
  • 2 0
 I hope they go back to Freecaster's schedule of airing all racers, would gladly pay $5 a race if this was the case. I don't care at all about the pre/post-race production, practice day videos, etc. Only care about seeing all the racers in their race runs.
  • 3 0
 The ews coverage last year was absolute trash on euro/gmbn. A week late and not thorough.

But saying this, I used to watch the Eurosport coverage in the 90's and it was great having full live feeds
  • 5 0
 Remember where there was a plan to start a non UCI ran downhill bike series? Can we go back to that plan?
  • 2 0
 Whatever is the coolest new thing is a market. Gone are the days of a culture self propelling itself without a cooperate leech coming in to not only suck out some culture, but a bit of blood in the process. UCwhy? Oh I know...
  • 3 0
 If Redbull can turn hardline into a series championship they could take a big chunk of the spectators and athlete's from the UCI world cup just because of the free live stream, then even more with the gnarlier tracks.
  • 2 0
 £££GREED££££ - Thank you Red Bull Media house for significantly increasing the number of viewers - So as we can now sell the rights for a boat load of ££££

It’s another sad day for us fans thanks Rob Warner for your passion and enthusiasm that’s infectious, your race coverage will be sorely missed!

Sad day!
  • 2 0
 Just saying I would happily accept RedBull as our new DH overlords if they setup their own race series with broadcasting. Redbull + Crankworx maybe? If UCI + Discovery becomes a pay per view, add-filled mess, I can guarantee my interest in the Crankworx series will increase exponentially.
  • 5 0
 What does this mean for free live streaming?
  • 4 0
 behind the Outside paywall
  • 4 0
 Eurosport/Disney+ maybe
  • 6 0
 It means the end of it.
  • 1 0
 They said they didn't know yet.
  • 4 1
 assuming ppv, lets just hope it brings investment into the sport. also, WC coverage without rob warner can get in the bin. Make it happen Discovery.
  • 6 0
 They'll probably give the job to Ed Leigh or someone else with a background in another sport who doesn't have a clue what they're talking about.
  • 5 0
 Coming in 2023 to your local network *"PAYWALL: As seen in TV"
  • 6 1
 This is going to hurt mountain biking if it goes paid subscription.
  • 1 0
 I quite liked the streams on rbtv. The number one thing i never understood why they did get so much power, was that people spomsored by e.g. monster weren't aloud to have a bpttle with a big logo on it in the finish area etc. Such dumb rules should have been shut down by the UCI immediately...
  • 1 0
 Why did they get do much power? That’s easy, because they paid for it. The rules seem dumb to you but if you paid (I am assuming) a lot of money to sponsor/broadcast an event you wouldn’t want a competitors logo plastered all over your broadcast. At the end of the day I think Redbull was actually pretty chill about it considering many of the rides were wearing the likes of monster, rockstar, etc all over their bikes and kits. Not allowing another sponsors drink in the finish area seem like a really minor thing.

This kind of thing happens in all sports. Many athletes who have individual drink deals can’t display or drink it on the field/court if their league or team has a deal with a different company. Think Gatorade sponsoring the league while players have deals with Powerade, vitamin water, body amour etc.
  • 1 0
 Whaaat??!! Jeez. That’s not cool. More change.. aaand the change is hosing something good again??! Those were good times…
Thank you RedBull!!!
Eat it UCI and enduro!!
What a joke. Why UCI let us get screwed??
Fck sakes… #shouldabeenadentist
  • 3 0
 Well...Shit. RIP watching World cups live for free. 2016-2022 for me. It was a good run. I doubt people will torrent races. It's not F1.
  • 1 0
 This doesn’t bode well for the prospects of free coverage, if other sports on Discovery are any guide. The Olympics (both summer and winter) went from free to air on the BBC, to being broadcast on Discovery’s channels, with the BBC only getting a limited access to events.
The UCI have have undoubtedly done this for the money, because if as seems likely, the mountain biking coverage becomes subscription only, there’ll be a drop in viewing figures.
  • 1 0
 So, they are clinging on to the idea that all bike riders are so passionate about their sport that they will gladly pay to watch it? Lol! That's ritch!

In all seriousness - how could this be good for DH? It needs a real boost in broadcasting to be even remotely interesting to pay for...and Warners also need to get off the leash and have a pint or ten whole yapping away! Now that's entertainment! I'd gladly pay for that!

If we look at what sponsors want - they want exposure. How does that model supposed to work better when there will be less viewers? I can't get my head around it at all.
  • 1 0
 I think going to discovery as a premium subscription may harm DH in long run !
I love Watching DH and WRC
DH is free on Redbull TV
WRC £10.99 per month
I can't justify £10.99 per month to watch WRC so have to watch free highlights .
It's no where near as exciting live and I watch a condensed programme for a short time which limits that programmes chances of influencing me on Brands/products etc .
Going premium will vastly reduce the number of viewers that watch DH races thus vastly reduce appeal to sponsors
  • 1 0
 I assume that the contract with RedBull ends this year so the UCI put it out to tender for the next 10 years and Discovery outbid Redbull and all the other companies.

Maybe Redbull couldn’t find the money, decided that it wasn’t worth it anymore or Discovery just have a shitload of money to throw at it.

Look on the bright side, it cannot be any worse than when Rocky Roads were the sponsor for the DHWC
  • 1 0
 I've just endured 2 weeks of Winter Olympic coverage through Discovery. Absolutely appalling. The commentators didn't know what they were talking about. You can always identify a bad commentator because they just read facts off the sheet in front of them. If they don't bring on Rob Warner or someone of similar stature, it will be a travesty. Though saying that, I'm not going to be paying an american organisation. The internet is full of free streams.
  • 1 0
 I have no problem with a new broadcaster at all and as with all contracts, a business wants to make some money, it was a tender process and whats best for the UCI is what we have. The reality is that i would do the same to protect my own interests as i am sure everyone else would. Simple economics, UCI has a "product" and wants the most for it. Discovery and Red Bull have set the worth of said product (dh world cup circuit) by paying whatever figure for the rights to air it. IF some of that increased revenue is ever seen at DH grass roots or in the riders salaries level is another matter of course. I agree with some commentors that maybe DH riders should part ways with UCI just as many other professional sports have done with legacy organisations in the past. That way the riders could finally be in a position to be heard and be paid properly for literally putting their lives at risk for the benefit of the bike companies and the autocratic UCI. Will it just become the same as the World Champs as thats hard as hell to watch in most countries already!?

Whatever happens, if they put tv commentators on air who cannot read riders names, know zero about the technical aspect of the sport etc etc (as with BMX racing ) as opposed to Rob Warner, Tracey Hannah etc then we know 100% if ts purely a money making exercise or if they genuinely want to grow the sport and the viewership.
  • 1 0
 GCN and GMBN are now part owned by Discovery, so I strongly suspect we will see all MTB race content integrated into one GMBN+ app. Unfortunately the GCN app is still fairly appalling to use, and I don't believe they have a desktop platform yet. Eurosport still has the majority of large road races and if you like any of the other sports they cover you can get that too, so hopefully for fans of road and MTB like myself, we can get both for one price.
  • 1 0
 You have to realize , If they loose half the viewers because they go to a PPV. That will be considered a huge success for Discovery and UCI. They'll be happy, they'll be bringing in a lot more cash then with Redbull and free viewing. Sadly, money talks, and this decision by UCI is not driven by a motivation to " spread the gospel of mountain biking wider" its driven by money. Less viewers if it means more money, is a win for them. Sadly
  • 2 1
 I wonder if all the people (inc top racers) saying that we need to make downhill more 'mainstream' are happy with this?

The next thing will be 'Discovery dont want the track to go through the trees because its hard to film'

Then ' we need to make it easier for joe public to follow'

Be careful what you wish for people.

Mainstream pffft.
  • 1 0
 I think these are legitimate concerns, but they haven't had that much influence on road racing over the years they've been screening it. e.g. many of the races still have long boring bits where nothing happens
  • 1 0
 "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" --- This can't be all good, new negotiations for venues and organizers, will it be a highest bitter regardless of the classic course?
  • 2 0
 I thought the reason there were so few rounds was because the cost of hosting a World Cup round wasn't worth it. The money required to host wasn't cost effective with the money brought in by spectators, etc Quite a few venues walked away.....
  • 1 0
 UCI what a bunch of corporate pricks that have gone a ruined a good thing. Red Bull and Rob have done a fantastic job and there was no justifiable reason to other than corporate greed. It will go PPV and result in a decline in the uptake of the sport. Having it free to view has inspired so many young riders and has contributed to an explosion in the popularity of our sport.
  • 3 3
 Throwing my two pence into the mix....

Big fan of "if it ain't broke don't fix" but change is inevitable, hopefully for the better... I'd like to think things have got better from the Freecaster.tv days to Red Bull...

I think if we can afford to pay for the bikes we have, we could get used to paying to watch WCs, but it does depend on what we extra get out of it...

We get it for free now and it's great, so if there has to be something in addition to what we have to retain viewers. Otherwise, they'll be a dip in viewings/subscriptions because some of us will strop and stop watching, but eventually numbers will pick back up as a new gen comes through and pays because it's 'normal' to them....

Few quid here and there to watch the WC series? Yeah sure...

If it's a sizable chunk of money, then I would want something extra, like more WC rounds..

I'm trying to compare this to my NFL Game Pass which is something like £130 a year, but I could (If I wanted) watch all games from current and passed seasons, with viewing options and extra bits... And without Adverts!

I wouldn't pay £130 to see 7 WC rounds a year.... But these are two very different sports in very different times in their maturity Wink
  • 4 0
 Change may be inevitable, but change for change's sake rarely brings progress. For all of our grumbles with Red Bull's reliability, I think people are rightfully concerned about this deal, because quality programming on Discovery began and ended with Mythbusters.
  • 4 1
 Hold on, I thought we were supposed to be complaining about RedBull coverage!!!?
  • 2 0
 What a screwup. I haven't watched MotoGP for years now since btsport took it over from Eurosport. Looks like I won't be watching DH either from next year.
  • 1 0
 Is this the same Discovery that is merging with Warner Media? Warner just recently merged with Turner Broadcasting (CNN, TBS, TNT) and has a lot of sports on its airwaves (NBA, NHL, MLB, college basketball tournament, etc).
  • 2 0
 I hope they keep Warner. When the world champs have been off of RedBull with different announcers it's been a real step down from the world cup coverage.
  • 3 0
 Can't wait to follow the DH World Cup season by watching 3 minute highlight videos on YouTube à la Supercross.
  • 3 0
 Death of the dh bike in those 7 years. It’s going to take 3 years just to be at red bulls level if they care about it.
  • 3 0
 Feels like handing the reins to the horrible Australia production crew. Red Bull Media House are without peer in this world…I want to say nobody buys a thing to make it worse, but the UCI is involved so yeah ugh
  • 3 1
 This might be a good time for Red Bull to announce their breakaway WC circuit. New tracks, but with the same great coverage and commentary. #f*ckUCI
  • 2 1
 Ironically a majority of the tracks on the WC circuit remained the same because of RB.
  • 2 0
 Funny how recently more and more articles on PB are not about actual mtb, but about negotiations, CEOs, acquiring, company issued statements etc...
  • 1 1
 Says more about Redbull. We have had it so good for years having a free platform to watch on. I'd be happy to pay to watch especially if proceeds are driven back into the sport, venues, riders etc. Also hopefully this will increase viewers. Don't be cheap!! Pay to grow the sport.
  • 2 0
 @RedBull hardline world series in 2023. Free to view. DH gets stronger. the uci flails in it's death throws......
The prophecy cannot be stopped..........
  • 1 0
 Bullshit.......Mountain biking going in the shitter with large companies trying to get their piece of a growing sport....starting with OUTSIDE. If youve never been laid up with injury you dont belong in the sport. Piss off
  • 1 0
 Good things grow. It's the way of the world. You could go back to "aggressive inline skating" if you want to be in a niche sport without large company attention and investment Wink
  • 1 0
 Hopefully this works out better than Flosports and NBC Sports for the last couple of years it has been tough to watch the Snowshoe race in the USA. I am afraid it will be more of the same.
  • 1 0
 With Discovery now owning rights to the EWS, XC and DH, and looking at their other Road racing model the GCN+ app/subscription service, I would hazard a very good guess at a GMBN+ subscription being on the horizon.
  • 1 0
 Well that is great, NOT! RedBull TV is free, I ain't gonna subscribe to Diecovery Sports channel. They will lose half if not more of their viewers. Damn stupid move just because of money.
  • 1 0
 I can’t be the only one to notice Rob not saying ‘look at the time’ at Lourdes. Hope Discovery haven’t trademarked it, but if a dick move if they have and I seriously hope I’m wrong.
  • 2 0
 FAO Discovery Sports - More rounds please since you will be organising everything not just broadcasting by the looks of it.
  • 3 2
 If it does become a paid service, would love to see the money go into improved coverage and more world cup rounds, who knows tho
  • 1 1
 I don’t mind paying for a decent quality broadcast if they keep most of it the same. There could be a few improvements to track coverage. I expect this is not the way it will pan out
  • 7 6
 Pink bike comments: Riders don't get paid enough

Also pink bike comments: I'm not paying to watch DH world cups, they should be free.
  • 16 0
 Good luck if you think the riders will see any of that money.
  • 2 5
 @commental: the smart ones will.
  • 2 1
 @bman33: how will smart ones make money of pay to view DH race? UCI don’t pay athletes and UCI signed the contact to get the money.
  • 2 4
 @mfoga: just like any other athlete in the televised sport. When their contracts are up they can market potential sponsors with beership numbers. Pretty simple
  • 1 0
 That won't go to the riders! Duh.
  • 6 1
 Riders get paid based on how many people see them... they are walking billboards.... put this behind a paywall or cut coverage - less people see them - they earn less. DH dies. The money from this deal will in no way go to the riders.
  • 3 0
 @Karve: exactly, it’s a sponsor driven sport. Rideres will always make their money through endorsements, not from viewers paying to watch. I hope this doesn’t cut their exposure to the point where it hurts them monetarily.
  • 3 1
 Probably can blame those on here that were always whining about the coverage...this is why we cant have nice things.
  • 2 0
 No Rob Warner broadcasting? Not even gonna bother following who wins nevermind watching it.
  • 1 0
 will i be able to watch it whenever i want or will i only be able to watch it live? last thing im gonna do is give up a day of riding to watch other people ride their bikes.
  • 3 0
 Leave it to the UCI to make another poor decision.
  • 2 0
 All you need to know is it’s £6.99 a month for Discovery Sport, so no longer free.
  • 2 0
 There is potential to bring in more money for the athletes, can only wait and see
  • 2 0
 If they don't contract Rob Warner, this could be the beginning of the decline of world cup racing...
  • 1 0
 Well that sucks, wish Outside had picked it up, then I would only have to pay one subscription fee to see all the bike content I like, PB and DH WC !
  • 1 0
 So what is the plan for the US? and Canada? Discovery+ does not have sports on this side of the pond. Come on PB, do some journalism and find out for us.
  • 1 0
 Those explains why there's not going to be another season of FAST LIFE. That series got me heavily invested in DH racing and women's XC.
  • 1 2
 The comments here make me laugh and cringe at the same time.

To the Pinkbike Editors: it is clear that the masses need some education on how the media business works and how the content sausage is made. I think it would be a great service if you wrote about it, and it would save you some heartache from the vapid whining.

To the Masses: share your opinion, but also stick to what you know. I am 100% sure that 99% of you have no clue what you're talking about when it comes to the media world. But that's ok, you're entitled to your opinions and you like free stuff. Understood.

Here's my opinion (informed by my profession at the intersection of technology/media/entertainment): This is good for our sport. Why? It's simple -- Discovery is a content company. That's what they do, and it's what they're good at. They will invest, and they will work to make mountain biking a money maker for them which in turn will give us as fans excellent coverage.

Red Bull on the other hand sells sugar water, and Red Bull Media House is an extremely well funded marketing arm masquerading as a content company. I've been underwhelmed by Red Bull's live production quality. Love their films, don't like their live event coverage. Free is great, sure, but show me another sport with fantastic coverage and production value that is free.

You get what you pay for, always, and there is no free lunch.

Finally, to those commenting to the effect of "ughh, it's always just about money" .... well, yeah. 1) Grow up. 2) It's a professional sport we're talking about. More money flowing into the sport is good for everyone, including the riders and ultimately us as fans.
  • 1 0
 Looking forward to not being able to watch any MTB World Cup races when Discovery puts up the paywall that's obviously coming.
  • 1 0
 They always find a way to f*ck good things up. It'll go behind a paywall, then we'll be paying for even worse content considering Rob Warner won't even be commentating
  • 3 0
 Uh oh
  • 2 1
 Well uci, let’s make sure some of this investment money goes to the World Cup riders and maybe even some events
  • 8 0
 Yes, because time and time again the UCI has shown it´s clear determination to develop the sport and improve conditions for riders ...
  • 3 2
 I mean, the good news is that I can stop guzzling red bull as a form of support for DH racing.
  • 3 5
 As long as Rob Warner is brought on the commentate, I’m not gonna be too upset… Discovery+ is not that expensive and worth it to watch the World Cup (to me anyway). And hey, after the race you can learn how to make a soufflé over on the food network…
  • 2 0
 At least we'll have one more free season of coverage. Sucks.
  • 3 0
 A real shame
  • 2 0
 Keep Warner!!!!! And Free full replays on the app!!!
  • 2 0
 You’ll miss me when I’m gone etc.
  • 1 0
 If you don’t want to pay to watch, I will stream the content and you can drive ad revenue for me
  • 1 0
 i would like to know the viewing figures from RBtv to see if Disco get the same figures. Free tv compared Pay tv
  • 1 0
 Mike Rowe as a commentator If Warner doesn't get picked up he can always start an iheart simultaneous podcast .
  • 1 0
 If it's not free to stream it'll be a disaster. It'll be scouring YouTube for a dodgy upload before it's taken down
  • 1 0
 Discovery owns free to air channels as well… (TV3 in NZ for example).
I for one am hoping that this means WC on TV3.
  • 2 0
 Didn’t Wyn TV win the bid? Noo unbelievable
  • 1 0
 It's look like UCI benefited from it. Always remember that this is a business.
  • 2 0
 Well, I guess I won't be watching world cups anymore. Brutal.
  • 1 0
 Well, i won't pay for watching, and i don't know anyone who would. So we have more time for riding, that's good news!
  • 1 0
 5.99 per month. I will pay..kinda reluctantly for the 5 months, but that is all they are getting from me
  • 2 0
 Roll on 2031!
  • 1 0
 Just gonna stream it and not pay a dime.
  • 1 0
 Couch potatoes that pay to watch...solid plan.
  • 1 0
 Why do people keep mentioning Disney?
  • 1 3
 Because they own Discovery
  • 2 0
 @bman33: source? Because it seems they are publicly traded company on their own and merging with Warner Media (aka AT&T)
  • 1 0
 @mfoga: I stand corrected I saw a different document thinking one of the mergers was with Disney apologies. I'm sure the paint back commentary will still beat me into the ground as if I said evax are wonderful and we should bring back Shimano dual shift brake levers for mountain bike Big Grin
  • 2 1
 @bman33: No they don't. Disney is Merging with WARNER. Disney doesn't own Discovery and no one own Disney. Check your facts.
  • 2 0
 @spaced: Check yours, the post DIRECTLY above yours is mine, admitting my mistake (saying I was wrong). So your smug point is?
  • 1 0
 @bman33: I thought Disney bought National Geographic?
  • 1 0
 @spaced: Disney is not merging with WarnerMedia, that deal fell through in 2016. Discovery is Merging with WarnerMedia, a done deal as of Feb. 9th when approved by US regulators.
  • 1 0
 Wasted Rob for comments and it’s a win!
  • 1 0
 If there is no Rob and Bart I probably will not be interested to watch
  • 1 0
 vipbox.de and lets hope that Rob gets a contract
  • 1 0
 good thing for Brendan Kerr's LSD's during the race season.........
  • 1 0
 who now?
  • 1 0
 I wonder how this will affect rhe Vloggers, Currently there are limitations to what they can show because red bull own the rights to any content during race runs or something. Wonder if discovery will loosen the reins, or maybe restrict them even more...
  • 1 0
 The end of the glory days
  • 2 1
 Capitalism strikes again.. For the love of the sport this time..... Right?
  • 1 0
 They need Warner no Warner no morener.
  • 1 0
 I’m just hoping Warner will still be commentating
  • 1 0
 Will fail when its goes PPV bring back Rockyroad hahahah
  • 2 0
 Fuck the UCI
  • 2 1
 If Warner isn't commentating, it aint worth it
  • 1 0
 You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals
  • 1 0
 F*&K. Everything. About. This.
  • 1 0
 Rob Bull TV! I will pay to watch WC DH racing.
  • 2 1
 ! ! ! B O Y C O T T ! ! !
  • 1 0
 They better keep Rob Warner on the commentary team
  • 1 0
 Maybe they'll do the same as Ews and just have Highlight shows on youtube
  • 1 0
 This'd better be good.
  • 1 1
 Just when I've started to really like red bull.
  • 2 5
 I'm sure it'll be better than what RB have offered, this is bread and butter for Discovery so let's hope they give the coverage it deserves. Having both the EWS and DH on a single network is actually a very good thing imo.
  • 1 0
 Tree hugging network
  • 1 0
 Boooooooo
  • 1 0
 What a joke.
  • 1 0
 But what about Rob?
  • 1 0
 Redbull got robbed.
  • 1 0
 Rocky Roads says hi! Big Grin
  • 2 3
 #Ebikes
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