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What GCN+ Shutdown and Shift to Max Means for US Bike Racing Followers in 2024

What GCN+ Shutdown and Shift to Max Means for US Bike Racing Followers in 2024

The best way to Watch Racing within the US: What does this week’s GCN+ shutdown and shift to Max imply for US bike racing followers in 2024? Spencer Martin breaks down the implications of the looming shutdown of the GCN+ app and announcement that WBD’s racing belongings will quickly be moved to the Max streaming app.

– This text is an excerpt from the Past the Peloton publication. Enroll right here for full entry. –


When Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD) introduced final month that they have been abruptly shutting down their in style GCN+ (World Biking Community) streaming service on December nineteenth, there was loads of uncertainty about the place, if in any respect, USA-based biking followers would have the ability to watch WBD’s broad portfolio {of professional} biking in 2024. However, with only a few days left earlier than GCN+ was set to close down, WBD introduced that they have been shifting their huge library of dwell races for which they personal the US broadcast rights over to the WBD-owned Max Streaming Service (previously often known as HBO), through their B/R Sports activities Add-On, for the US audiences (the races might be migrating to Eurosport Participant & Discovery+ in Europe).

What Does This Imply?

At a look, that is nice information, particularly if you have already got a Max subscription because the service you’re paying $49.99 per yr for (GCN+) is migrating over to the service you’re already paying $9.99 per thirty days (or $99 per yr) to entry.

  • In idea, it is a clear constructive since a present Max and GCN+ subscriber could be successfully reducing their web outflow from $150 to $100 for a similar content material (a few of GCN+ Cyclocross belongings, just like the December/January races, might be shifting to FloBikes, however thus far, it seems like the rest of the off-road calendar, just like the MTB World Cups and CX World Cups will stay with Max).
  • However, as all the time, the satan is within the particulars. If we learn the advantageous print on the Max web site, it tells us that after the promotional interval ends (on February twenty ninth), a Max subscriber can add B/R Sports activities for a further $9.99/month.

Because of this to easily exchange the content material we have been getting from GCN+ (minus the winter CX races) a viewer who isn’t at present a Max subscriber must pay $220 per yr ($100 annual Max subscription plus the $9.99 per thirty days B/R add-on), versus the $50 they have been paying for GCN+, whereas a present Max subscriber pays $120 versus $50.

  • Annual WBD Biking Portfolio Value Breakdown:
    2023: $49.99
    2024: $220 ($120 for present Max subscriber)
    • 2023 to 2024 Value Distinction: $170.01 enhance from 2023 to 2024 ($70.01 enhance for present Max Subscriber)
      • One factor to notice is that ultra-savvy viewers can lower this value considerably and get entry to each race on the 2024 calendar by utilizing a VPN and European-based paying agent to entry the much-cheaper Eurosport Participant/Discovery+ service that’s obtainable in most European international locations.

This considerably hidden vital worth enhance to entry the identical content material reveals the considering behind WBD’s technique of shutting the GCN+ service and app down whereas migrating their licensed content material over to an already present service.

  • Not solely do they get to save lots of vital cash on the prices of constructing and sustaining a streaming service (GCN misplaced practically $13 million in 2021, with a good portion of their prices associated to the app and race protection), however they get to shift their content material over to their tentpole streaming service the place they’re planning to monetize by charging a premium to look at their licensed dwell sports activities portfolio.
    • Biking would possibly look like a distinct segment sport with a minimal viewers, but when firms need to promote these ultra-expensive streaming apps, they must bundle all of their belongings onto the identical service, which permits them to cost a premium for his or her now-centralized content material whereas reducing prices on account of chopping down on the uncooked variety of totally different providers.
      • Additionally, even when biking’s viewers within the US is comparatively small, WBD probably accurately realized that in addition they characterize a really cost-insensitive group who’s already subscriber to Max and prepared to shell out for the $120 per yr B/R add-on with out a lot fuss.


Is This a Good Deal for Biking Followers?

Sadly, for many biking followers, the reply is a powerful no. Not solely will it’s important to pay more cash to look at the identical races in 2024 that you just did in 2023, however I’d guess that the times of GCN’s ad-free protection are accomplished, and the Max app will probably fill the race feed with adverts.

Nevertheless, for the small slice of followers who watch numerous sports activities and already pay to look at TNT’s collection of NBA, NHL, MLB, March Insanity, and US Nationwide Staff Soccer video games (that are additionally included within the B/R Sports activities Add-on Tier), it means they (i.e. me) are primarily getting biking content material, which they have been beforehand paying $49.99 per yr for, thrown right into a bundle they might have bought anyway free of charge.

  • As well as, there are marginal advantages of WBD’s biking belongings shifting to the a lot smoother and user-friendly Max app versus staying on the GCN+ app.
    • For instance, because the Max app is obtainable on each platform (together with embedded proper within the show of Peloton bikes), there might be a slight ease-of-use profit versus casting from one’s cellphone to TV like GCN required because it by no means developed a Roku or Sensible TV app.
      • This might sound extraordinarily minimal, however for these of us who use the service virtually on daily basis a yr, these small UX frustrations add up.


All-In 2024 Prices for US-Based mostly Bike Racing Followers

Frustratingly for US biking followers, three separate streaming providers are required to view your entire 2024 WorldTour highway calendar.

2024 USA Streaming Biking Companies
Max (plus B/R Reside Sports activities Tier): $219.99 per yr
FloBikes: $149.99 pear yr
Peacock: $59.99 per yr
Annual Complete: $429.97

Whereas the fee enhance implications of WBD shuttering GCN and shifting their races to Max aren’t insignificant ($170), the truth that racing within the USA is unfold between a mix of three providers makes authorized viewing of your entire top-tier calendar extremely cost-prohibitive.

  • For comparability, the NFL’s Sunday Ticket bundle, which lets viewers watch each out-of-market NFL soccer sport, is $349 per yr, and most in-market video games, outdoors the small variety of native video games broadcast on Amazon, may be considered free of charge with the acquisition of an old-school antenna.
  • Whereas I’m undecided if it can proceed to work after the Max migration, a strong hack to considerably decrease viewing prices up to now has been to buy the GCN+ service, along with a VPN service, and use that VPN to look at your entire racing season from the GCN app by nearly switching your location to the UK once they races are blacked out within the US.

Outdoors of this jaw-dropping sum, determining precisely what races are featured on every streaming service could be very (and sure deliberately) tough.

  • A very good rule of thumb to comply with is that each ASO-owned race is broadcast on Peacock, each Flanders Traditional race is on FloBikes, and RCS races plus all the things else is on GCN (now Max).


In an effort to ship the BTP readers into the 2024 highway biking streaming providers shopping for season as knowledgeable as doable, under is my decently-researched best-guess information for the place USA-based viewers can discover every race.

breakdown tv 2024

– This text is an excerpt from the Past the Peloton publication. Enroll right here for full entry. –

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