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World Championship Cycling

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Thrilling World Championships Draw Massive Viewership

The 96th edition of the UCI Road World Championships took place between August 5th and 13th, 2023, in Glasgow, United Kingdom. It was the stage where Mathieu van der Poel triumphantly claimed the coveted rainbow jersey on Sunday, August 6th.

On that Sunday, nearly 900.000 Belgian viewers were glued to their screens, captivated by the UCI Road World Championships. According to data from the Center for Information about the Media, this cycling event emerged as the most-watched program of the weekend. The race's climax captured the attention of an impressive 1.257.758 viewers, as reported by VRT.

Lotte Kopecky, the Belgian pride in women's cycling, also managed to capture the audience's attention. Her gold medal triumph in the elimination race at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships attracted an audience of 161.930 viewers in the evening. These numbers signify a consistent trend, as the Tour de France Femmes, which brought Belgium success thanks to Kopecky's achievements, experienced a remarkable surge in viewership compared to the previous year. An average of 393.080 Belgian viewers tuned in daily to the cycling spectacle, with a peak of 695.524 viewers during the mountain stage on Saturday.

The success of the Women's Tour de France extended to the online realm, with an average of 91.000 unique visitors engaging in the live coverage daily. In neighboring countries, the Women's Tour de France also attracted attention. In France, the broadcast garnered an average of nearly 2 million viewers, reaching a peak of 2.78 million during the mountain stage on Saturday. While these figures showed a slight decrease compared to the previous year, they underscore the growing interest in the Women's Tour de France.

The UCI Road World Championships for elite men also garnered substantial viewership in neighboring countries. In the Netherlands, NOS managed to attract an impressive 3.27 million viewers during the live broadcast on the public broadcaster. The average viewership was 1.14 million, resulting in a market share of 55.4 percent. These numbers even surpassed the viewership of the mountain stages in the Tour de France. It demonstrates that Mathieu van der Poel is a phenomenon capable of attracting millions of viewers, even more so than the thrilling mountain stages of the Tour.

Overall, the UCI Road World Championships underline the escalating appeal of cycling, with viewership figures exceeding expectations and a growing interest from both national and international audiences.

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