British Cycling axes TV coverage of British road series

British Cycling described past broadcast arrangements as 'underperforming'

Rory Townsend, Matthew Holmes and Jacob Scott (Tim De Waele/Getty)
(Image credit: Corbis via Getty Images)

British Cycling has axed television coverage of the 2020 National Road Series following previously "underperforming" broadcast output.

The race will no longer supply a programme to Eurosport and will instead partner with Cyclevox to deliver news highlights packages.

In an email sent to teams and organisers by BC's elite road department, that has been seen by Cycling Weekly, the governing body is "looking to address" the issue and "seek the very best return on investment in order to benefit our events, teams and the wider sport".

British Cycling went on to say it had been a strategic aim of theirs to invest in road racing, one of their most high profile disciplines with the general public, in order to increase the exposure of events and grow the domestic racing scene.

>>> RideLondon – Surrey Classic searching for new title sponsor for 2021

They have blamed "a changing media landscape" as one of a number of factors that their aim hasn't been achieved, stating the figure they've invested over the past three years on the series comes to just under £1 million.

As well as British Cycling deeming the viewing figures for the coverage to be too low for the money they've put in, they say the growth in popularity of international racing has meant a jam-packed schedule resulted in the coverage of British racing sometimes being shown at "fairly unsociable times".

Cyclevox will now provide news packages on the day of the event as well another edit within days that will focus on the teams competing in the series, which the teams will be able to use to promote their participation in the event. Cyclevox will also continue to provide the in-race social media coverage as they did in 2019.

This news adds to the tough times ahead for the British scene, as the RideLondon - Surrey Classic announce they will be looking for a new title sponsor in 2021 as Prudential will end their eight-year sponsorship of the race in 2020.

The one-day event now joins the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour on the list of British races searching for sponsorship after OVO Energy announced 2020 would be the end of their headline sponsorship of the stage races.

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.