UCI claims record Road World Championships viewing figures
Cycling - 12 Oct 2018
The UCI, cycling’s world governing body, has claimed record viewing for last month’s UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria via public-service broadcasters belonging to the European Broadcasting Union, the UCI’s broadcast partner, including 47 million hours of action being watched in 20 countries across Europe.
The UCI said that the men’s elite road race, won by Spain's Alejandro Valverde, set an all-time viewership record, with fans watching a total of 21.5 million hours via EBU members’ free-to-air channels in 53 European countries.
The race attracted peak audiences of over 1 million viewers in France and Italy and over 500,000 in Belgium and the Netherlands.
The race captured a 60-per-cent viewing share in Flemish-speaking Belgium and over 20 per cent in the Netherlands, Switzerland and French-speaking Belgium.
Meanwhile, the women’s elite road race attracted a larger audience in Europe than any other women’s race during the season, except the European Championships in Glasgow.
Elsewhere, the World Championships were broadcast in almost 100 countries around the world.
David Lappartient, the UCI’s president, said: “These figures demonstrate the popularity of our Championships with fans throughout the world. Thanks to a combination of challenging courses, thrilling races, a spectacular setting, enthusiastic fans and excellent TV production, our event has reached new heights in Innsbruck and I am sure that it will enjoy the same success in Yorkshire [in the UK] next year.”
Eurosport, the pan-European sports broadcaster owned by Discovery, offers exclusive live coverage in 36 countries across the continent of World Championships cycling events through the partnership between the EBU and the UCI.
The broadcaster is a guarantor of the deal between the EBU and the UCI announced in April 2016 through which the umbrella body of mainly public-service broadcasters secured worldwide rights to World Championships in all cycling disciplines in an eight-year deal starting in 2017.
The EBU regained rights held by international sports agency Infront from 2013 to 2016, and appointed IMG to distribute rights beyond Europe.
Eurosport has rights to show the UCI world-level events from 2017 to 2020 in all European countries with the exception of France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland.
• Harrogate Spring Water, the bottled water brand, and Vp, a supplier of specialist rental equipment, both local firms, have signed up to become suppliers to next year’s UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire in deals brokered by The Sports Consultancy, the UK-based sports marketing agency.
All riders will pass Harrogate Spring Water’s bottling facility en route to the finish in the city, and Nicky Cain, the company’s brand manager, said: “Yorkshire 2019 and the UCI aim to make these Championships sustainable for the environment, which is aligned with our own commitment to lead the way in driving environmental sustainability through our recycling campaigning with Keep Britain Tidy and use of recycled materials in our bottles. We look forward to working with the organisers to make recycling a core element of the event.”
Neil Stothard, Vp’s chief executive said: “We are delighted to be involved, especially given that the focal point for the Championships is our home town of Harrogate, which will host the finish of every race for the entire duration of the event. Yorkshire already has an impressive track record of hosting world class cycling events and I am confident the 2019 UCI Road World Championships will also be a resounding success, further putting our region on the international map.”