Discovery has revealed its plans for 2022 cycling, with over 600 broadcasts. It has confirmed women’s cycling rights for the inaugural Tour de France Femmes and the Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift.
The 2022 coverage also marks first use of the mixed reality Cube studio on a Grand Tour, deployed as the host set for the Tour de France.
Broadcasts include over 1,200 live hours of cycling for coverage in 65 markets via Eurosport and discovery+, and 208 territories via GCN+. As well as a host of live cyclocross, BMX, track and mountain bike events, as in previous years the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France Hommes and Femmes, and La Vuelta a España will be shown live across Discovery’s platforms.
Scott Young, SVP Content and Production at Discovery Sports, said: “As part of the leadership team at Discovery Sports, we’re looking how we can make sure we have equality and balance across all our sports including cycling. You’re going to see a really immersive part of our coverage, which will be to give you the best storytelling around the female athletes competing.
“Furthermore, for the Tour de France, we’re also going to have the Cube as our host set and you’ll be here front and centre for The Breakaway. This is a phenomenal storytelling tool. It’s one of the great innovations of broadcast. You’ve seen it across our recent Olympics in Tokyo and Beijing, across our tennis coverage and now it’s coming to cycling.”
Discovery’s coverage of women’s cycling in 2022 will be underpinned by ‘Home of Women’s Cycling’ campaign, an initiative created to raise awareness of lower salaries and gender bias. The campaign, to air on Eurosport and GCN, will feature interviews with high profile names on the UCI Women’s WorldTour including Annemiek van Vleuten, Lizzie Deignan and Audrey Cordon-Ragot.
Building on 2021, where Discovery Sports produced 100% of the Women’s WorldTour for the first time, Discovery has added a raft of new women’s cycling rights including the inaugural Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift as well as the Paris-Roubaix Femmes. After previously securing the rights to show both events across Europe, Discovery Sports has added Asia-Pacific territories exclusively until at least 2025, France and Australia on a non-exclusive basis to 2025; Middle East and North Africa until 2023 and Latin American markets for the 2022 editions.
Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Trek Segafredo rider, said: “I think GCN, Eurosport and Discovery is doing a really great job in finding the right people to talk about women’s cycling. It’s really helping to know more about women’s cycling, to know more about the riders, and to get the public interested in women’s cycling.”
As part of its cycling production plans, new features and formats will also be unveiled across Discovery’s platforms throughout the year.
Alongside the Cube, six localised studio shows will provide analysis and highlights for viewers in the UK and Ireland (The Breakaway), Denmark (Radio Tour) France (Les Rois de la Pédale), Germany, Spain (La Montonera) and the Netherlands (Kop Over Kop) during the Grand Tours and major one-day races with Discovery looking to exceed its 2021 cycling audience in Europe with more than 100 million viewers reached.
A commentary line-up of 70 commentators will provide commentary in 21 languages.
For 2022, Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador will again front coverage of major races including the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and La Vuelta a España. Sir Bradley Wiggins also returns – including ‘Brad on a Bike’ – which will see the 2012 Tour de France winner and five-time Olympic gold medallist report live from the heart of the peloton during selected one-day races and Grand Tours in an innovation which has proved popular with fans.
Robbie McEwen, 24-time Grand Tour stage winner, Bernie Eisel, Jens Voigt (Germany and international); Iris Slappendel (the Netherlands); Jacky Durand (France) and Guillaume Di Grazia (France); Bobbie Traksel (Netherlands); Brian Holm (Denmark); Sean Kelly, Adam Blythe and Hannah Walker (UK) form Discovery Sports’ cycling team.
On the track, Sir Chris Hoy, Kristina Vogel, Laura Kenny and Joanna Rowsell front coverage of Discovery Sports Events’ UCI Track Champions League, with the second season kick-starting in autumn of 2022.
Alongside live racing, added content and programming across the season includes regular episodes of the Eurosport x GCN Cycling Show; The Bradley Wiggins Show podcast by Eurosport; local news and reporting via Eurosport.com; added documentary content, interactive features and how-to demos via GCN+; and exclusive documentaries coming to discovery+ including Back on Track – the five-part series going behind-the-scenes to tell the stories from the athletes and teams involved in the first season of the UCI Track Champions League.
For cycling fans, GCN+ cycling coverage adds content all year round, including big races live across Road, Cyclocross and Track including Grand Tours and Monuments, extra content and interactive features, alongside over 100 exclusive cycling documentaries.
Sir Bradley Wiggins, Discovery cycling expert and 2012 Tour de France winner, said: “One of the most successful things and one of the most well received things the last couple of years has been ‘Brad on a Bike’ so me on a motorbike in the heart of the action in the peloton, bringing to the viewer the bits you may not see on the TV on the live coverage.
“We’ve already done the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Strade Bianche. We’ve got the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. I’ll be doing the Giro d’Italia and of course, the Tour de France again.”
Image: Discovery, Getty Images: Orla Chennaoui speaks with Scott Young, Discovery Sports SVP Content & Production
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