UCI Cycling World Championships achieve record viewership
The maiden UCI Cycling World Championships, which combined 13 separate UCI World Championships into a singular prestigious event, has shattered viewership records across various disciplines.
The event, held in Glasgow and across Scotland from August 3-13, garnered over 80 million viewers, with 18.2 million viewers in France, 15.5 million in Italy and 11.9 million in the UK.
French public-service broadcaster France Télévisions reported record audience figures for the UCI Cycling World Championships road events, with the men’s elite road race attracting 1.8 million viewers and the women’s elite road race generating 1 million viewers, the highest since 2013.
In the UK, 963,000 viewers tuned in to watch the downhill mountain bike races in the men’s elite and women’s elite categories on the BBC, marking the competition’s first appearance on the public broadcaster’s main channels.
In the Netherlands, the average viewership for the men’s elite road race was 886,000 viewers, a substantial increase from the 338,000 audience in 2021, peaking at 1.7 million. In Italy, an average of 1.14 million viewers watched the race on public broadcaster Rai, with a peak of 1.65 million.
Denmark’s TV2 Sport broke its market share record for the men’s elite road race, achieving 41 percent over seven hours and a peak of 474,000 viewers, compared to 35 percent and 156,570 in 2021.
In Germany, public broadcaster ZDF attracted an average of 940,000 viewers, peaking at 1.22 million for the women’s elite road race.
These impressive figures were a result of the UCI Cycling World Championships bringing together diverse cycling disciplines and their respective audiences, along with comprehensive coverage on major European channels.
Eurovision Sport, a division of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), acted as the host broadcaster for the event on behalf of the UCI, producing extensive coverage. Sports marketing agency IMG distributed the rights to the rest of the world.
In total, the Championships were broadcast on 93 television channels in 130 countries on five continents.
The UCI’s social media coverage achieved 245.2 million impressions and 7.2 million engagements, with nearly 90 million total views of videos published on UCI’s various channels.
“On top of having been host broadcaster for the whole event, we are proud that Eurovision Sport has brought together Europe’s biggest free-to-air broadcasters to secure maximum exposure for this fantastic event,” Eurovision Sport Executive Director Glen Killane noted.
“We always aspire to maximise value for stakeholders and have been delighted to work with UCI to help create a must-see event, enabling millions of cycling fans to be part of the action.”
UCI president David Lappartient also expressed his satisfaction with the event’s success.
“The first edition of the UCI Cycling World Championships was an unprecedented success. The event saw around 8,000 athletes (elite and amateur) from 132 countries take part in the various disciplines on the program,” Lappartient said.
“The TV figures show that the public massively followed the UCI Cycling World Championships competitions and that events and disciplines that do not normally benefit from such a high level of TV and media coverage benefited greatly from the increased exposure that will boost their popularity and development at international level.”
The burgeoning viewership is a reflection of the significant boost in exposure for various cycling events and disciplines that typically do not receive such extensive media coverage. The increased visibility is expected to enhance their popularity and development at the international level.