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F*ck I miss Rob.
Quick report from watching the XCC (XC short track) race today on Eurosport (which I get as part of my cable TV package, so technically, "on TV" haha):
-The race was on Eurosport 1, immediately after the end of today's Giro stage - say what you will, it's pretty cool to see "our" little sport treated this way.
-the production/camera work was good, and it was easy to get excited about the racing even though there were a few awkward lulls just as the broadcast started (just graphics with no VO for a couple of minutes).
-Ric McLaughlin was the anchor with Bart Brentjens on the technical commentary. It all went reasonably well. Ric's pretty knowledgeable, but Rob's shoes are hard to fill...
-right after the racing, I got a bunch of notifications on my phone from my Eurosport app (which I just have for sports news in general, no streaming subscription). Again, kinda surreal to see "our" MTB notifications among the mainstream sports notifications like soccer, Giro, tennis, etc.
All in all, I'd have to say it was a successful first appearance on this platform. I can only imagine that it makes it easier to convince potential sponsors to back teams when this kind of media exposure is available. Time will tell if it has any real impact I guess, but it does seem like something the industry and the racers would ultimately get behind. Your thoughts?
Awful nice of them to spam you with SPOILERS.
well there are things you can do there, turn off notifications, and run the app in “spoiler free mode”, which means it always opens in “watch” mode and won’t display headlines unless you go looking for them.
In my opinion attracting sponsors will all boil down to viewer figures. Increased exposure is great and may lead to increased viewing initially (despite an awful lot of existing fans saying they won't pay to watch), but it will need viewer figures to stay high (and probably continue to grow) throughout the season. I can't speak for XC, but I know lots of mountain bikers and roadies who have no interest in watching DH racing (despite me banging on about how awesome it is to anyone who'll listen). Maybe that will change, time will tell.
I'm amazed they (GCN et all) haven't given you a sub. I mean it's in their best interest to have the media watching isn't it?
They did send us an invite actually, I was just personally very curious about how it would all be running on Eurosport, so I didn’t check it out on GCN yet.
First free webcast on the World Series channel coming up in a couple of hours: https://www.vitalmtb.com/features/live-u23-xco-world-cup-racing.
Watching from NZ on the GCN+, I was reasonably happy with the delivery, clean & professional site set up on the ground in NM, new course marking, lots of cameras, good coverage, good commentary that worked (no Rob which is sad, but thats life), For XC it seemed like a good delivery.
Im really keen now to see what the DH will be like, if its anything like the XC, it will be a very good start, then build from there. The additional coverage, pre/post show, social media and segments, takes it steps closer to the structures around other sports, like F1 athletes & teams media. I will be lucky to see it first hand on the ground in a couple of weeks, will be interesting to compare it to the on screen show.
I loved it.
Didn't hurt that the racing was great, and that it's been gone for so long, but they absolutely nailed it. The heart rate stuff was tasteful, they actually mentioned some bike tech / brands in interesting ways, Ric Mc was not only passable--he's really good!, I love the amp lord track preview guy whatever his name is the enduro racer he's awesome, and anyways that's all gravy because all I really care about is the coverage. And the coverage was great. The cameras and direction were very good.
That said, this was just a different team covering the same XC stuff. And XC is unimportant. They've changed the format of the only bike racing that matters in this galaxy, so we gotta see how that shakes out.
Still the headline reads: Chrisball Makes Internetter Look Silly with Stellar Debut
Kinda off topic, but Cranwork Cairns is on right now, the DH finals live on YouTube. There is only 5,000 watching. So we can complain all we want about ESO/Discovery whatever, but Crankworx just isn't capturing peoples attention in the same way as WCs and never has?
I've got two comments on that:
1. I check Vital, PB and other cycling related websites almost daily, but I still missed that the DH race was on. I feel like it wasn't advertised the same way a world cup race would have been.
2. For people in central Europe, the race was early on a sunday morning. Most are in bed that time in the day. But granted, I would have gotten up early to watch if I had known.
Gonna go watch the replay now.
The expanded crankworks model got announced pretty late. Hopefully next season and going forward more teams will budget to get their riders to the race and on camera. Fans are only going to tune in if the field is deep.
It's 74k views on youtube now. And it can also be viewed live or replayed on redbull tv app, which doesn't have a public view counter, so no idea how many views there. Viewership is probably a lot less than a world cup (anyone know this number?), but still decent.
HBO Max combined with Discover+ and was re-launched as the streaming service Max in the U.S. today. I haven't seen definitively whether UCI mtb events will be available on this service. But from what I can see when I login, there isn't any evidence there will be live event coverage or anything MTB or cycling related. I'm guessing this means GCN+ is now the only viewing option in the U.S., but interested in any other information anyone has.
I was going to check that right now. Guess I don’t need too now
So after getting all excited about seeing MTB on Eurosport, it doesn't look like the DH made the schedule this week. There's a little car race called "24 hours of Le Mans" or whatever that apparently took priority... pffff....
GCN+ it is then.
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