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The current state of pro cycling - an appraisal

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Re: Re:

15 Aug 2018 10:34

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:TV is crying out for such content.
Is it? What does cycling compete with on ITV 94 in the UK? 118 episodes of Kojak on a never-ending loop. 148 episodes of Quincy ME on a never-ending loop. 114 episodes of Minder on a never-ending loop. 53 episodes of The Sweeney on a never-ending loop. 57 episodes of The Professionals on a never-ending loop. Each on twice a day. Day after day after day after day. Oddly, you never see ITV's decade-and-more coverage of the Tour put on a never-ending loop. Do you know why that is? Sport doesn't really work for repeat viewing. So, is TV really crying out for such content?
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Re: Re:

15 Aug 2018 20:16

fmk_RoI wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:TV is crying out for such content.
Is it? What does cycling compete with on ITV 94 in the UK? 118 episodes of Kojak on a never-ending loop. 148 episodes of Quincy ME on a never-ending loop. 114 episodes of Minder on a never-ending loop. 53 episodes of The Sweeney on a never-ending loop. 57 episodes of The Professionals on a never-ending loop. Each on twice a day. Day after day after day after day. Oddly, you never see ITV's decade-and-more coverage of the Tour put on a never-ending loop. Do you know why that is? Sport doesn't really work for repeat viewing. So, is TV really crying out for such content?

I can't really comment on UK television. Perhaps there are local content laws which see such shows taking up airtime.

But for sure if cycling was able to serve up content that was well packaged it would be taken up by a channel here looking to provide fresh content. There are sport oriented channels and live action plus replays in the hours/days following absolutely is sought. This is what fills the sport oriented channels now except they have to fill the gaps with stuff they'd probably rather not (i.e. not sport).

I think it needs a bit of a Netflix moment.

I can see a streaming/cloud based video and recording service such as Fubo taking such well packaged content in a heart beat. They already have a dedicated cycling channel now. They could be the Netflix for cycle sport, and help to change the paradigm. All major races in one place and viewable in a consistent manner. Indeed when there is more than one race on at the same time, well this is perfect for managing this sort of viewing. I can watch what I want, when I want.

Look at it from the angle of the consumer of sport's viewing. Cycling doesn't have a stadium. If that part of the equation is screwy, well it's never going to progress beyond it's minor niche.
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Re: Re:

15 Aug 2018 20:19

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:I can't really comment on UK television. Perhaps there are local content laws which see such shows taking up airtime.
LMFAO
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Re: Re:

16 Aug 2018 10:50

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:I can't really comment on UK television. Perhaps there are local content laws which see such shows taking up airtime.

But for sure if cycling was able to serve up content that was well packaged it would be taken up by a channel here looking to provide fresh content. There are sport oriented channels and live action plus replays in the hours/days following absolutely is sought. This is what fills the sport oriented channels now except they have to fill the gaps with stuff they'd probably rather not (i.e. not sport).

I think it needs a bit of a Netflix moment.

I can see a streaming/cloud based video and recording service such as Fubo taking such well packaged content in a heart beat. They already have a dedicated cycling channel now. They could be the Netflix for cycle sport, and help to change the paradigm. All major races in one place and viewable in a consistent manner. Indeed when there is more than one race on at the same time, well this is perfect for managing this sort of viewing. I can watch what I want, when I want.

Look at it from the angle of the consumer of sport's viewing. Cycling doesn't have a stadium. If that part of the equation is screwy, well it's never going to progress beyond it's minor niche.


I think this is a great idea. Cycling lends itself wonderfully well to TV, there are lots of races, and done properly the viewing appeals beyond just sport fans – it’s not just France that can show-off local scenery and architecture. But it needs much better delivery - cycling as a packaged product would be attractive to a number of outlets, be they a sports pay TV channel or some form of streaming service as you suggest.

Of course there is no grand narrative in cycling but there are still lots of smaller narratives woven into the fabric of each season which are in themselves often interesting, easy to follow and capable of being packaged and reported on in an engaging manner. There are multiple big names that can be followed through-out the course of a season, often as they chase big goals, whether that be a Sagan building to Flanders/Roubaix or a Froome working towards the Tour. If one producer made most of the content, then you can also have one group of broadcasters/journalists who cover most of the races and provide expert comment, as well as interviews with riders, DSs etc. to build their profiles. Put them all together and they can tell a story, or stories, over the course of each season.

Small example – the Yates brothers. Simon did really well at the Giro, but then blew up and fell just short of a maiden GT win. Adam really struggled at the Tour, and when he finally looked likely to salvage something he crashed. But now Simon is back and gunning for the Vuelta, and Adam is going to try and make amends for his poor Tour by helping his brother to this time go the distance. That’s a good story, told over multiple GTs, and a Yates fan would have an interest in following it through the various races. Of course, it’s no substitute for a proper championship, but it’s still marketable.

But there’s no point debating with FMK – he knows everything already.
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Re: Re:

16 Aug 2018 11:09

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:I think it needs a bit of a Netflix moment.

I can see a streaming/cloud based video and recording service such as Fubo taking such well packaged content in a heart beat.
With what, 100,000 registered users, Fubo would pay how much for cycling's rights?

We've gone from attempting to discuss viable, economic solutions for the sport, to engaging in fantasy solutions for individual fans.
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Re: Re:

17 Aug 2018 00:04

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
fmk_RoI wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:TV is crying out for such content.
Is it? What does cycling compete with on ITV 94 in the UK? 118 episodes of Kojak on a never-ending loop. 148 episodes of Quincy ME on a never-ending loop. 114 episodes of Minder on a never-ending loop. 53 episodes of The Sweeney on a never-ending loop. 57 episodes of The Professionals on a never-ending loop. Each on twice a day. Day after day after day after day. Oddly, you never see ITV's decade-and-more coverage of the Tour put on a never-ending loop. Do you know why that is? Sport doesn't really work for repeat viewing. So, is TV really crying out for such content?

I can't really comment on UK television. Perhaps there are local content laws which see such shows taking up airtime.

But for sure if cycling was able to serve up content that was well packaged it would be taken up by a channel here looking to provide fresh content. There are sport oriented channels and live action plus replays in the hours/days following absolutely is sought. This is what fills the sport oriented channels now except they have to fill the gaps with stuff they'd probably rather not (i.e. not sport).

I think it needs a bit of a Netflix moment.

I can see a streaming/cloud based video and recording service such as Fubo taking such well packaged content in a heart beat. They already have a dedicated cycling channel now. They could be the Netflix for cycle sport, and help to change the paradigm. All major races in one place and viewable in a consistent manner. Indeed when there is more than one race on at the same time, well this is perfect for managing this sort of viewing. I can watch what I want, when I want.

Look at it from the angle of the consumer of sport's viewing. Cycling doesn't have a stadium. If that part of the equation is screwy, well it's never going to progress beyond it's minor niche.


Netflix had to raise $1.5bn in debt funding to get where it is today. Which is about $200m in profit. PayPal had to pay $50 to its first 50,000 subscribers from venture funding. This stuff doesn’t happen on its own. No one is going to fund cycling to the levels that Kerry Packer did for World Series to turn cricket from a 5 day event into a made for TV one day event. Unless Elon Musk starts shaving his legs.
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Re: Re:

17 Aug 2018 07:13

thehog wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
fmk_RoI wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:TV is crying out for such content.
Is it? What does cycling compete with on ITV 94 in the UK? 118 episodes of Kojak on a never-ending loop. 148 episodes of Quincy ME on a never-ending loop. 114 episodes of Minder on a never-ending loop. 53 episodes of The Sweeney on a never-ending loop. 57 episodes of The Professionals on a never-ending loop. Each on twice a day. Day after day after day after day. Oddly, you never see ITV's decade-and-more coverage of the Tour put on a never-ending loop. Do you know why that is? Sport doesn't really work for repeat viewing. So, is TV really crying out for such content?

I can't really comment on UK television. Perhaps there are local content laws which see such shows taking up airtime.

But for sure if cycling was able to serve up content that was well packaged it would be taken up by a channel here looking to provide fresh content. There are sport oriented channels and live action plus replays in the hours/days following absolutely is sought. This is what fills the sport oriented channels now except they have to fill the gaps with stuff they'd probably rather not (i.e. not sport).

I think it needs a bit of a Netflix moment.

I can see a streaming/cloud based video and recording service such as Fubo taking such well packaged content in a heart beat. They already have a dedicated cycling channel now. They could be the Netflix for cycle sport, and help to change the paradigm. All major races in one place and viewable in a consistent manner. Indeed when there is more than one race on at the same time, well this is perfect for managing this sort of viewing. I can watch what I want, when I want.

Look at it from the angle of the consumer of sport's viewing. Cycling doesn't have a stadium. If that part of the equation is screwy, well it's never going to progress beyond it's minor niche.


Netflix had to raise $1.5bn in debt funding to get where it is today. Which is about $200m in profit. PayPal had to pay $50 to its first 50,000 subscribers from venture funding. This stuff doesn’t happen on its own. No one is going to fund cycling to the levels that Kerry Packer did for World Series to turn cricket from a 5 day event into a made for TV one day event. Unless Elon Musk starts shaving his legs.


Electric bikes??
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17 Aug 2018 10:58

Remember when Oleg Tinkoff was going to be our saviour, with his deep, deep pockets?

Remember when Wang Jianlin was going to be our saviour, with his deep, deep pockets?

Now our saviour is supposed to be Silicon Valley Venture Capital funds who'll happily pay lots and lots of money to buy cycling's humongous audience for new streaming services.

Sometimes it's like some cycling fans think the sport is one of those bodice-ripping romantic novels where a white knight with deep, deep pockets will come charging in and take us off to a new life of happiness and lots and lots of money.
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17 Aug 2018 13:12

Honest question, do people really think they are coming up with ideas that haven't been thought of before?
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Re:

17 Aug 2018 13:43

King Boonen wrote:Honest question, do people really think they are coming up with ideas that haven't been thought of before?


This is what we're facing up to - final day of 2012 tour in UK - probably the most important one-off stage in the history of british cycling.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2012/jul/23/bradley-wiggins-tour-de-france-tv

"ITV1 averaged 1.4 million viewers and a 12.3% audience share between 2pm and 5pm. The previous Sunday a Columbo repeat on ITV1 averaged 1.1 million viewers and a 10.8% audience share over two hours from 2.30pm.

The ITV4 simulcast averaged 627,000 viewers and a 5.6% share over the same period, with the channel's Tour de France highlights show averaging 520,000 viewers and a 2.7% share over an hour from 7pm."

In probably the fastest growing cycling market in the world at the time, you could get half the viewing figures by knocking out a repeat of a 30 year old american cop show.

Fancy ideas about narratives, stories, platforms and presentation are all well and good - the facts are that the interest simply isn't there.
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17 Aug 2018 13:50

Yeah, that's the point I'm getting at really. There clearly isn't an audience big enough to support the kind of investment that would be required to produce some kind of season long coverage with shows covering the stories and intricacies of the riders and their performance across different races.
Vincenzo Nibali:
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Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
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Re:

17 Aug 2018 13:57

King Boonen wrote:Yeah, that's the point I'm getting at really. There clearly isn't an audience big enough to support the kind of investment that would be required to produce some kind of season long coverage with shows covering the stories and intricacies of the riders and their performance across different races.


FWIW, I think the ITV TDF coverage is excellent - good quality production values, decent analysis from people who know what they're talking about and an effort to follow the narrative and tell the story. And yet, still people don't watch it in enormous numbers - certainly not enough to suggest that there'd be any commercial value in covering even fairly major races, such as the Tour of Romandie or Basque Country to a decent level of detail.
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Re: Re:

17 Aug 2018 14:17

simoni wrote:
King Boonen wrote:Yeah, that's the point I'm getting at really. There clearly isn't an audience big enough to support the kind of investment that would be required to produce some kind of season long coverage with shows covering the stories and intricacies of the riders and their performance across different races.


FWIW, I think the ITV TDF coverage is excellent - good quality production values, decent analysis from people who know what they're talking about and an effort to follow the narrative and tell the story. And yet, still people don't watch it in enormous numbers - certainly not enough to suggest that there'd be any commercial value in covering even fairly major races, such as the Tour of Romandie or Basque Country to a decent level of detail.
What are ITV doing for the Vuelta? Full live or an hour's highlights late at night?
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17 Aug 2018 14:28

Not scheduled yet, but odds on for 1 hour highlights 10-11pm, the "old film repeated for the 1000th time" slot.
Vincenzo Nibali:
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Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
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Re:

17 Aug 2018 14:31

King Boonen wrote:Not scheduled yet, but odds on for 1 hour highlights 10-11pm, the "old film repeated for the 1000th time" slot.


They usually do a decent job of covering it with Imlach fronting (possibly not on location though) and I've seen somewhere that they're doing their own comms with Boulting/Millar. I'd be v surprised if they're doing any live coverage with the big brit names not racing it.
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17 Aug 2018 14:36

The quality of the coverage only really matters to us. The channel and time gives more of an indication of what they think of its actually worth. Considering Froome has raced it for the past 4(?) years, 3as the TDF champion, I think it's fairly obvious that there is basically no market for it.
Vincenzo Nibali:
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Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
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Re: Re:

17 Aug 2018 21:49

TheSpud wrote:
thehog wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
fmk_RoI wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:TV is crying out for such content.
Is it? What does cycling compete with on ITV 94 in the UK? 118 episodes of Kojak on a never-ending loop. 148 episodes of Quincy ME on a never-ending loop. 114 episodes of Minder on a never-ending loop. 53 episodes of The Sweeney on a never-ending loop. 57 episodes of The Professionals on a never-ending loop. Each on twice a day. Day after day after day after day. Oddly, you never see ITV's decade-and-more coverage of the Tour put on a never-ending loop. Do you know why that is? Sport doesn't really work for repeat viewing. So, is TV really crying out for such content?

I can't really comment on UK television. Perhaps there are local content laws which see such shows taking up airtime.

But for sure if cycling was able to serve up content that was well packaged it would be taken up by a channel here looking to provide fresh content. There are sport oriented channels and live action plus replays in the hours/days following absolutely is sought. This is what fills the sport oriented channels now except they have to fill the gaps with stuff they'd probably rather not (i.e. not sport).

I think it needs a bit of a Netflix moment.

I can see a streaming/cloud based video and recording service such as Fubo taking such well packaged content in a heart beat. They already have a dedicated cycling channel now. They could be the Netflix for cycle sport, and help to change the paradigm. All major races in one place and viewable in a consistent manner. Indeed when there is more than one race on at the same time, well this is perfect for managing this sort of viewing. I can watch what I want, when I want.

Look at it from the angle of the consumer of sport's viewing. Cycling doesn't have a stadium. If that part of the equation is screwy, well it's never going to progress beyond it's minor niche.


Netflix had to raise $1.5bn in debt funding to get where it is today. Which is about $200m in profit. PayPal had to pay $50 to its first 50,000 subscribers from venture funding. This stuff doesn’t happen on its own. No one is going to fund cycling to the levels that Kerry Packer did for World Series to turn cricket from a 5 day event into a made for TV one day event. Unless Elon Musk starts shaving his legs.


Electric bikes??


Hyperloop cycling? SpaceX? Hair doesn’t grow in space, legs permanently shaven. Tesla Super Electric Cycle Series.
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Re:

17 Aug 2018 21:52

King Boonen wrote:The quality of the coverage only really matters to us. The channel and time gives more of an indication of what they think of its actually worth. Considering Froome has raced it for the past 4(?) years, 3as the TDF champion, I think it's fairly obvious that there is basically no market for it.


I’d do match races up Ventoux and other climbs. Big money, no drafting with cash prizes at each sprint point on the climb. Veterans doper circuit as well, Ullrich v Armstrong v Vino v Mayo and Landis. That would be nuts and well worth watching for just under an hour of viewing. Get the cameras involved on the crowd, best costume award, kissing cam etc. Sponsored by Bud and KFC.
Last edited by thehog on 17 Aug 2018 22:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Re:

17 Aug 2018 22:03

thehog wrote:
King Boonen wrote:The quality of the coverage only really matters to us. The channel and time gives more of an indication of what they think of its actually worth. Considering Froome has raced it for the past 4(?) years, 3as the TDF champion, I think it's fairly obvious that there is basically no market for it.


I’d do match races up Ventoux and other climbs. Big money, no drafting with cash prizes at each sprint point on the climb. Veterans doper circuit as well, Ullrich v Armstrong v Vino v Mayo and Landis. That would be nuts and well worth watching for just under an hour of viewing. Get the cameras involved on the crowd, best costume award, missing cam etc.

Ventolin hand-ups?
Vincenzo Nibali:
"I know how to ride a bike"

Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
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Re: Re:

17 Aug 2018 22:16

King Boonen wrote:
thehog wrote:
King Boonen wrote:The quality of the coverage only really matters to us. The channel and time gives more of an indication of what they think of its actually worth. Considering Froome has raced it for the past 4(?) years, 3as the TDF champion, I think it's fairly obvious that there is basically no market for it.


I’d do match races up Ventoux and other climbs. Big money, no drafting with cash prizes at each sprint point on the climb. Veterans doper circuit as well, Ullrich v Armstrong v Vino v Mayo and Landis. That would be nuts and well worth watching for just under an hour of viewing. Get the cameras involved on the crowd, best costume award, missing cam etc.

Ventolin hand-ups?


The whole shebang... Hematocrit allowable up to 65%! :cool:
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