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Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) Sports UK Rides on Cycling Coverage

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Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD - Free Report) -owned Sports U.K. division had a successful 2023 cycling season with impressive growth in multi-platform audience engagement.

Cycling audiences in the U.K. and Ireland continued to grow across WBD’s platforms, with double-digit increases across both direct-to-consumer and linear platforms. Unique Video Viewers across Warner Bros. Discovery U.K. streaming services saw a combined 13% rise, with discovery+ leading the way with an increase of 159% during the season.

The streaming audiences experienced double-digit growth compared with the previous year. The discovery+ U.K. platform played a significant role in driving a triple-digit increase in unique users. Average live television audiences grew by a substantial 31% year over year. The Tour de France viewership on Eurosport U.K. was the strongest since 2016.

All three Grand Tours (Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and La Vuelta) achieved year-over-year user increases, with the Tour de France (+22%) and La Vuelta (+27%) contributing significantly to the triple-digit rise in viewership.

Eurosport's television audiences also saw significant growth, with the Tour de France achieving its best average viewership since 2016 and La Vuelta with its strongest audiences since 2017. Overall, live audiences on Eurosport 1 delivered a rise of 31% in average viewership compared with 2022.

Eurosport's digital services also experienced significant growth, with a 46% season uplift in page views on The Grand Tour races, such as the Giro d’Italia (+78%), Tour de France (+30%) and La Vuelta a España (+8%), generated substantial year-over-year increases in user interaction for race content.

Across Europe, Warner Bros. Discovery’s total engagement in its coverage of women's cycling grew by 25% year over year and its platforms remained the exclusive place to watch every race on the Women's World Tour.

The men's Grand Tour season in 2023 was historic, with Jumbo-Visma becoming the first World Tour team to win all three major races in a calendar year and notable victories by Primoz Roglic, Jonas Vingegaard and Sepp Kuss.

WBD Sports to Showcase Impressive Coverage in October

Warner Bros. Discovery Sports collectively reaches 130 million people every month, engaging fans and broad audiences in more than 200 markets and over 20 languages across all platforms where consumers are spending time.

This includes the much-loved consumer brands like Eurosport, BT Sport, Global Cycling Network (GCN), Global Mountain Bike Network and Golf Digest, as well sports programming and content on discovery+ and Warner Bros. Discovery’s free-to-air TV networks.

WBD has targeted the beginning of the Major League Baseball (MLB) playoffs to debut a sports tier for its Max streaming service. The company plans to simulcast games from the MLB, National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League and National Collegiate Athletics Association, including college basketball’s March Madness, on Max. The NBA, which begins its regular season starting Oct 24, has discussed an arrangement with Warner Bros. Discovery, where only games that air on the TNT cable network would be simulcast on Max.

It also intends to add content from its sports media outlet Bleacher Report, such as highlights and interviews.

Warner Bros. Discovery Sports U.K.'s cycling coverage has been thriving, with a focus on providing fans with diverse and engaging content across various platforms. WBD continues to showcase extensive live cycling coverage across Eurosport, discovery+ and GCN+, providing fans with 300 days of live racing per year and more than 630 hours of live coverage.

Cycling fans can look forward to more live action in October, including the coverage of the UCI Mountain Bike World Series, which has two more races before concluding on Oct 8.

The 2023-2024 season begins on Oct 15 and fans can catch every race from this series on platforms like discovery+, Eurosport App and GCN+.

Starting Oct 21, the UCI Track Champions League is set to return for its third season, with all five rounds being screened live and on-demand across WBD's channels and platforms globally.

Zack Rank & Stocks to Consider

Shares of Warner Bros. Discovery, which currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), has returned 16.4% year to date.

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Consumer Discretionary sector are IMAX Corporation (IMAX - Free Report) , JAKKS Pacific (JAKK - Free Report) and Live Nation Entertainment (LYV - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of IMAX Corporation have gained 32% in the year-to-date period. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2023 earnings is pegged at 86 cents per share, up 1.2% over the past 30 days.

Shares of JAKKS Pacific have gained 4.3% year to date. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2023 earnings is pegged at $3.77 per share, which has remained steady over the past 30 days.

Shares of Live Nation Entertainment have climbed 16.2% in the year-to-date period. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2023 earnings is pinned at $1.01 per share, which has remained constant over the past month.

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