Today is a sad day for all cycling fans as GCN has announced the closure of GCN+ and the GCN app as its parent company Warner Bros. Discovery looks to “consolidate its streaming services to offer more content in fewer places”.
European viewers will still be able to watch live racing coverage via Discovery+, Eurosport or Eurosport Extra, depending on the country. For markets outside of Europe, Warner Bros. Discovery will be letting viewers know what their options are as soon as possible.
Existing subscription plans will end and people will no longer be able to access the app from December 19, 2023. Pro-rata refunds will be given from that date.
The news was announced in a video uploaded to the GCN YouTube channel and delivered by presenters Dan Lloyd and Simon Richardson.
“This decision by our parent company Warner Bros. Discovery is driven by its global strategy to consolidate its streaming services to offer more content in fewer places,” Lloyd said.
“Given the news we really want to say that we’re sorry. From us but also on behalf of the talented and hardworking people at GCN+ and the app who have poured their hearts and souls into it. Thank you to you lot, to the hundreds of thousands of you who supported us and subscribed to GCN+. We’re really proud of everything we’ve achieved with GCN+ and the app over the last four years, from all the live racing coverage to the 200+ films we made.
“We will continue to make the best cycling content that we can, for the GCN community who’ve supported us so much over the last 11 years.”
GCN, or some part of it, was shopped around for a potential sale earlier this year, according to sources inside GCN and Warner Brothers Discovery. The likely scenario, according to Escape Collective’s sources, was that the website and YouTube side of the business would be split off from GCN+, live racing TV rights, and the app. Now that the live racing and app are set to be shut down, it remains unclear whether a buyer has been found for the remainder of the company.
Simon Richardson added that everything GCN does apart from GCN+ and the GCN app will be continuing, including the YouTube channel and the recently revamped website, which he said “is going from strength to strength”.
“We also want to add for the sake of all the people who have worked so hard on GCN+ and the GCN app, the reason for its closure isn’t that it didn’t work or it was underperforming, it’s just that the media industry landscape has changed,” Richardson explained.
“What is next for GCN? The show goes on. Of course it does. All GCN, except for GCN+ and the GCN app are absolutely continuing, we still love bikes.”
When asked what will happen to the documentaries in the comments of the YouTube video, GCN replied: “It will vary on country depending where you are based – there will be more information on the website shortly.”
GCN+ and the GCN app were game changers for cycling fans, particularly those outside of Europe, providing easily accessible live racing coverage of more races than you often knew what to do with. Fans even a decade earlier wouldn’t have been able to imagine a world in which they would have so much live racing at their fingertips.
As a fellow media entity, we have many colleagues and friends who work for GCN and want to thank them for what they’ve provided to the cycling community over the past years and will continue to provide going forward.
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