Eurosport has invested in cycling network Play Sports Group as part of an ongoing push to strengthen its digital business and increase fan engagement around its core sports.
The sports channel’s owner, Discovery Communications, acquired a 20% stake in the platform which last year reportedly reached more than 20 million cycling fans with content posted across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat profiles.
The four-year old business publishes more than 1,100 videos a year which focus on creating “compelling, entertaining and educational” content for cycling fans around the world.
Play Sports Group said that the commercial partnership and investment would allow it to “rapidly scale its business".
The company now plans to launch further channels in cycling and across other sports and will hire up to 150 people for newly created digital and creative roles over the next two years which will predominantly be based at its headquarters in Bath, England.
Eurosport’s community of cycling fans is among the most passionate and devoted in sport, so we are excited to deepen our position as Home of Cycling even further.
“Eurosport’s community of cycling fans is among the most passionate and devoted in sport, so we are excited to deepen our position as Home of Cycling even further,” said Peter Hutton, chief executive of Eurosport.
“Working with a digital media company that is squarely focused on cycling is an excellent proposition for Eurosport to align with, and it’s another example of how we’re nurturing sports communities and making sure viewers have access to their favourite sports content whenever and wherever they choose to access it."
Hutton added that the deal also “turns up the volume on Eurosport’s digital business”.
Eurosport’s managing director of digital, Ralph Rivera, and senior vice president of business development, Sameer Pabari, will join Play Sports Group’s newly formed executive board.
The investment in Play Sports Group is part of a wider digital investment from Discovery Communications. The company recently acquired a minority stake in RugbyPass, a digital content platform that reaches fans in 23 Asian markets and in October last year it invested around $100m in millennials-focused Group Nine Media.