Following the creation of a new circuit for track cycling by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) on 26 September 2019, the UCI and Discovery are today launching a new UCI Track Cycling World League set to debut in the 2021-2022 season. By deepening its long-term relationship with the UCI, Discovery will harness its global scale, extensive media platforms and promotion expertise to help grow cycling.
Under the agreement, signed at the 2020 UCI Track Cycling World Championships presented by Tissot in Berlin (Germany), the management, TV production and distribution of the new UCI series will be entrusted to Global Cycling Network (GCN), in collaboration with Eurosport’s dedicated event promotion division, Eurosport Events, for an initial term of eight years. The partnership will ensure extensive international exposure for the new UCI Track Cycling World League via Discovery channels and platforms including Eurosport, the number one sports destination in Europe, and GCN, the world’s number one cycling media brand.
The new UCI circuit has a short, dynamic and attractive format that is perfectly suited to the needs of TV and the expectations of viewers. It aims to make track cycling more accessible and to open it up to new audiences who enjoy the spectacle of high-quality sport.
The competition programme for the new UCI league features four events for men and women: individual sprint, keirin, elimination race and Scratch race. The inaugural season will run from November 2021 to February 2022, following the 2021 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, and will comprise a target of six rounds, each running for around two hours.
The nine best-placed riders in sprint and keirin as well as all medallists of bunch races at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships will gain selection for the UCI Track Cycling World League.
Participants will wear jerseys inspired by their national flags, while the newly crowned UCI World Champions will sport their new rainbow jerseys for the occasion.
The events in the new UCI Track Cycling World League will:
· Enable participants to collect UCI points according to a points scale similar to that used at the UCI World Championships;
· Allow riders finishing in the top three in each event in the circuit’s final overall standings to qualify by name for the UCI World Championships (only if their nation does not qualify);
· Allow riders to compete for attractive prize pots on top of their participation bonuses.
As of 2021, the UCI International Track Cycling Calendar will be structured around the following major competitions:
· The UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup, comprised of three rounds held between March and September;
· The UCI Track Cycling World Championships, held in October, after the UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup;
· The new UCI Track Cycling World League, which will run from November to February.
UCI President David Lappartient said: “I am thrilled and delighted that Discovery will be by our side to help launch and promote our new UCI Track Cycling World League. Their expertise and recognised know-how in the fields of organisation and TV production and broadcasting will contribute significantly to the development and popular appeal of track cycling.
"With this new UCI circuit, the discipline will have a packed and attractive annual calendar that offers variety and will meet the expectations of new audiences while also appealing to existing cycling fans. Along with our new partner, we will grow the appeal of track cycling beyond the Olympic Games, where it has been on the programme since the very first Games of the modern era, in 1896.”
President, Eurosport and Global Sports Rights & Sports Marketing Solutions, Andrew Georgiou, said: “We are excited to deepen our longstanding relationship with the UCI and go even further to grow the sport across Europe. Eurosport Events is an increasingly important strategic offer within our business, affording rights-holders the opportunity to build and strengthen their event portfolios globally.
“The partnership with the UCI demonstrates what the scale and expertise of the wider Discovery family can offer partners in sport, providing both highly localised content to the widest variety of audiences as well as offering unrivalled expertise, analysis and storytelling from the best experts. Combining this strength in cycling with Eurosport Events’ promotional know-how and the global scale of Discovery’s channels and platforms, including Eurosport and GCN, we are confident we will build the UCI Track Cycling World League into a huge success. As Home of the Olympics in Europe, Discovery and Eurosport look forward to continuing to champion the riders who will be the stars of the velodrome all the way to Paris 2024.”
Eurosport has pioneered cycling coverage for millions of passionate fans around the world by broadcasting the UCI Track Cycling World Cup and World Championships to consistently growing audiences for more than 25 years. With over 2,500 hours of coverage across 200 days of live cycling from more than 110 professional events, Eurosport is firmly established as the ‘Home of Cycling’ in Europe and beyond. Through its sister streaming platform, GCN, Eurosport broadcasts the largest portfolio of cycling events on the planet, bringing premium cycling content directly to fans however they choose to watch.
GCN is part of Play Sports Group, whose brands serve 8.2 million followers and reach 100 million monthly viewers. Launched in 2013, GCN quickly gained a reputation for creating ground-breaking fan-first digital content that combines a love of cycling with expert analysis and unparalleled access to professional riders. It has built up a community of almost two million passionate subscribers on YouTube by delivering content directly to its audience, via smartphone, computer, tablet or television, to be consumed whenever and wherever. Discovery acquired a majority stake in Play Sports Group in January 2019.
About the UCI
Founded in 1900 in Paris (France), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the worldwide governing body for cycling. It develops and oversees cycling in all its forms, for all people: as a competitive sport, a healthy recreational activity, a means of transport, and also just for fun. The UCI manages and promotes the eight cycling disciplines: road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle, cyclo-cross, trials and indoor cycling. Five of these are featured on the Olympic Games programme (road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle), two in the Paralympic Games (road and track) and four in the Youth Olympic Games (road, mountain bike, BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle). For more information: www.uci.org.
Eurosport is the number one sport destination in Europe, fuelling the passion of fans and connecting them with the greatest sports events in the world. As the Home of the Olympic Games in Europe, Eurosport delivered the ultimate Games experience for PyeongChang 2018 reaching both record linear and digital viewership across localized Eurosport services. Firmly established as the Home of Cycling, Grand Slam Tennis and Winter Sport, Eurosport channels – Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2 – reach 246 million cumulative subscribers across 75 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Eurosport.com is Europe’s No 1 online sports news website with an average of 30 million unique users per month and, along with the Eurosport app (available on iOS and Android), the only place to watch Eurosport anytime online, on mobile and on tablet devices. Eurosport Events specializes in the management and promotion of international sporting events. More information is available by visiting corporate.eurosport.com.
About Play Sports Group & GCN
Play Sports Group is the world’s leading creator of cycling digital video distributed on YouTube and Facebook. We are a digital sports media company focused on the world of cycling. Combining our deep love of the sport with world-leading expertise in video and digital distribution, we have built a leadership position in the market. We operate ten market-leading YouTube channels: Global Cycling Network, Global Cycling Network en Español, Global Cycling Network Italia, GCN Japan, Global Mountain Bike Network, Global Triathlon Network, Electric Mountain Bike Network, GCN Tech, GMBN Tech and GCN Racing with over 8.2 million followers across associated social media platforms. Together they have accumulated over 12,180 years of watch time, 17.6m video likes and an average of 100 million monthly views, creating the world’s largest online video cycling community. Subscribe to GCN via YouTube and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Headquartered in Bath, England, PSG is also home to SHIFT Active Media, the award-winning cycling marketing agency, who work alongside some of the biggest, most high profile brands in the cycling world. Play Sports Group is a subsidiary of Discovery Inc.
For more information about the Play Sports Network visit www.playsportsnetwork.com or for SHIFT Active Media, visit www.shiftactivemedia.com.
About Eurosport Events
Established in 2007, Eurosport Events is the Discovery Communications-owned Eurosport Group’s sport event management division. It promotes the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup and FIA European Rally Championship under agreements with the sport’s governing body, the FIA. From 2020 it will promote PURE ETCR, theworld’s first all-electric touring car championship. Eurosport Events delivers a full spectrum of event management services including promotion, television production, media rights distribution, press office management, sponsorship acquisition and client servicing.
Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and nearly 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as Eurosport Player, Food Network Kitchen and MotorTrend OnDemand; digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media; a landmark natural history and factual content partnership with the BBC; and a strategic alliance with PGA TOUR to create the international home of golf. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and the forthcoming multi-platform JV with Chip and Joanna Gaines, Magnolia, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit corporate.discovery.com and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.