ESPN is partnering with US exercise equipment and media company Peloton to stage a virtual indoor cycling race featuring athletes and celebrities from across the sports landscape to benefit Covid-19 relief efforts.
The inaugural Peloton All-Star Ride, which will consist of two 20-minute classes, will air on ESPN at 12pm ET on May 30. Sixteen riders, eight male and eight female, will take part. They are all current Peloton members.
The men’s division consists of Mike Golic, Jr., Matt Grevers, Gordon Hayward, Booger McFarland, Rory McIlroy, Kyle Rudolph, Justin Thomas, and Bubba Watson.
The women’s division comprises Victoria Azarenka, Allyson Felix, Morgan Pressel, Monica Puig, Colleen Quigley, Kyla Ross, Michele Smith, and Dawn Staley.
The rider with the highest output number (the combination of a rider’s cadence and resistance) in each of the two rides will be declared the winner for his or her respective division. If the participating pro athletes collectively reach an output of 3,000, Peloton will donate one million meals to the Food Bank for New York City.
ESPN’s Ryan Ruocco and Peloton instructor Ally Love will provide commentary for the one-hour special.
With sports largely on hiatus due to the coronavirus crisis, many athletes are using Peloton bikes as they offer them a competitive training option. Many members of the public, who are stuck at home amid the pandemic, have also turned to the luxury exercise bikes, with subscription numbers surging since March.
The Peloton All-Star Ride will be available for Peloton members on-demand on the Peloton Bike or App after the show airs, allowing them to ride alongside the pros on the interactive leaderboard.
With a dearth of live sporting action, ESPN’s Peloton All-Star Ride is likely to gain a respectable TV audience.
The sequel of “The Match” between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson attracted an average of 5.8m viewers across four Turner Sports networks over the weekend, becoming the the most-watched golf event ever on cable TV.
It followed the most-watched documentary ever on ESPN (The Last Dance), the most-watched National Football League Draft ever, and the most-watched non-Daytona 500 race for Nascar in three years.