27 September 2023 Tweet
Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) Sports Europe caps a historic 2023 road cycling season by today announcing its coverage of La Vuelta a España broke streaming records, matching the feat achieved across discovery+, Eurosport App and GCN+ during the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes.
Following 21 stages of live and on-demand coverage of La Vuelta, discovery+ increased its viewership by +72% year-on-year with WBD’s total streaming audience increasing by more than a fifth (+21%). This was coupled with a +8% increase in viewers enjoying Eurosport’s television coverage across Europe, including a record edition of the race in France.
Telling the compelling stories of La Vuelta and its riders, local language Eurosport.com sites recorded a +52% increase in unique users consuming cycling content during the race across Europe with every market experiencing growth in visitors as part of a record edition.
Well over half a million daily visitors were garnered across the network and millions of fans in Spain and France alone engaged with Eurosport’s local reporting over the three-week race. On its social media platforms, video views rose by +86% with triple digit increases in engagement secured with daily highlights and analysis, behind-the-scenes content and exclusive interviews piquing interest.
In 2023, WBD’s comprehensive road cycling coverage was further elevated by studio analysis shows across Europe which told the stories of local heroes competing. Led by some of the most recognisable and knowledgeable cycling experts including Robbie McEwen, Adam Blythe, Dan Lloyd and Orla Chennaoui new storytelling tools harnessed the latest innovations in graphics, such as an augmented reality team bus, to provide ground-breaking race analysis for viewers. This was coupled with on-site coverage featuring some of the biggest names in the sport such as Vélo d’Or winners Alberto Contador and Philippe Gilbert, who followed the peloton live on motorbikes, bringing viewers even closer to the action.
Local studio shows proved to be hugely popular in engaging fans for longer with viewers in France tuning in to Eurosport x GCN’s Les Rois de la Pédale in record numbers during La Vuelta in 2023. In Spain, double digit increases in audience reach were reported for La Montonera during the race and the UK’s The Breakaway remained consistent with 2022. The popularity in local cycling analysis shows is further demonstrated by Germany’s Velo Club which increased its viewership by almost a third (+30%) across the entire road cycling season.
WBD’s record La Vuelta a España follows similar trends captured during the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes, with all reporting increases in audiences for WBD’s subscription streaming platforms while television viewership on Eurosport remained consistent year-on-year. Overall, WBD has grown total engagement in its coverage of women’s cycling by a quarter (+25%) compared to 2022 and its platforms remain the only place to watch every race on the Women’s World Tour.
Scott Young, SVP Content & Production at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said: “As part of our ‘home of cycling’ offer, we showcase all forms of the sport while innovating our coverage with world-leading analysis tools and the most knowledgeable cycling talent. Following a historic 2023 Grand Tour season, our strategy to leverage our full suite of subscription streaming platforms, premium TV channels and free-to-air networks in key markets, together with our unrivalled output of quality digital and social media content, we have successfully engaged more viewers around the world than ever before, supporting the continued growth of the sport.
“It’s particularly pleasing that our commitment to women’s cycling is being mirrored by ever-increasing audiences as we harness our deep cycling expertise and storytelling ability to elevate the journeys of female riders year-round. Off the road, we have an incredibly exciting autumn of men’s and women’s competitions ahead and look forward to continuing to champion the sport and opening it up to new and existing fans alike.”
The historic men’s Grand Tour season saw Jumbo-Visma become the first World Tour team to win all three major races in a calendar year with Primoz Roglic (Giro d’Italia), Jonas Vingegaard (Tour de France) and Sepp Kuss (La Vuelta a España) winning the famous pink, yellow and red jerseys respectively. The retiring Annemiek van Vleuten won both the Giro Donne and La Vuelta Femenina in 2023 for Movistar Team with SD Worx’s Demi Vollering claiming the second ever edition of the Tour de France Femmes.
Known as ‘the home of cycling’ WBD showcases more live cycling in all its forms than any other broadcaster including all three Grand Tours, 300 days of live racing per year and 100% of the UCI Women’s World Tour.
October is set to be a bumper month for cycling fans with even more live action featuring the world’s best riders set to showcase the very best of the sport. WBD continues to provide live and on-demand coverage of the UCI Mountain Bike World Series, with two races of the 2023 season remaining before its thrilling conclusion on 8 October. Every race from the 2023-2024 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup will also be available to watch on discovery+, Eurosport App and GCN+ as the new season gets underway from 15 October.
Returning for its third season, the UCI Track Champions League gets underway on 21 October with all five rounds of the most demanding and high-intensity men’s and women’s track cycling competition screened live and on-demand across WBD’s channels and platforms globally.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s upcoming autumn of live cycling: