SBS, the Australian public-service broadcaster, has bolstered its cycling portfolio by today acquiring rights to the first season of the new UCI Track Champions League, set to start this November.
The agreement, which gives SBS rights to show all of the Track Champions League’s six rounds, was struck with Eurosport Events, the arm of the pan-European broadcasting giant which has global promotion rights to the series.
The league’s inaugural round takes place in Mallorca, Spain on 6 November.
The Track Champions League is a joint initiative of the UCI, cycling's international governing body, and Discovery, the US media giant that owns Eurosport.
SBS joins several broadcasters already on board for the competition.
Eurosport will be showing the series across Europe and in Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, with coverage also available on Discovery's GCN+ and GCN Racing digital channels.
RTL, the commercial broadcaster in the Netherlands, picked up domestic rights to the league earlier this month.
There will also be coverage in New Zealand, after pay-television operator Sky struck a deal with Eurosport Events last month, covering all rounds of the season live and in full, with additional highlights packages.
The promoter said further international broadcasting partnerships will be announced over the coming weeks, ahead of the league’s opening round.
The Track Champions League deal enhances SBS' cycling offering, coming on the back of this month's acquisition of rights to the revived Women’s Tour de France in a four-year agreement with race organiser ASO.
Last year, SBS extended its rights deal with ASO for the Tour de France, Vuelta and other prominent events to 2030, and this year added the third Grand Tour by snapping up the Giro d’Italia until 2025.
Ken Shipp, SBS director of sport, said: “SBS prides itself on being the home of cycling, and we’re thrilled to broadcast the UCI Track Champions League later this year. Australia has a long-standing love of cycling and SBS’s new broadcast deal with the UCI is a valuable addition to our slate of world-class sporting events.”
François Ribeiro, head of Eurosport Events, added: “This is another significant step towards delivering a broad reach and new audiences to track cycling. We’re also excited to bring the new league to Australia’s strong contingent of dedicated track cycling fans of course.
“As we draw closer to the inaugural round in November, we look forward to announcing a host of international broadcasters for the UCI Track Champions League.”
The inaugural UCI Track Champions League campaign will comprise six events in five countries in November and December.
After Mallorca, the league will visit St Quentin en Yvelines in France, Panevėžys in Lithuania, London in the UK for a double-header, and conclude in Tel Aviv in Israel on 11 December.
At a launch event in May, Eurosport Events said the league would benefit from “an extensive global broadcast distribution strategy with the aim of reaching and engaging as many cycling fans as possible”.