I’ve already wrote a post about cameras and bicycle racing. But it was an article about how the UCI DQ’d a cyclocross rider that streamed a race live from his bike. I still don’t know the rule that the guy broke, but there must be one.
And then along come Velon. Velon is a group of World Tour teams that have tried to gain some clout against all the evil forces of the sport, ie. the UCI, and ASO. Velon has been trying to figure out a way to leverage some television dollars for the teams. Velon’s mission statement, as of now –
“Velon wants to create a new economic for the sport and bring fans closer to the riders, races, and teams – by working together and in partnership with others.”
So they did this in a round-about way. They signed a partnership with Infront, an international multi media sports marketing company, that has very deep pockets. Infront dwarfs the UCI and ASO, owner of the Tour de France.
And now Velon has signed a two year deal with GoPro, to stream onboard media footage from the riders bikes. Velon seems to have claimed the “ownership” of the onboard media just because they feel they can. I find that interesting.
I’m wondering how just last year that the UCI disqualifies an individual rider for streaming media from a UCI cyclocross event and then all these World Tour Teams, sign their own camera deal and agree to stream media from their bikes. It seems to me that the UCI thought they owned the rights to this media. If not the UCI then the races themselves, the ASO.
I wondering when ASO sells the TV rights to the Tour or Tour of California, or other events the ASO owns, do they now feel they have to deal with Velon to buy the onboard camera footage?
What about teams that are racing the events and don’t belong to Velon. Velon is just 11 teams. Can those guys have their own cameras and then sell the footage to whoever? It seems to me that it is a sticky situation. Maybe not? Maybe they have all figure it all out. I haven’t seen it in print if that is the case.
Anyway, I like the onboard footage. I think that watching bicycle racing live is a thousand times more exciting that viewing it on a screen. Onboard footage seems more realistic than other views. It is going to be interesting seeing how this all plays out.