Cycling streaming service Global Cycling Network+ (GCN+) has announced that it will close on December 19 at the behest of its parent company, global media conglomerate Warner Bros. Discover (WBD).
The free GCN website and YouTube channel will remain active and operational, with only the premium content channels being shut down.
According to a GCN+ statement, the decision was driven by WBD aiming to consolidate its content into a smaller number of channels.
In Europe, WBD-owned channels Eurosport, Eurosport Extra, and the Discovery+ streaming service, will carry content previously held on GCN+.
Outside of Europe, however, GCN+ has not confirmed what WBD’s plans are for its hosting and broadcasting commitments.
The service said pro-rata refunds will be given to subscribers from December 19 onwards.
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GCN+, which launched in 2021, had already committed to airing the National Cycling League (NCL), the US professional road racing competition, in a three-year deal.
Through the deal, GCN+ was set to stream all four NCL Cup Invitationals per year for the next two years, having already covered the 2022 edition.
WBD delivered record cycling viewership across all its platforms in 2023 for each of the events of the grand tour cycling season, proving that there is a market for cycling-focused content.
The media conglomerate stated that its coverage of the Vuelta a España, cycling’s annual tour of Spain, broke streaming records for the event across the Discovery+ service, Eurosport app, and the GCN+ platform.
Coverage of La Vuelta on Discovery+ alone increased by 72% year-on-year. Total streaming audiences for the event increased by 21% across the range of services.
Cycling’s traditional 'grand tour' events – the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France – also broke streaming records across WBD services for their respective 2023 editions.