The UCI and Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) have announced the overarching 2023 UCI Mountain Bike World Series branding and confirmed coverage details for the new united mountain bike racing structure.
The UCI says that by bringing all the UCI mountain bike racing formats together, each discipline will be able to flourish independently with the benefits of additional exposure when the 2023 World Cup calendar hosts multiple disciplines in a single round.
UCI President David Lappartient said, “The global popularity of mountain bike is on the rise, and by combining all its major formats as well as racing for Elite and amateur riders in one major series, we will further increase the appeal of this discipline. With its festival atmosphere, mix of racing and expanded live coverage, the UCI Mountain Bike World Series offers a fresh and appealing experience for athletes, hardened fans, and newcomers to the mountain bike community.”
There appears to be a focus on producing large festival-style events of bike racing. The first of which will be held between the 7th to 17th of September in Les Gets, Morzine, and Châtel (France) and will feature all the major UCI Mountain Bike World Cup formats, as well as amateur racing too.
Chris Ball, CEO of ESO Sports, said, “By creating a single global platform that unifies the major racing formats with UCI World Cup status for the first time, the new UCI Mountain Bike World Series will also allow for the integration and growth of amateur, pathway and festival events to UCI World Cup racing.
“Our long-term goal is to elevate the major racing formats of the UCI World Cup, taking the athletes and teams to a new level. We also want to maintain the ability to entertain and engage mountain bikers at all levels. The future is incredibly exciting and we are honored to usher in a new era of the sport.”
How to watch the 2023 UCI Mountain Bike World Series
Since Warner Bros Discovery's (WBD) partnership with the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, there has been a lot of backlash regarding the coverage, particularly around the most popular disciplines of downhill and cross-country. Coverage was previously free and was available to stream from Red Bull's streaming service.
Coverage of the UCI World Cup Olympic Cross-Country (XCO), Short Track Cross-Country (XCC), and Downhill (DHI) events from the UCI Mountain Bike World Series will now be available live, and on-demand, through discovery+ (Streaming is available on discovery+ in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK and Ireland), on the Eurosport App, and globally on GCN+.
For viewers in the UK, that means a £6.99 per month or £59.99 a year subscription for Discovery+ or Eurosport. Alternatively, you can subscribe to GCN+ for £6.99 per month or £39.99 a year. Discovery+ is available at no extra cost if you already have a Sky Q, Sky Glass or Sky Stream service.
The UCI press release doesn't mention American coverage although the GCN Live Racing Schedule confirms it will be available through their service, which is charged at $8.99 per month or $49.99 for a full year.
WBD says that more ways to watch will be announced in the coming months.
The paywalled coverage will come as a huge disappointment for many viewers who have enjoyed free MTB World Cup coverage for over ten years. However, WBD promises that "there will be more live coverage and more ways to follow racing than ever before". This will be partly down to the new racing formats for 2023 as well as in-depth Highlights Shows at every Cross-Country Marathon (XCM), Enduro (EDR), and e-Enduro (E-EDR) round.
For more details, check out UCImtbworldseries.com.