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Play Sports Group Joins Discovery to Form Unique Global Cycling Platform

Published January 8, 2019

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Play Sports Group – home of market-leading cycling channels GCN, GMBN and GTN – becomes a subsidiary of Discovery Sports, creating the first global direct-to-consumer proposition for cycling community and dedicated vertical for valuable global demo

8 January 2019 – Bath, UK: The Play Sports Group – the digital sports media company behind market-leading cycling brands including Global Cycling Network, Global Mountain Bike Network and Global Triathlon Network – has joined the Discovery family as Discovery Inc, the global leader in real life entertainment, today announced purchase of a 71% controlling stake in Play Sports Group.

Discovery Inc originally took a 20% stake in Play Sports Group in February 2017, investing in Play Sports Group's expansion, and this additional investment sees Play Sports Group become a subsidiary of Discovery.

The deal combines Discovery's position as a primary TV rights holder for cycling events in Europe, through its leading sports brand Eurosport – covering major UCI World Tour races including all three Grand Tours and all five Monuments, along with the UCI World Championships – and the Play Sports Group, the world's foremost creator of cycling-orientated digital video, forming the first global vertical for cycling fans around the world.

Play Sports Group, founded in 2012 by cycling media innovator Simon Wear, and now a team of 140 world class cycling experts across content, creative, digital, marketing and sales services, owns and operates eight cycling video channels generating over 45 million video views every month, with 5.7 million social followers and 3.1 million YouTube subscribers. During 2018, Play Sports Group launched five new international channels, a consumer retail division and fan club, and broadcasts live racing on its YouTube channels and via Facebook Watch. Play Sports Group also includes the award-winning cycling media agency, SHIFT Active Media.

Simon Wear, Founder and CEO of Play Sports Group, said:
"I am tremendously proud and excited for Play Sports Group to join the Discovery family. As a fan- and community-focused business we could not be more perfectly aligned with Discovery's deep rooted history in serving passionate, specialist audiences with super high quality content.

"Since the Discovery investment in PSG in February 2017 we have worked progressively more closely with JB Perrette and his team, and during this time it has become increasingly clear that we share a vision of innovative direct-to-consumer business. The combination of Discovery and Eurosport's leading package of cycling rights, its resources, infrastructure and company vision with Play Sports Group's massive community of cycling fans means we have a phenomenal package. The opportunity to build a world class digital destination, in multiple languages, for cycling fans the world over is one that's just too good to miss."

Discovery's investment in the Play Sports Group strengthens the company's strategy of creating and owning key sports verticals around the world that attract a passionate fan base and have high growth potential across all screens. The new proposition creates opportunities to develop a significant direct-to-consumer offering for cycling fans around the world.

JB Perrette, President and CEO at Discovery Networks International, said:
"This is a hugely important investment that aligns fully with Discovery's broader strategy of super-serving passionate fans across screens with valuable demographics and growth potential. This deal underpins Discovery's principle sport focus of owning verticals, allowing us to offer fans the best possible experience and immerse them fully in the sports they follow every day."

Peter Faricy, CEO, Global Direct to Consumer at Discovery Inc., said:
"Our partnership with Play Sports Group accelerates our global direct-to-consumer sports strategy and gives us an unprecedented opportunity to create a single global cycling destination for fans around the world. Discovery and Play Sports Group share a consumer-obsessed philosophy centred on a deep understanding of super-fans and creating content that inspires, informs and entertains, taking them closer to the sports they love.

"We know the value Play Sports Group bring to our portfolio and we're excited by the possibility of building a 360-degree proposition that combines the strength of their digital-first, fan-centric content, alongside Eurosport's premium live broadcasting rights and existing direct-to-consumer platforms."

About Play Sports Group

Play Sports Group (PSG) is the world's leading digital sports media company focused solely on cycling and tri-sports. Combining a deep love of the sport with peerless expertise in video and digital distribution, PSG has built a leadership position in the market, with 45m monthly video views to 3.1m subscribers amongst the 5.7m social followers of its eight channels that include Global Cycling Network (GCN), Global Mountain Bike Network (GMBN) and Global Triathlon Network (GTN), along with the first two of a growing number of non-English language channels, GCN en Español and GCN Italia. PSG channel presenters are engaging, knowledgeable former professional riders from the very highest levels who connect with the fans, and with world class athletes, teams and races, bringing their audiences to the heart of the professional sport with unmatched authenticity. Headquartered in Bath, England, PSG also includes the award-winning cycling media agency, SHIFT Active Media who work alongside some of the biggest, most high-profile brands in the cycling world, and is backed by an investor group led by Discovery Inc.

For more information about Play Sports Group, visit

About Discovery
Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps and Discovery Kids Play; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as Eurosport Player and Motor Trend OnDemand; and digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media. Discovery's portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, Turbo/Velocity, Animal Planet, and Science Channel, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe.

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