Warner Bros. Design Studio (WBDS) plans on introducing revolutionary viewing technology this July with the introduction of "the Cube," a mixed-reality studio that combines real footage and augmented reality. The Cube will debut during WBDS's coverage of the Tour de France (July 1-24) and Tour de Femmes (July 24-31).
La Course by Le Tour de France, pictured, was the first iteration of a women's tour (2014 - 2021) but was only a one-day event. 2022 marks the first year of Tour de France Femmes, the first iteration of a multi-stage women's Tour de France.
The Cube plans on changing the way sports are presented, with the usage of augmented reality (AR). Viewers were given the opportunity to see similar technology being used in Grand Slam tennis events, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing on WBDS platforms. The studio provided a unique viewing experience for each event.
This year's Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes are set to be even more captivating than ever before, with new innovations designed to enhance the viewing experience. An AR analysis tool and the unique virtual background will add an extra layer of immersion to the already exciting event. With these new additions, viewers will get a front-row seat and enjoy all the excitement of the world's most popular cycling event from the comfort of their own homes. An "inclinometer" feature will be introduced, which is a 3D representation of the gradients faced by the peloton. The Cube will showcase some of the finer tactical nuances of sports broadcasting, such as echelons and time trial setup. This will be achieved by harnessing Unreal Engine 5 technology to create a realistic and immersive experience for viewers.s.
The Tour de France will be broadcast live with the Cube, closing the gap between viewers and the action. Alongside providing live and on-demand race coverage plus in-depth race analysis from a host of cycling experts via The Breakaway (via Eurosport), GCN+ will also offer fans of the Tour de France unparalleled supporting content. Throughout each race week prior to The Grand Depart and throughout each race day, the GCN+ App will be home to interactive trivia quizzes, rider analysis stage breakdowns, predictions, and reviews.
GCN+ produces exclusive original documentaries that are a separate entity from GCN's YouTube channel. These films include ones that uncover the history of the development of the modern-day tour, profiles behind-the-scenes with iconic super teams, and legends of the race such as Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck, and Fabian Cancellara. Iris Slappendel, Eurosport GCN Cycling Expert, said: "The Tour de France Femmes is an incredibly exciting event that I hope will gain the attention of a whole new generation of fans and grow both interest and participation in the sport even more."
Warner Bros announced that it will be the exclusive home of the Tour de France in the United States from 2022-2026. The agreement includes live and on-demand coverage of all 21 stages of the Tour de France, as well as the Women's Tour de France, on WarnerMedia platforms including HBO Max, TNT, and TBS. This marks the first time that both Tours will receive equal billing and coverage across all 21 stages.
"Our partnership with Warner Bros is a game-changer for cycling fans in the United States," said David Lappartient, President of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). "Not only will they have access to more live racing than ever before but they'll also be able to experience some of the most iconic races in women's cycling."
In addition to comprehensive live and on-demand coverage, Warner Bros will also produce original content celebrating the sport of cycling and its athletes. This will include features and profiles spotlighting some of the biggest names in cycling as well as up-and-coming stars. The studio will also offer analysis and expert commentary from some of the most knowledgeable voices in cycling including former pro riders, GCN presenters, and reporters.
This year's Tour de France will feature the inaugural edition of the new-look Tour de France Femmes. The race will see some of the world's best female riders competing for the yellow jersey. Sir Bradley Wiggins and Alberto Contador, both seven-time Grand Tour winners, will front an on-air promotional campaign for the event. The promotion will see both Contador and Wiggins provide expert analysis and insight during live coverage of each stage across Eurosport 1 HD (Sky channel 410) and Eurosport 2 HD (Sky channel411), as well as digital platforms Eurosport Player and GCN app. In addition, they will also appear in specially produced features throughout the race.
Speaking about the campaign, Wiggins said: "It's going to be a really exciting race with some great riders taking part. I can't wait to be part of it." Contador added: "This is a hugely important year for women's cycling and I'm delighted to be involved in promoting it. The sport has come such a long way in recent years and I hope this race helps it to grow even more."
Warner Bros., one of the world's leading producers of entertainment content, will be bringing its production expertise to the inaugural Tour de France Femmes. The race, which will take place in July 2022, will see the best female riders in the world compete for the coveted yellow jersey -- which promises to be an exciting and historic event. The team at Warner Bros. plans on bringing the action up close and personal to spectators with their tailor-made tools and experienced commentary team.