The International Cycling Union (UCI) has agreed a five-year strategic partnership with Belgian pay-television broadcaster Telenet for its principal cyclo-cross events.
The agreement will take effect from 2015-16 and runs until the end of the 2019-20 season. It relates to the Cyclo-cross World Cup and the Cyclo-cross World Championships.
Under the deal, Telenet will take over the rights for five of the seven rounds of the 2015-16 Cyclo-cross World Cup in a sublicensing deal with public-service broadcaster VRT. VRT will retain the rights of the Flemish rounds in Koksijde and HeusdenZolder. In addition, Telenet will become the main sponsor of the Cyclo-cross World Cup this season.
From 2017 to 2020, VRT will continue to broadcast, in partnership with Telenet, two rounds of the Cyclo-cross World Cup organised in Belgium as well as the Cyclo-cross World Championships.
From 2016-17 to 2019-20, Telenet will broadcast all rounds of the Cyclo-cross World Cup across all its channels and will provide a dedicated offer on its digital platforms.
Telenet will also take care of international television production and provide images to all right-holders, while also becoming the title sponsor of the Cyclo-cross World Cup.
UCI president Brian Cookson said: “Our World Cup will visit the United States for the first time during the 2015-16 season with the Cross Vegas event, and we mean to continue the globalisation of this discipline. The year 2016 will also see the introduction of the new Women Under-23 category at the World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, proof of the UCI’s commitment to developing women’s cyclo-cross. The contract with Telenet is a new and significant step and will allow us to further invest in the discipline’s expansion.”
Telenet chief executive John Porter added: “We have the firm intention to continue investing in cyclo-cross and to contribute further to the development of the discipline. We will go full capacity with our TV production and television viewers can expect some amazing images.”