Discovery Invests in Enduro World Series, Aims to Begin Live Broadcasts

Apr 28, 2021 at 2:12
by James Smurthwaite  
Hattie Harnden continues to crush it in the U21 women class. 1st today with a time that would have put her second in pro women.

Discovery Inc, the owners of the Eurosport TV channels and the Play Sports Network YouTube network, has announced an investment in the Enduro World Series that will help the race series, "begin the journey towards live production."

Up until now, EWS fans have relied on recaps and highlights to get their fix of the racing action but now that Dicovery Inc holds equity in Enduro Sports Organisation Ltd, the company that owns and operates EWS and EWS-E, it is hoping to allow them enjoy the races in real-time instead.

bigquotesI’m incredibly proud to announce this new step for the Enduro World Series and our company and staff team.

The integrity of sport and staying true to the culture of mountain biking and mountain bike racing have always been central to our mission. From the very first meeting I had with our new partners at Play Sports Group, it was clear that we had a deep and shared passion for the sport and a vision for developing cutting edge and worldwide broadcast technologies.

Together, and with the full backing of Discovery, Inc and Eurosport, we will build a platform to bring the athletes, teams, destinations, technology and drama to fans around the world using the very latest of innovations in broadcast. It’s been an incredible journey to this point and I thank the riders, fans, teams and partners for the support to this day - but this is just the beginning.
Chris Ball, Managing Director of the Enduro Sports Organisation


bigquotesDiscovery and its leading sports media brands have long been the Home of Cycling. Our investment in EWS fits nicely with that positioning and adds to our growing events business. EWS will be able to tap into Discovery’s global network and 360° offer that can help grow a sport both commercially and in terms of audience. We’re looking forward to bringing our commercial expertise, technology and distribution networks to scale the EWS product further.”Andrew Georgiou, President, Eurosport and Global Sports Rights & Sports Marketing Services

More info, here.


109 Comments

  • 83 0
 That sure will be a challenge, but kudus to them!
Now, how would that be? A series of camera spots like in DH skiing + drones?
Onboard cameras?
I think there's room for some really nice footage and coverage. Some venues will definitely benefit from the exposure and angle shots.
looking fwd!!
  • 54 0
 The WRC make it work, and the distances are far bigger. I expect you won't see the totality of anyone's run, it'll just be a running commentary of the event with standings updates.
  • 5 0
 @redrook: I can imagine the technology will exist to allow the viewer to follow one or more rider at a time and switch whenever they want. I think we had something similar last year with Crankworx - whatever it was there were four screens to choose from. I tried watching all four at once and it wasn't enjoyable but it could be nice to follow a certain rider down a certain stage and then switch to someone else.
  • 37 1
 @redrook: The thing is, with WRC I actually prefer the highlights shows...
  • 9 11
 Being studying, producing and designing some MTB shows for TV, I would strongly recommend for live coverage, to bring the CG into real time on the stage... So the spectator could visualize the head of the race, and more rider fight to fight on the track with real over takings... etc.. Other ways for general masses the format 1+1+1 can be boring... for live broadcast visualize the head of the race is key... so first rider goes then second rider goes after the gap on the CG and so on... I know some will hate me for proposing this cause there would be real fight and more risk on the track riders overtaking themselves... but damm if they are professionals the best show should be delivered.

All the specials packed with interviews and sum them up prior to the last stage in real live.. Then you would have packed this 1h or so of pure emotion visualizing how the head of the race goes...

There was an Enduro in France, which something similar was delivered into the last stage and the images were impressive...
  • 8 0
 EUROVISION!!
  • 1 0
 @LlamaLlama: There is no reason outside of it being an "unnecessary" cost that this shouldn't be the standard in every major motorsport series. I have no idea why me viewing Formula 1 should be any different than me viewing a video game version of Formula 1.
  • 1 3
 @LlamaLlama: maybe when starlink is fully functional. I can see a day when riders have a satlinked gopro and you can watch them. then later watch a composite race stitched together with all the footage. would be pretty immersive
  • 6 0
 Think of golf coverage with a mix of live and near live shots utilizing a series of different angles. These will be fixed points with a few manned cameras and a lot of drone shots in the more open sections. Combine this with F1's mandatory onboard cameras where FIA owns the feeds from those cameras and it starts to get close to the possibilities.
  • 3 27
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Apr 28, 2021 at 7:18) (Below Threshold)
 Let's all just hope they prioritize the e bike racing over the non e bike boring stuff.
  • 5 1
 Ed Balls
  • 6 0
 @redrook: I always thought that it would be cool to run the Queen's Stage as the last stage of the race and live broadcast that similar to the WRC with the final SS of the weekend. Basically copy the WRC model, prior day race-recaps with a live final stage.
  • 3 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: what is more interesting to you about ebike racing? Personally, I find the downhill parts much more engaging, so it doesn’t really matter how the transfer stage went and if there was a motor involved. If you haven’t seen it, I think you’d be surprised how engaging a non motorized EWS race stage can be.
  • 2 0
 @curendero: oh no...will I still be able to watch now we’re not in the EU?

Seriously looking forward to it though if it happens
  • 7 0
 @mikemartinson: starting to think doublecrownaddict is ed masters or something. No way is this a genuine person
  • 2 0
 @salespunk: FOM owns the feeds from the cameras. Which is my one worry, that the EWS themselves have to sign over almost all media rights to make this possible
  • 2 0
 @PauRexs: not sure why the down votes, but what's Cedric Gracia got to do with it?
  • 1 0
 @Philt32: I forgot about that...We soon shall see or not see?
  • 1 0
 @Lloydmeister: We know you know that we know he means computer graphics.... Razz
  • 2 0
 @Lloydmeister: I am completely fine with polarizing opinion... I guess I am out the box with popular/conservative thinking. Sorry I mean General Classification GC
  • 1 0
 @PauRexs: I agree. Cedric Gracia would make this format way more watchable. As is, the multi-day format is best reported in a newspaper. Not enough urgency.
  • 48 0
 I hope this doesn't end up like the UCI and World Champs with geo blocking and having to have cable subscription packages to be able to watch it in the US.
  • 33 0
 That was my first reaction to this. Yes it's great overall for the EWS, but geo blocking and the need for a cable account change nothing for me personally. I haven't had cable in over a decade and the EWS doesn't change that. Please EWS, don't make me pirate this.
  • 8 0
 of course it will, its eurosport and discovery. I think that is one thing you can count on. The days of freecaster are long gone, and this isnt redbull.
  • 5 0
 Got your Discovery+ subscription up to date? Me either, and likely won't ever.
  • 10 1
 VPN, bruv
  • 5 0
 I'd find a way to watch. It's MTB racing, FFS! Glad to hear someone is finally taking a stab at 'beginning the journey to live production' The journey sounds long and ad-ridden, however......
  • 2 0
 It'll come out on a service like GCN+ - they already have most of the road cycling on that service. GMBN was supposed to have done the 2020 season, so expect a GMBN+ or similar service to be released, or it'll just be shoe-horned in with GCN+. Yes there is a small cost for a subscription, but you get more than just racing content.
  • 66 28
 I guess now we will all get to see who's water bottle Richie is drinking out of, in real time!
  • 2 0
 My Team Disco jerseys are now back in fashion!
  • 3 0
 28 people and counting have an embarrassing understanding of basic humour.
+1 @conoat
  • 20 2
 it will be very impressive if they get this right. the WRC poses a lot of the same challenges with live broadcasting and I'm not sure if they ever got that one right, just too much happening at the same time in different places.
  • 26 0
 At worse case scenario, it will be some limited coverage vs current no coverage, which sounds like a plus already. Best case scenario they take advantage of all the current tech in streaming, drones, etc. Rally racing is a very good comparison indeed
  • 2 0
 In WRC they've traditionally used helicopters (although this is changing), and you're limited by how many you can use in a given area. However, this is 2021 and drone technology is evolving rapidly, so on more open (i.e. alpine, fewer trees, etc.) races I don't see why you can't have some pretty good grid-coverage utilizing drones/skilled operators with some strategically placed ground cameramen.
  • 17 0
 I'd be happy with "not quite live" if it meant getting some on board footage - ie, producer at bottom of stage, swaps out memory card from rider's cameras, footage then spliced together for broadcast.
As the early starters will be on to stage 2, 3 etc before some riders start, I wonder how they will break up the fotage, will we follow the top riders all day?
  • 5 0
 Don't need it these days. There's the tech now that can stream live back to producer through go pros over cellular network/satellite.

It's used in alot of Motorsports racing and on places where camera cable runs are silly and unachievable.

Relatively cheap and works with 5g. Barely any delay at all.
  • 2 1
 @originalstraygoat: How big and heavy is it, there must be a limit to what racers would voluntarily strap to their heads. Interested to see how it works out though.
  • 8 0
 I am excited about this, hopefully it will be freely streamable and not geolocked. I really hope for some coverage like the DH World cups on RedBullTV.
  • 10 0
 If they are doing quality live coverage, it's very unlikely to be freely streamable.
What the article hasn't mentioned (possibly because they are rivals to PB) is that Discovery also own GMBN & GCN - so I'd imagine they'll continue to surface a certain amount of free content via GMBN.
But Eurosport's road racing coverage is paid subscription either direct or via GCN, so they're likely to follow the same model IMO.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: good to know, I won't pay for that. Sad that they are also following to football FiFA crap..
  • 4 0
 @Serpentras: I'm making assumptions obviously, but the reason Red Bull's DH coverage is free is because they are marketing their own product with it.
Discovery are a more traditional media operation, but they must realise there's less appetite to pay for coverage among MTBers than road biking fans (and there's sooooo much road racing that nobody watches it all anyway).
  • 9 0
 @chakaping: time to get out the eye patch and wooden leg I guess
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: Wait, wasn't the official ews recaps, last year anyhow, already made by GMBN? I wonder if this will affect other media's coverage? Like pb, vital, and team videos. I sure hope not!
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: Seems like they are developing their existing commercial relationship further. They would be silly not to continue with a certain amount of "teaser" content such as recaps to drive interest in live coverage (if they are going that way), and they would be highly unlikely to interfere significantly with other outlets' non-video coverage - because that coverage will also build interest in the series.
But I'm wary of putting two and two together and making five, it might be naive to expect anything like as sophisticated as their road racing or WRC coverage.
  • 1 2
 @chakaping: I didn’t know that. I was hoping this was going to get gmbn out of the way and back to their children’s YouTube stuff. Coverage was better before gmbn got involved imho
  • 5 1
 @CM999: I think GMBN have the potential to do something really good with it, if they got Martyn Ashton hosting and Steve Jones as a pundit - but I'm not sure how likely that is. Perhaps they could see about getting T-Mo in as well.
Personally I find the EWS's own coverage quite difficult to engage with, as I'm irritated by Ric's bombastic presenting style and the formulaic and limited nature of the video coverage (though the latter will obviously change with more investment).
  • 3 0
 @CM999: It's the same team making the content. So despite being hosted on GMBN, it's still all the same guys creating the videos as the previous years!
  • 10 0
 Not signing up for Discovery+
  • 7 1
 But how will you watch exclusive Sister Wives content; behind the scenes footage of the 90 Day Fiance; or the 12 shows by Chip and Joanna Gaines? I mean, they have some quality programming you're going to miss out on without evening mentioning EWS events.
  • 5 0
 @Counsel: You have a point in that I may need to keep up with the Gaines cult. How else will I learn to use shiplap when redecorating my dog's crate?
  • 1 0
 I was thinking the same thing. Can’t get away from these discovery+ ads these days.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: same thing for Paramount +. There more ads they push, the more I dig in to not get it.
  • 1 0
 @matadorCE: I don’t see those too much. I watch the science channel a lot so I’m just bombarded by the discovery+ ads.
  • 6 1
 To echo what others have already stated: this will change the race courses to suit TV camera placement and the fundamental nature of the race will change.

Example: XC races have changed to many short loops (instead of 2-3 big loops) to provide camera coverage and a single spectator location (and beer garden). What used to be a race up the biggest climb in the area is now a cyclocross race writ large and has little to do with how most MTBers ride.

So, instead of the off-into-the-wild rides that the current EWS courses go on, with the rawest and most rugged trails included as the race course, we will see race tracks selected for ease of access for a camera crew (race track along or crossing a road, basically) and the absolute best trail will not necessarily be considered.

I do not envision a video production crew taking risks on NOT PRODUCING a video by utilizing new tech. They will do the tried-and-true fixed cameras to provide some coverage, and count on some coverage being better than no coverage (the current situation).

And when the choice is made between keeping the races as we know them and making the videographers jump through hoops OR changing the courses to make the video possible, the race course is going to be the one to give.

Hopefully the races aren’t altered enough that the essential appeal of the racing is lost!
  • 3 0
 awesome. Hopefully it's better than Redbull. The DH live coverage really needs to improve. I remember waking up at 2am to watch Steve Smith live and being super frustrated with the streaming. Man I miss Steve....
  • 2 0
 Outside of maybe including more riders in the coverage, I think the Redbull DH broadcasts are very good. I'm curious what you think is so bad about it?
  • 1 0
 @sino428: the streaming was laggy, too many annoying ads and it cut out randomly. I'd rather watch a live YouTube stream
  • 1 0
 @giantwhip: 5 or 6 years ago? The coverage has improved quite a bit since then.
  • 3 0
 as long as they keep the courses gnarly and don't do with WC DH did just for the sake of getting the run on camera this is a good thing. #keepewscoursesgnarly
  • 1 0
 Did Discovery go independent when Fox corp broke up and Disney bought Nat Geo?
I expect EWS will go on the same format as the road tours on GCN + race pass if its linked to the play sports network. A new GMBN+ app?
  • 1 0
 There seems to be many complaints about geoblocking. Best solution, buy a VPN for 5USD a month and you have solved all geoblocking issues on all sites once and forever. It's also a good idea security-wise.
  • 2 0
 There's still a potential paywall to deal with in this instance though. Not that there's anything wrong with paying for content.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: Yea people will bitch about having to pay to watch a race, then turn around and complain that the riders don't get paid enough.
  • 2 0
 @sino428: something tells me Tunnelbear doesn't pay Kate Courtney's salary...
  • 2 0
 @spaceofades: people wonder why pro athletes in other sports main stream sports get paid so much and mountain bikers get shit. It’s because those are spectator sports where people will pay to watch the games. Wether it be buying a ticket or paying for cable/streaming so they can watch it at home. But ask for people to pay to watch a race live stream or pay for a ticket to the race and and it’s ‘f*ck the UCI’ or ‘f*ck red bull’ or I need a VPN to get around the paywall, etc.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: well if I look at Moto sports , most of them are not behind a paywal
  • 2 0
 Wow this should be big for the sport. That's really cool, and hopefully the result is as good as it sounds! YEEWWW!!!! \m/ Big Grin
  • 1 1
 Unless they have invented new tech……. Here is how it’s going to go. They are now in charge because bigger bank will take control. They will change the sport to fit tv. Ie in 5 years ews will be a dh event on wide open downhill bmx courses.
  • 2 0
 Well hopefully Discovery does it well and broadcasts it all around the world compared to how Redbull/UCI cut out important races to certain countries
  • 1 0
 Just to clarify, Redbull doesn't exclude countries, the UCI does. The UCI owns the right to their events and they sell it to 3rd parties to broadcast. When its blocked in a certain country it means UCI sold the rights in that country's to someone other than Redbull.
  • 2 0
 Sounds like a great partnership. Hopefully, it will be better for the EWS and they will show some better TV coverage of the EWS, but we will see.
  • 1 0
 Did anyone see the drone footage of the natural selection snowboarding comp recently. Drones following riders where there is no defined course, if they could pull off something like that it would be awesome.
  • 2 1
 Awesome! Would be amazing if they could turn it into a simlar spectacle like Red Bull DH coverage. I would happily pay for it if they can.
  • 4 1
 subscribe now for only 99$ a month
  • 1 0
 Very interesting news - these guys know what they are doing and are arguably the best in the biz. Personally I'm hoping we get Carlton Kirby and Sean Kelly on the commentary.
  • 3 0
 Will I need to get a special enduro rated tv now?
  • 1 0
 This is probably the most difficult mtb Event to Cover. Multiple riders on different stages. Would be really great if the coverage is good
  • 3 0
 Hopefully they dont pick Pat Parnell to do the commentary...
  • 2 0
 Idk how that guy has announced various action sports events for over 20 years since the 90s and STILL every time he does a bike event it sounds like he’s never seen a bike before.
  • 1 0
 @yoitsrobj: Lol.. He's such a tool
  • 1 0
 I heard they are getting one of the Kardashians to do the commentary.
  • 2 0
 Did I miss in this press release, what season this pertains to? 21? or beyond? exciting news none the less.
  • 2 0
 Since 21 is virtually here and this is just coming out it won't be this year. But an influx of interest in creating more coverage can only be a good thing!
  • 1 0
 Live coverage of multi day events is overkill for me, quality highlights of cool riding without loads of interviews or annoying music is what’s required.
  • 3 0
 This is great news!
  • 2 0
 About time someone discovered EWS.
  • 2 0
 great news!!! more covarege, more exposure, more sponsors for athlets
  • 1 0
 Damn, as a filmmaker that would be a sick job! (hopes somebody from the following companies reads this)
  • 1 0
 Discovery has the chops to do it well IF they allocate enough resources to production crews. Can't wait to see this!
  • 2 0
 This is a game changer.
  • 1 0
 Best news this year, even better than my 4 m dollar lottery win!
  • 2 0
 Team discovery channel!
  • 1 0
 So help me god if I need a VPN to watch these cause im in the US
  • 1 0
 THIS MADE MY FREAKIN DAY!!!
  • 1 0
 With the latest bike boom this is great timing!
  • 1 0
 Is this the same Discovery that runs the Dr Pimple Popper show?
  • 2 0
 #WINNING!
  • 1 0
 all I can say is: FCK YEAH!
  • 1 0
 Have it on ESPN or NBC sports
  • 1 0
 SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!!!
  • 1 0
 Will it be available online for free just like RedBull tv?

Hope so..
  • 1 0
 Good News!
  • 1 0
 Great stuff!
  • 1 0
 That's awesome
  • 1 0
 Just WOW
  • 1 0
 Cool.
  • 1 0
 excellent news.
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