The cost for U.S. cycling fans to watch pro racing through high-quality online streams just got cheaper. FloBikes, an over-the-top streaming service, announced it is significantly increasing its cycling broadcast lineup. It will offer premier events like the Giro d’Italia, Amstel Gold Race, Tour de Romandie, Giro di Lombardia, along with a healthy diet of spring classics like Milan-Sanremo and the Tour of Flanders in 2019.
This expanded offering means if U.S.-based viewers purchase an NBC Sports Gold subscription for $29.99 per year on top of the FloBikes service, it is possible to view nearly the entire cycling schedule for under $200 per year.
This development directly addresses one of the main issues that raised in those articles — the sport’s inability to offer viewing options at a compelling and affordable price point in the United States. This suite of races was previously only available through FuboTV’s bundled subscription streaming service, which costs roughly $54 per month. The FloBikes offering significantly decreases this cost. The package will also be available to Canadians.
“We [FloBikes] have experienced a lot of the same frustration that was highlighted in The Outer Line article, and which many fans have while trying to watch pro bike racing,” said Ian Dille, senior editor at FloBikes. “We feel that until now, there hasn’t been a viable, or affordable, option for consuming pro bike racing.”
Paul Hurdlow, senior vice president and general counsel at FloBikes’s parent company, FloSports, emphasized that its expanded service aims to grow the sport by giving consumers viewing options outside the traditional pirate streaming services. “We use the revenue from our subscription offering on FloBikes to invest in marketing and content related to cycling, which grows interest and enthusiasm for the sport. The rights fees we pay go to rights holders, and ultimately a portion of that goes to event promoters and athletes. Capturing the media equity in cycling ultimately drives a virtuous cycle of investment and return that benefits everyone who cares about cycling.”
FloBikes plans to hold its price of $30 per month, or $150 per year with a 12-month commitment. Consumers who sign up for the yearly service before this season’s Giro d’Italia will be able to catch the 2019 RCS and Flanders Classics spring lineup. This includes, but is not limited to, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem and Tour of Flanders. FloBikes also plans to continue to offer races like the Tour of the Alps and Tour de Suisse, which are not currently offered elsewhere for U.S. viewers.
This expanded viewing offering at a compelling price point is the first in hopefully many steps towards lowering the barrier to entry to legitimate streams for the sport’s premier races.