BIKE, the first TV channel dedicated to the world of cycling, is now available in the UK.
Aimed at all cyclists and cycling fans, BIKE offers viewers a range of programmes featuring sport, adventure, legends and insights from the world of bikes. Highlights and live race coverage will be included alongside documentaries, entertainment and original programming.
BIKE went live on Thursday last week (December 10th) and is available to over 12 million Sky customers on channel 464. Further distribution channels are expected in early 2016.
BIKE is planning to appeal to leisure riders, racers, mountain bikers, commuters and triathletes, with programming tailored "to give every fan a full night of programming". Each evening serves up a themed menu of shows, from Sport to Legends, Women to Travel, Training and Mountain Biking.
“Italy is the historical centre of bicycle culture and the home of the most iconic cycling brands, so it was the obvious place to establish BIKE," said BIKE Media’s CEO, Filippo Mori Ubaldini. "Since we launched in Italy in 2012, we have seen tremendous growth and now regularly reach over one million cycling fans every month. The rapturous way that the UK embraced the Olympics and the Tour de France proved to us that the logical next step was to launch here and we are excited to now be part of the growing UK cycling scene.”
Richard Schofield, BIKE’s UK marketing director, added: “We couldn't think of a more perfect time to launch BIKE. The channel’s mix of sports coverage, history and specialist interest programming means that whether a viewer is a mountain biker, a road racer or a commuter, they’ll quickly and easily find something to captivate them.”
BIKE will be represented for airtime and sponsorship sales by Sky Media. Richard Hawking, Operations Director at Sky, says, “We are thrilled to have BIKE as part of the Sky Media portfolio and really excited to support the launch of such a unique channel into the British TV landscape.”
The press statement added: "Cycling has always been a sport that inspires fans to participate and by showcasing top athletes against some of Europe’s most stunning landscapes, BIKE intends to provide the rest and inspiration between the viewers’ last ride and their next.
"The launch comes at a time of surging interest in cycling in the UK. Back-to-back British wins of the Tour de France by Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and Chris Froome in 2013 have seen road racing’s profile increase significantly, while participation in road cycling has been boosted by the successes of the pro team Team Sky and Team GB at the London Olympics. With Britain’s roads getting more and more congested, a growing number of people are also discovering that commuting to work on a bike is the quicker, cheaper option that comes with the added benefit of improved fitness."