We received information yesterday indicating that Red Bull will very likely be broadcasting the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series online, for free.
Curious about the implications this might have on the DH1 series, Vital MTB asked Freecaster's main man, Ray Dulieu, if it would affect his plans for the widely praised downhill world tour. Would anything change if Red Bull broadcasts the 2012 World Cups?
The answer we received was astonishing. "There is no point in competing with Red Bull," Ray said, "We can't contest with them. We will not be able to provide a better product than what Red Bull can do."
Clearly surprised by the news (which he had also received through a different source), Ray expressed both disappointment and joy. "I have always said that Red Bull was our biggest threat and mountain biking's greatest opportunity. They are providing what the sport needs. The creation of the DH1 Series pushed the UCI and Red Bull to improve their game. If Red Bull hadn't seen Freecaster's numbers, they likely wouldn't be doing this. The fact that they are investing in mountain biking means Freecaster did something right."
The DH1 Series was scheduled to have six pro races, the dates of which were to work with the UCI World Cup schedule. Freecaster.tv planned to broadcast the series in HD, for free, with Rob Warner as the host.
According to Ray, the Red Bull broadcast is rumored to have "10 HD cameras and is a 99.999% done deal."
"DH1 has served it's purpose," Ray told Vital MTB, "At the end of the day, downhill and the sport of mountain biking have benefited."
An official announcement is expected from the UCI or Red Bull in the next few days.