Extended UCI and Warner Bros. Discovery partnership signals exciting new era for the Mountain Bike World Cup
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has selected Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) to deliver a new vision for mountain biking which will see the global media and entertainment company combine all its assets and expertise to elevate the sport and reach a new global audience.
To deliver a completely new vision for the future of mountain biking, the UCI will harness WBD’s global scale and vast media platforms, as well as collaborate with two of the company’s specialist organisations. This will see Discovery Sport Events join forces with the Enduro Sports Organisation (ESO Sports) to deliver the organisation, media production and broadcast, promotion and commercialisation of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
Discovery Sports Events will extend its relationship with the UCI to help promote the sport in support of further growing its global audience. ESO Sports, the owner and operator of the Enduro World Series and in whom WBD recently invested, will drive the project to globally unify mountain biking and elevate it to new levels, in collaboration with the UCI.
Building on mountain biking’s popularity, this new approach will also bring innovations to the on-site and on-screen fan experience in order to continue growing the fanbase and improve the global footprint of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
David Lappartient, UCI president, said: “I am elated by our partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery, which will take our UCI Mountain Bike World Cup to the next level. Discovery Sports Events has already worked wonders with track cycling – thanks to the innovative UCI Track Champions League – and I know that the exciting discipline of mountain bike will also benefit from their expertise, their in-depth understanding of the expectations of athletes and fans, and the increased exposure that this partnership will bring. Mountain bike will get the impetus it deserves as we work together for the future of this vast and varied discipline.”
Andrew Georgiou, president and managing director, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said: “Extending our relationship with the UCI to support the next phase of development and growth for mountain biking fits Warner Bros. Discovery’s expertise and ambitions perfectly. We will bring the scale of our global broadcast, streaming and online platforms to engage millions of people with the sport, as well as the capabilities of Discovery Sports Events and ESO Sports. Together they have the expertise and tools to develop the sport, alongside the understanding of the intricacies and existing strengths of mountain biking that are essential to best support the mountain bike community and grow the sport.”
Alongside the Olympic Games, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup forms the pinnacle of the sport and sees the world’s best riders compete in multiple cross-country and downhill events throughout the season. Taken together, WBD’s cycling portfolio of content – across Eurosport, GCN+, GCN, EMBN, GMBN, discovery+ and more – already features more than 200 professional events across road, track, BMX, cyclo-cross, mountain bike, as well as all Olympic cycling disciplines.
The agreement concludes a period of exclusive negotiations and follows an extensive competitive tender. Further details around the 2023 season and calendar will be announced soon.