Beginning with the 2015/16 season, Belgian cable broadcasting network Telenet has sponsored the UCI Cyclocross World Cup. With Telenet’s contract ending after this season, future broadcast rights went out for bid.
Last week, the UCI announced the Flanders Classics organization has received the rights to organize, market and broadcast the UCI Cyclocross World Cup series from 2020/21 through 2023/24.
Flanders Classics is responsible for organizing road races in Belgium, including the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars door Vlaanderen and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad spring classics.
According to a release from the UCI, the rights given to Flanders Classics include the following:
General organisation rights, marketing and sponsoring rights, and distribution of television rights for the UCI World Cup and the UCI World Championships in Belgium (in Flemish), including TV production of the World Cup (worldwide) and the World Championships (in Belgium).
In an interview with Wielerflits, Flanders Classics CEO Thomas Van Den Spiegel and Golazo managing director Christophe Impens revealed that one immediate impact of the switch to a new rights holder will be an expansion of the series.
Beginning next season (2020/21), the World Cup series will have a minimum of 14 and a maximum of 16 events. Organizers will seek a certain level of internationalization, with 7 countries required if there are 14 or 15 races and 8 countries required if there are 16.
In related news, Golazo has acquired SportIDee, which is the management company that has run the BricoCross series in recent years. With the acquisition, the BricoCross and Soudal Classics series, Koppenbergcross, World Cup Namur, Superprestige Zonhoven and GP Sven Nys will all be run by Golazo.
More details on what Flanders Classics rights will entail are expected this September. Stay tuned for more.
Featured image: Jeff Corcoran