Opinion: Red Bull's Impact on Mountain Bike Racing is Understated

Oct 12, 2022 at 12:01
by Matt Wragg  
Third for Vali Holl as she chips away at the top. The hunt continues in Snowshoe.
Vali Holl en route to a podium. Photo: Andy Vathis

Words: Matt Wragg

We're optimistic about the future of DH with Discovery, but let us not forget who got us here.

In the comments for the news article about Discovery winning the rights to the UCI World Cup coverage earlier this year, there is one thing lacking: people saying thank you to Red Bull. In fact, of the 400+ comments, I only saw six of them directly acknowledging what Red Bull has done for mountain bike racing.

We should. Red Bull took the mess that was World Cup coverage and made it professional. Yes, some small part of me still misses a drunk Rob Warner happily shouting about whatever crossed his mind, but it’s rose-tinted nostalgia. The fact is that the World Cup is far better today for Red Bull’s investment.

bigquotesRed Bull has done great things for us. Without them, we wouldn’t even be here anymore.Benno Willeit, Specialized Global Racing

When I interviewed the head of Specialized’s global racing programs, Benno Willeit, last year, he summed it up like this: “Red Bull has done great things for us. Without them, we wouldn’t even be here anymore. I mean the times of Freecaster, Rocky Roads … That didn’t work out. Red Bull saved our arses many, many times. But at the same time, I do think that right now we have the riders, in cross-country, in downhill, we have proper idols out there that inspire other people to do what we do, what they do. There is a huge industry behind us. There must be a way to get a bigger piece of the cake than we currently do and make it to the next step professionally.”

There’s the rub, the big question: Was Red Bull a big enough player to take the sport to the next level?

Before you point out the company’s drinks empire, F1 team, and everything else, yes, Red Bull is successful. But when we talk about media clout, they are not in the same league as Discovery. While a quick Wikipedia search will tell you that Discovery takes around twice as much revenue per year as Red Bull, that misses an important point of detail. Red Bull makes their money doing many different things, manufacturing energy drinks is not a small part of that number, while Discovery does one thing: media.

Many people don’t realize that Eurosport (a channel operated by Discovery since 2015) held some rights for World Cup DH in the past. Si Paton used to commentate for them and got to see the live viewing numbers. He last commentated a decade ago, and recalls clearly, “I remember one race when the World Cup followed the MotoGP. I was in the studio, where you get live viewing figures. I was in the booth and you had the announcement, ‘World Cup downhill follows after the break’ They had 10 million plus people watching the MotoGP and you could see more than half of them switch off as they said that, but that still left several million people watching the race. People who maybe hadn’t heard of DH before and thought, ‘That sounds interesting.’ My next door neighbor has no interest in DH, but he came to me to chat about it as he watched it after the Moto GP. That’s where the value is, that is when he found out about the Athertons, Danny Hart, and that kind of mainstream recognition is a huge deal.”

The most recent viewing figures we have for the Red Bull series are from 2019, and they show just how great a job Red Bull did. When figures were previously released in 2015, the series pulled in around one million cumulative viewers over the season. By 2019, that had increased ten-fold to 10.8 million viewers. However, in total Red Bull’s footage from World Cups reached 82 million people via TV syndication including live summaries, recap programs, short reports or news. The implication is stark: Under the current arrangement only around an eighth of the total audience is from the marquee broadcast.

When we talk about Discovery, most people will assume the World Cups would return to Eurosport, which is understandable. After all, Eurosport will likely carry the races to a mainstream European audience, which would bring the bulk of the viewers. However, in the modern world, there are more options available, the racing will likely be split onto a couple of platforms that can be broadcast around the world, namely the GCN Race Pass.

Today it costs €40 per year for ad-free coverage of pretty much everything in pro-road racing, with app-specific shows for insight and analysis. It gives them a space to offer more nuanced (and ad-free) coverage than they can on a linear TV channel. At the moment that skews heavily toward road cycling, largely because mountain biking doesn’t put out much broadcast content that they could show. When they did have the rights, the Olympic XCO, Olympic BMX, and European XCO Championships were all on Race Pass last year.

With our State of the Sport Survey last year, we were shocked to see how badly paid many racers are. Surely we all want more, better racing, to see racers paid properly, fancy camera angles, and sharp analysis? If we want to change that, the sport needs to change and grow. We need more people watching the races to attract more sponsorship money from outside the sport. To think change can happen without more money coming into the sport is just magical thinking. If you are not convinced, ask someone like Rob Warner how the pay checks were the last time the sport had mainstream recognition in the Grundig days.

Maybe this Discovery deal will work out, maybe not, but it looks a lot like a step in the right direction if we want the sport to grow. And if you’re not happy with the commentary, why is nobody doing what UFC fans do and finding a way to offer alt-commentary? [Ed. note: should we get Henry and Levy all hopped up on energy drinks and make this happen?]

This is a big change for the sport, and it is normal to be nervous when things are changing. Through all that, we should not forget to say thank you to Red Bull as they have done so much for mountain bike racing.


100 Comments

  • 113 4
 The Red bull era for our sport will be looked back on in 10 years as being the best for DH. I genuinely wish Discovery the best of luck but struggle to see how they will reach that community vibe Red bull cultivated so well.
  • 17 35
flag scott-townes (Oct 17, 2022 at 12:27) (Below Threshold)
 Freecaster was better.

I signed up for Discovery+

People were saying the same shit for freeriding and its still here and better than ever.

This story and discussion will be meaningless in ten years.

Bump in ten years for proof.
  • 12 9
 Its narrow minded to call it the Red Bull era.
Red Bull always has been a huge part of mtb and that drive and enthusiasm is why mtb is what it is today. Just short of 25 years ago Red Bull were sponsoring mtb street decent races through my university campus. Racers in that went on to do very well nationally and onward into enduro.
Red Bull continues in the areas of mtb that remain exciting and represent that ‘crazy risk’ that they have always stood for - Hardline, Rampage, etc. UCI racing is mundane and uninteresting compared to that.
See it a different way. Bodhi and his gang would have been sponsored by Red Bull if it existed. No robbing banks. No Johny Utah Wink
  • 7 2
 The point of the article is that growth (more $ for teams and racers, larger audiences both televised and on-site) requires change. No, you won't have the ma-and-pa atmosphere anymore. But that is sort of the point. The plan is not to keep things as they are.
  • 7 0
 @WaterBear: ma and pa? DH is a corporate sponsored circus...
  • 56 2
 it's probably hard to explain to Europeans...but Americans rank cycling somewhere below watching bowling on TV...no sports loving american can probably name one cyclist other than Lance Armstrong and while lots of people ride...it doesn't have even a fraction of the following it does across the Atlantic. That being said...Americans will tune in to watch someone huck meat off a 60ft cliff any day of the week. So for that, we thank Redbull at least.
  • 14 0
 To add, hopefully Rampage being streamed on ESPN+ brings in a whole new crowd of viewers to mountain biking and hopefully to the racing side as well. Being limited to Red Bull TV kind of held MTB from the mainstream eyes because honestly no one watches Red Bull TV except adrenaline junkies themselves who are already aware of such sports. Its like preaching to the choir.
  • 3 0
 @MTBfloat: well said, yessir.
  • 10 0
 I am sure I am not the only one hear who has a random coworker stop them and ask "something something flying off that cliff in Utah, those guys are crazy!"

That is all they know about MTB.
  • 28 0
 Rumour has it that RedBull dropped UCI DH to pick up the Bowling World Series. You heard it here first.
  • 7 0
 @mi-bike: RedBull Bowlarama
  • 20 0
 @mi-bike: Red Bull Hard Bowl Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: rampage jumps are actually being manicured for the bowling rampage to follow.
  • 31 0
 'there wasnt even thanks to red bull on an article about discovery'

ehh wha? there werent enough tangents and off topic discussion on an article? thats a first for a complaint.

Look up any article actually about RB or go on their youtube and its DRIPPING with ppl tearfully groveling at RB to stay in the sport, make their own tour, and continue their great work. lets not act like its an underrated secret that RB basically created the WC viewing experience from the ground up...
  • 18 0
 absolutely, what a strange gripe.
it's safe to infer that when fans say, "don't f*ck this up, Discovery," we're saying that it's worth not f*cking up.
and so far, they're f*cking it up.
  • 1 0
 I doubt they will be willing to do that because it’s alot more expensive to put a series together and get all the events organised that just film an event organised by others. Then there is the small matter of who will turn up. Crankworx whistler doesn’t get very many of the top dh riders turn up. The World Cup will remain the focus
  • 22 0
 This is a funny one.

Red Bull has its own niche, that sometimes is also very mainstream. If we take downhill as an example, which again is kind of a niche you can only understand that it gets limited space to be projected in a certain limited area of interests.

Some people are aware of these sports, but maybe not so much about the timing and places where to watch. Seeing the timeslots these events are in, they often compete with giants in other sports categories, so it's not easy to have people tune in, while maybe their other favorite sport is on, or about to come on.

I tried to watch the broadcasts with different people and loads of them don't have the click with the sport and kind of wonder off after a while (no matter how much Rob was screaming them down)

Red Bull upped the downhill broadcast by a mile, or even 10. On the other hand it feels like it still could be loads and loads better. Overall they made the fanbase for this sport bigger each year it seems.

Red Bull Hardline is good example of what a Red Bull broadcast can look like, which has hardly any gaps in between shots being transferred on to another. Due to the livelyhood of the events it's still a trick to catch everything in a proper way.

What I'm trying to say is that sports broadcasts in general have gone to a very high quality overall. From the indepth interviews with the folks competing, to graphs, live stats and all kinds of stuff we are used to see while watching the live-transmission. With so many sports on air, I wonder how far Discovery wants to go, to get the upper hand on others.

Thanks Red Bull!
  • 18 5
 I am always a bit conflicted about Red Bull, I don’t like the drink, but they have done so much for sports I love (MTB and motors sports).
  • 5 2
 @lewiscraik: I'd hope your enjoyment of MTB and motorsports trumps the apparent lack of enjoyment of their energy drink? Pretty hilarious
  • 9 0
 @lewiscraik: the same for me. Love the company and what they do for sports, but can't stand the cube of sugar dissolved in Chernobyl cooling water they call a sports drink. I'd rather pay them for sports, discard the drink and get a glass of tap water.
  • 7 0
 I like that Red Bull actually cares for their athletes (with their own medical center when they're injured) and they've supported some groundbreaking events since the very start. Rampage, Hardline, Pumptrack World Tour... These are groundbreaking events. And the sport would have looked very different if it weren't for them.
  • 5 1
 @vinay: I agree with the medical cover but RB only to an interest in dh racing because it was cheap marketing to the right demographic
  • 2 0
 @chrismac70: and so? Can't it be a win-win situation? Especially if they show true commitment and interest?
  • 3 2
 @Mac1987: I don’t believe they have any commitment to the sport, its a marketing method, no different to advertising on the TV only a lot cheaper
  • 3 0
 @CM999: still, you don't need medical support to do the marketing. A lot of sports show governing bodies not caring about the athletes (see 24 races a year for F1, which drivers unanimously opposed but still seems to be the plan). There's a wrong and a right way of doing it, and as far as I can tell, Red Bull tries to do it the right way.
  • 2 0
 @lewiscraik: surprising they didn't release some proper healthy drink for athletes I would buy just to suport but not with that chemical bomb...
  • 2 0
 @PauRexs: I believe that there is “water in Red Bull cans” for athletes.
  • 3 0
 @PauRexs: Healthier drink in a more environmental friendly packaging.
  • 22 0
 “Opinion: Red Bulls impact on mountain bike racing is understated“ followed by an op piece on why Discovery is in a better place to support the sport. Is that a bait and switch?
  • 19 0
 I saw on the other news site, V____ that discovery channel had a big round of layoffs....thats encouraging.
  • 8 1
 it's called "restructuration" pretty popular with businesses in 2022 haha
  • 4 7
 VeloNews is part of the same Outside conglomerate...you don't have to censor it.
  • 6 0
 @Jamminator: the other V____ website...
  • 2 0
 Was that the September 13 announcement of 100 layoffs related to getting some cost savings in ad sales after a merger? I found that on Variety's website, which also starts with a V. I don't know if that is particularly to be concerned about here but we will see.
  • 2 0
 @The-Foiling-Optimist: discovery / hbo / warner / whatever else they are has been a punchline for the past few months in the entertainment industry...I swear these mofos could drop MTB in an instant in their next metaverse conference call
  • 5 0
 @owl-X: I did a bit more googling and there are a bunch more layoffs associated with the merger including on the production side. I also read somewhere recently that there have been some regulatory changes enabling some of this which people have argued is generally a disaster for film and TV making. I am worried that mtb racing is now caught up in a larger financial drama where chaos may reign and we will just be a casualty. Never invoke conspiracy when incompetence can explain everything.
  • 1 0
 @The-Foiling-Optimist: yeah, definitely scary to think MTB is in these weirdos' hands. People in the entertainment industry will scrap a project--even an established success--just because it wasn't theirs. So many "what happened to that show?" questions are answered by simply "oh, new guy came in and brought his own stuff." They're that crazy combo of arrogant and money-driven that never makes anything better...
Their lack of communication has me fearing there's not even a "they," to be frank.
I had some problems with Red Bull's coverage but I still felt they were covering something that existed on its own...maybe they had me fooled? I dunno. Reading how Disco's rumored first moves make it all less real, less legit, less covering a race that was gonna happen anyways vs producing some exciting reality based two wheeled human stories or whatever...bums me out. Rampage and Hardline bore me for that reason: they feel very in-house, a produced event vs covering a race. Disco's approach seems like that. I want more more more!
I guess we'll see.
Where's our man Chris Ball? Time seems ripe for another AMA...
  • 15 0
 Great article, thought provoking!
As Matt said I commentated for Eurosport at the same time Rob Warner was dropping the one liners on Freecaster.

100% respect to RedBull, they’ve done an amazing g job that we all would of liked to see them continue with.

What is interesting is ‘back in the day’, when the coverage was more mainstream, we saw a wealth of out of industry sponsors; Volvo Cannondale, Mercedes Marin, Ford Kona, Chevrolet GT etc..
This allowed Pro riders to seriously increase their pay packets. That can only be a good thing right? Let’s wait and see..
  • 26 11
 Red Bull created the culture of the sport. Hopefully that culture will last and be carried on through whatever media team is in charge. Thanks, Red Bull. Thanks, Rob.
  • 35 0
 Did they create a "culture" or did they invest in marketing and make something that already existed accessible? I am not in any way trashing or disparaging their contribution. I have ridden forever and without them, I would not have watched any DH. I am afraid of what next season will bring.
  • 15 0
 @jmhills: Strictly speaking in terms of the experience of viewing world cup racing, I like to think they created the vibe. And even if they didn't "create" it, I think Red Bull did a good job of taking an existing culture, putting people from that culture front and center and allowed it to thrive.
  • 9 0
 @ct0413: That is what they are good at. They take the "extreme" stuff, and put it in front of people in ways that are appealing. That is something EWS has not done, and probably never will be able to do.
  • 1 0
 People have been riding bikes off road since there have been bikes, but I'd counter that the culture and vibe of the pastime was started on Mt Tam in the 1970's. Winch your way to the top of a hill somehow (ride up on a normal bike / Broped etc or shuttle), and shred down.
  • 11 0
 Who’s optimistic about the future of DH under Discovery?

Unless there’s been some massive press release I’ve missed no on seems to actually know what it will be other than rumours of reduced rider numbers and increased costs.
  • 7 0
 Ironic that motogp was brough up in the article, as that's also a sport that's struggling for viewers compared to its heyday. What's the point of Discovery having the rights if it's still paywalled? The days pf over the air broadcasting to get a ton of eyeballs (and sponsors) has been over for a good while.

Thank you to Redbull for providing awesome *free* coverage for all those years. There would not be mountain biking as we know it today without you.
  • 6 1
 I'm not optimistic at all about discovery doing DH. I think it will be a shit show from top to bottom. As far as how high quality mainstream sport is now. Well the actual picture quality is very good now but the rest of it is worst ever IMHO. I can't stomach the NFL anymore or Nascar.
  • 5 0
 Red Bull did indeed do a huge amount for MTB racing following the mess of Freecaster, etc

The success of the current sport is a lot down to them, they've built the base for the sport to kick on and become far more successful. I still think they could have done more, but weren't able to; whether that is DH Qualifying live, or the U23 XC races live.....

And somebody has already made the point, where are the non bike industry sponsors? That is something that needs to be rectified. And is it any wonder when there may be only 9 World Cups in a season? What sponsor would be satisfied with that?

It won't be a popular comparison, but look at road racing; a sponsor will get far more exposure in a month than a whole season of MTB racing......
  • 4 0
 Other than putting the coverage on Europort and making us North Americans buy super annoying online packages otherwise full of stuff we don't want, I have no seen anyone articulate how the pie is really to be grown. Do they really think there's a lot of latent interest of the sort that Drive to Survive was able to reveal for F1? World Cup racing is already a lot more open than F1 so you'd have to imagine there's great value in packaging essentially the existing social media we already have and getting that to a wide audience. Sure, bring on Wyn Masters and the Jenna Hastings LSD on Eurosport but really? These sorts of channels by the way really underline that you'll not get much drama if you reduce the number of racers, since a huge part of the interest is around emerging personalities.
I can say that I was also peripherally around in the Grundig era, and as one of the chief organizers of the 1994 and 2001 Vail World Championships once told me, it really was a case of they came, they saw, and they went home. There was a fad element in that there was suddenly a lot of interest, that peaked in 1994, and that brought in a lot of mainstream sponsorship. But the audience ebbed away pretty fast and the sponsors left. Even when cross country was added to the Olympics for 1996, people were talking about that would "save" mountain biking. (It didn't). So I'm just super unclear how you recapture the magic unless just getting it in front of a big audience will.
Another thing I don't understand is why it has to be RedBull vs Discovery in that RedBull is first a sponsor and second a media production entity. If Discovery was willing to invest in getting it to a larger audience, why couldn't they work together?
  • 1 0
 Because they do the same thing. Discovery paid for the right to the broadcast, Redbull isn’t going to help them.

I would not be surprised to see Redbull still sponsor the World Cup in some capacity but that’s a separate deal than also also being the broadcaster.
  • 3 0
 @sino428: That would assume RedBull Media House is an actual profit center for RedBull, as opposed to an internal marketing entity. That could be the case but I find that surprising as their only advertiser is RedBull.
  • 3 0
 @The-Foiling-Optimist: no you are right. From what I understand Redbull media is mainly just an internal marketing entity.
  • 3 0
 As awesome as DH is, it will always be a niche sport with a fairly limited audience. Most people grow up with some experience playing football, basketball or soccer, making those easier to understand and more enjoyable to watch. I'd be open to paying a reasonable amount for a season pass to watch DH, if they do a good job. F1, MotoGP and other sports are doing a good job providing tons of coverage for their events. Imagine being able to watch the race and then pick with riders to see on-board footage of the sketchiest and gnarliest parts of their runs.
  • 3 0
 @scotlanddownhill
I believe that’s for the World Champs in Scotland next year. To date only a handful of people know where the UCI DH Workd Cup series is going to be viewed, but they ain’t spilling the beans just yet..!
  • 4 2
 Without Red Bull, XC races would still last 2.5 hours where endurance is key, the tracks wouldn't look all the same with artificial rockgarden, short climbs where only power counts, no turns or jumps sponsored by a brand of car or eyewear and XCC would have remained just a bad dream for most XC racers. XC would be dead.
  • 1 0
 It's now XCO, the older XC as was, is now Marathon....
  • 2 0
 To be fair, I feel like I've seen a sudden massive upsurge of support for Red Bull since the Discovery thing was announced. I've seen hundreds of comments thanking Red Bull for a fantastic decade (even if they didnt film enough of the track and introduced too many jumps :p). Often followed by comments about the Discovery takeover that didnt exactly strike me as "optimistic".

And to think I normally agree with nearly everything you write @mattwragg, haha
  • 4 2
 Meh... IDK. Its more like stunt biking than mountain biking. Sure is entertaining (until someone gets hurt). Its sort of like a monster truck event is to off-roading... Its the most extreme version of the sport, but not something people see themselves doing.

I think MTB's potential is akin to snow skiing. Best bet is to get more events into the Olympics, and more women... particularly an attractive one to do some commercials.
  • 2 0
 I absolutely agree the RedBull DH and XC coverage has had an impact - at least on me. Watching those races back in 2013 rekindled my interest in DH and made me want to get back into DH riding/racing after a 10 year absence.

I would get up at the ass-crack of dawn on a Sunday to watch the XCO races in Europe.

If I couldn't watch the live feed, desperately avoiding social media so I wouldn't find out who won whatever race I missed (as much as I do love watching the World Cup, I will still choose riding with my friends first).

Will Discovery do as good a job? Who knows... I hope so.
  • 3 1
 I don't really care about Rampage, Hardline or any of the other RedBull events, they are cool to watch but are like an entrée at a restaurant.

I care about UCI level Downhill World Cups / XC and being able to watch them, especially World Champs. Redbull have allowed course previews, people like Wyn TV and all the various vloggers out there to be able to be part of our sport from a coverage perspective. I just don't see that happening with Discovery, no do i see the same level of commitment coverage wise outside of the US (I hope i am wrong).

The Nissan UCI days quite frankly were shit, we relied of Freecaster to get Videos/ Footage. I do not want to go back to those days.

Also what is the cost going to be to watch this ? Is it going to be available world wide ? Do the rights include World Champs ?

To be frank; this feels like a cluster f*ck.

Thank you Redbull for everything that you have done for our sport.
  • 2 0
 Speaking of multiple commentaries like UFC, Lance Armstrong does that for road racing via his media company Wedu. You toss on the race, mute it and bring up the livestream. The real gem of that is George Hincape; I would argue he is the best commentator in sports. His 16 TDF appearances and critical role in multiple yellow jersey teams is a fantastic insight to the mind of the racer. I could absolutely see a couple folks in the MTB world who could spin up a similar model quite quickly.
  • 9 4
 opinion: red bulls impact on making people obese is understated
  • 3 0
 Every single WB/Discovery acquisition has turned out terribly. I have no hope that this will be any different. You'll be missed Red Bull
  • 4 0
 "We're optimistic about the future of DH with Discovery" - well, glad someone is.
  • 1 0
 People don't like change and I get that. Plus let us not forget the great team Red Bull had with the likes of Warner, Bart, Tracey, Elliot plus all the behind camera stuff too. I say (with fingers crossed) let's give the new bunch a chance, let's be honest they want to make a ton of money out of it so they're going to give it a good go. Will it be the same without Warner's quite frankly brilliant voice? Hell no but lets see where they take mountain biking. Maybe folks are right and it'll be crap but let's all cross our fingers and see what happens.
  • 1 0
 All the behind the camera stuff was just RB advertising. They only ever interviewed RB riders
  • 1 0
 Warner got robbed...
  • 1 0
 Thank you RedBull: As this feature outlines its so easy to take for granted the impact you’ve had across the MTB disciplines. Bringing the sport to the masses, widening its appeal and providing hours of entertainment. Where would we be without you? Thank you.
  • 1 0
 Everytime I've shown non biker friends some downhill stuff on YouTube they've been amazed by it and they wonder how theyve never seem any of it on mainstream television, Has the media collectively decided its too dangerous to show as it might encourage kids to copy what they've seen and end up in hospital, there is so much coverage of dull as dishwater sports out there, this amazing sport just needs a chance to grab peoples attention and I'm sure they will tune in.
  • 1 0
 The broadcast is determined by who has the rights. If its RB then no one else can broadcast it without their permission, thats why its not on mainstream TV. Yes they could buy it from RB but clearly dont want to
  • 1 0
 Does someone really believe that "making the sport grow" leads to athletes being paid accordingly?
Or leads this to more money for hte promoters and Disovery?

If in doubt, take a look at MX GP and the development over the years.
Starting fee ist only the beginning...

And of course:
Thanks Red Bull! We loved every single minute of watching DH with Rob from the family couch!
  • 1 0
 Exactly. Also why does it need to grow? I am not saying don't change but grow to what ends? Bigger frequently is not better there is usually a good medium somewhere.
  • 1 0
 I really appreciate articles like this that point out how "We got here" so many times the history of what got us to a certain point is forgotten (aside from history lessons in school). Some people claim that living in the past is a bad thing. While, we certainly don't want to stay in the past, lessons from the past can predict the future, and if done correctly can shape the future in a more positive way. I have no idea how "Discovery" will do with MTB coverage, and yes I am pretty skeptical at the moment since Redbull has done such a good job... Obviously, more capital for more cameras on course would be incredible, we'll see if they can take what's been done and improve on things!

Hopefully Redbull can still stay engaged in their own way for coverage and bring back shows like "On Track" cause to date, that's the best EWS coverage we've seen, and it would be great to get that same thing with the rest of MTB Racing - kinda like what Netflix has done with F1 racing.
  • 6 2
 The BBC will be showing all rounds of the world cup here in the UK.
  • 7 0
 Do you have a source for that, as it is pretty big news?

I hope they get better commentators than they use for the Olympics/Commonwealth Games!
  • 3 0
 Massive news. I've got everything crossed for that to be true.
  • 2 0
 @lewiscraik: I'd be happy with the same commentators, if they did the drinking of Warner in the Freecaster days...
  • 3 0
 Wait, whaaat?!! Now all we need is to give a fake moustache and glasses to 'Bob Horner' to try out for the BBC commentary, I reckon he'd smash it
  • 2 0
 World Champs, not World Cup....
  • 2 0
 @Starch-Anton: thanks, that makes much more sense, will go back to grumbling about Discovery
  • 4 3
 Follow-up opinion: Redbull has pushed Rampage too far, and needs to calm the f*ck down some. The culture they have brought is great. It shouldn't come at the health of the athletes.
  • 1 0
 I would like to understand what riders do get paid. The social media posts suggests that alot of the best are making very good money from it. The homes and lifestyles they can afford suggest a very good income
  • 1 0
 Like any sport, depends how good they are. From the survey some are paid as little as 9k, some only get support and no salary. Aaron Gwin said when asked, if things are going right for him he can pull in a million a year between all his deals and salary. There's quite a few on 50k, some 100k and above. 500k salary looks to be the top, then add on the endorsement deals from products. The highest number of people are at the lower end from memory. Bernard Kerr looks to be well off, but he protects his YouTube revenue as if he wasn't!
  • 1 0
 On one of the Fast Life episodes a riders manager said that if you win a championship or an overall you can immediately renegotiate your contract up to double. Presumably that would be winning a race for the midfield pack.
  • 1 0
 @Widgets: ye you tube revenue must be a real game changer for allot of these athletes especially the ones who are more top 20 but not consistent podium threats/
like i had a quick look and a Kerr video gets around 30K views. apparently you tube pay around 0.18 USD a view so if you do 2 videos a month that's around $130,000 PA. that's a low estimate also based on the less popular videos, but it must have really changed the prospects for those who want to do this. Though maybe it detracts from the racing element slightly
  • 1 1
 Redbull has done more for DH than any other company. The coverage the sponsors, the events like rampage and hardline. We should all be grateful for that. As far as the Grundig days one could argue the stars of the sport got paid comparitively more in those days. Much more
  • 1 0
 Great article. But the amount of double negatives is doing my head in. energy drinks is not a small part of that number - what is it a tiny part or a big part? Rather than saying what it isn't say what it is!
  • 1 0
 Why does it need to be bigger? DH could change and evolve without the need to be bigger. The next level doesn't mean more but it should mean better
  • 1 0
 Simple- it doesn't bring in enough money. In fact, the money it brings in is peanuts. And is it any wonder when we only get between 6-9 rounds a year.....
  • 1 0
 Ummm, the biggest thing I've heard is that dh finals will go to 30 from 60. Tough for the up and comers no? Redbull was pretty good
  • 1 0
 “We're optimistic about the future of DH with Discovery, but let us not forget who got us here”….. sorry, who’s optimistic?
  • 2 0
 Racing smells like RedBull, you can't buy that kind of nostalgia.
  • 2 0
 Redbull (and Monster etc) smells horrid. Those drinks are very popular with Swiss teens though - you can smell them a mile off...
  • 2 0
 bring back the Mammoth Kamikaze!
  • 2 0
 Levy and Henry commentating on mushrooms would be fun
  • 1 0
 I read that as Lenny Henry which would be even funnier...
  • 2 0
 "Thanks, Red Bull"
  • 2 0
 actually last
  • 3 2
 last
  • 1 0
 Viva la red bull.
  • 1 0
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