Discovery has launched its coverage plans for the 2022 cycling season with more than 600 broadcasts planned across its platforms discovery+, Eurosport and GCN+.
Its pundits include Alberto Contador, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Robbie McEwen, Sir Chris Hoy, Laura Kenny, Kristina Vogel and Joanna Rowsell, and its content plans include the inaugural Tour de France Femmes and the Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift women’s cycling events. Discovery’s lead cycling presenter is Orla Chennaoui (pictured above).
Discovery’s cycling coverage this year will total around 1,200 live hours of cycling in 65 markets via Eurosport and discovery+, and 208 territories via GCN+. The cycling spans the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France Hommes and Femmes, La Vuelta a España, live cyclocross, BMX, track and mountain bike events.
The broadcaster’s coverage of women’s cycling in 2022 will be underpinned by a new ‘Home of Women’s Cycling’ campaign, an initiative created to raise awareness of lower salaries and gender bias. The campaign will air on Eurosport and GCN.
A lot of the cycling content, including for the Tour de France, will be hosted from Discovery’s immersive augmented reality studio, 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.
Alongside live cycling, Discovery will air the Eurosport x GCN Cycling Show featuring interviews with the biggest names in the sport; new episodes of 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 – a 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.
Scott Young, SVP Content and Production at Discovery Sports, said: “As part of the leadership team at Discovery Sports, we’re looking at 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.”
Guy Voisin, director of cycling at Discovery Sports, added: “It’s a pretty incredible beginning of the season and now we’re moving into our summer of Grand Tours. We start off with the Giro, which is going to be incredible. And then we’re going to move into the Tour de France Hommes and Femmes. We’re going to the end of the summer with La Vuelta a Espana. This is going to be an incredible summer. We’re going to be covering the Women’s WorldTour. We’re covering the cyclocross racing. We’re covering the UCI Track Champions League, we’re going to be doing some mountain biking and some BMX.”
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. There’s lots for the viewer to look forward to this year.”
MAIN PICTURE: Orla Chennaoui speaks with Scott Young, Discovery Sports SVP Content & Production (Image: Discovery, Getty Images)