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Global Cycling Network launches German-language channel

Digital sports media company Play Sports Group has enhanced the range of language options for Global Cycling Network by launching a German-language ‘GCN auf Deutsch’ channel.

GCN, which launched in 2013 as an English-language service, added Spanish and Italian language channels in 2018 and a Japanese version in 2019.

GCN auf Deutsch will offer localised, tailored road cycling content for the German-speaking market, collaborating with the Discovery-owned Play Sports Group’s other channels and Eurosport, the Discovery-owned international sports broadcaster. The channel will be fronted by recently retired professional cyclists Björn Thurau and Mario Vogt.

Play Sports Group’s German business unit is headed by Richard Todd, who joined the group in late 2019 having served as managing director of cycling apparel brand ASSOS in the UK. PSG said it is in the process of opening an office in Germany.

Simon Wear, founder and chief executive of Play Sports Group, added: “We’ve been planning a German-language GCN channel for a long time. It’s a hugely important market with great cyclists, cycling fans, some brilliant brands and events.”

The launch of GCN auf Deutsch follows one year on from the announcement that Discovery, owner of Eurosport, had acquired a majority stake in Play Sports Group. Discovery originally took a 20-per-cent stake in Play Sports Group but now holds a 71-per-cent controlling stake, making Play Sports Group a subsidiary of the company.

Play Sports Group launched its operations in 2013 under the Global Cycling Network name and by teaming up with Shift Active Network, the cycling communications agency founded by Wear and chaired by industry veteran Andrew Croker. Internet giant Google also backed the project under its YouTube Original Channel Initiative.

Play Sports Group generates 45 million video views each month and boasts 3.1 million subscribers.