GCN+: Pandemic-friendly Upgrade

John sent me this over a few days ago and since then I’ve seen ads and YouTube ‘teasers’ of Global Cycling Network’s next big thing – GCN+.

Like most of you, I’ve watched GCN’s often informative, sometimes silly videos over the years and I often wondered to myself if they would eventually run out of topics to talk about. I guess they’ve been asking themselves the same question because a couple of years ago they expanded into race commentary (now partnered with Eurosport, I think) and now GCN+, which is a paid service, like their race package was before.

I am trying hard to live my life without subscriptions. I don’t have Netflix, Amazon Prime or Spotify, and I cringe when my annual Office suite subscription comes up for renewal. I just don’t want to buy something that will make me feel like I need to keep using it. There are some things that are essential, of course, like Excel and cycling documentaries! GCN+ will have a whole host of pros races this year, plus lots of in-house documentaries that will only be available to paid subscribers, I think. In Covid Times this is a very attractive proposal, especially since they are offering a ‘ridiculously low’ (their words, but I agree) annual price of around €20 if you sign up in February.

I think they are launching today. Anyone else considering it?

18 thoughts on “GCN+: Pandemic-friendly Upgrade

  1. I actually subscribed to GCN last August when they first started. I have it on my phone but can also stream it to the tv. It’s great. Watch it anytime anywhere and watch some commentary afterwards. Sean Kelly, Brad Wiggins etc. Quite good. And all the races seem to be on there. I just caught the Tour de Provence on there. I don’t have a sport channel on tv anymore and primarily watch the subscription channels that you avoid. I’ll see if I renew again at full price. I watched Vuelta last Sept? Oct? On it and the countryside in north west Spain is fantastic (your last blog). Anyway for €20 I would highly recommend.

    • I was hoping you’d comment, Luc, because you’ve talked about GCN a few times over the years. They say that you will be automatically upgraded to GCN+, so that’s nice. My question now is to sign up for the French version or use a VPN. I assume I’ll get most of the content I need from France, but for the Tour de la Provence, for example, I think they didn’t show it for French subscribers because Equipe had the rights to it here. I guess that doesn’t matter in the end because if GCN can’t show a race for French subscriptions, it means I can access it on French TV…in theory.

      • Hi Gerry, I did not see the (+) in the GCN+ in your comment so was not sure where the documentaries were located that you were talking about. After looking at the app again and following instructions to reboot I now see the GCN+ and the documentaries Super. Thanks for that.

        • You’d think they would have sent you an email about this free upgrade. I wonder how many other thousands of people haven’t got the memo! Glad I could help and enjoy the docs! I think I’m up to 5 now…

  2. I suppose living in France I see little value to GCN race pass. GCN+ with it’s documentaties would be more interesting and could add value if they’re well done. We already have Europort and l’Equipe, so between those and public French TV I can already see almost any race. And btw, Tiz cycling seems to stream GCN race pass for free – not sure how they get away with that.

    • I thought the same thing, and I often prefer the French commentary – good for my listening comprehension! I just signed up and am watching a doc they did about the 1903 Tour. I’m sure I’ll get my 20 euros’ worth.

      What put me over the edge was yesterday on the trainer. I was trying to watch the Tour de la Provence on Tiz (right, how does that guy get away with it?) and the feed kept freezing. Equipe was supposed to be showing it, but they must have decided to stick with the Biathlon Worlds instead. Then again, even if I’d had GCN I might not have been able to watch because of region restrictions. I think I’m good a covered now…

      • Equipe showed all three stages, they were just delayed by a couple of hours because of the biathlong worlds. I always record and watch later so I can skip all the commercials anyway. I’m sure the documentaties will be interesting. Do you know if there is a way to find out which races GCN+ will show in France? I’m assuming it will be limited if either equipe or eurosport has rights. I’m also preferential to the French commentary – it seems a bit more insightful, expecially for the French races where they have all the inside knowledge…

  3. Nice to wake up on a Day off here to a cup of coffee Ginette prepared and served to me in Bed.

    As someone who lives outside the cycling bubble of France, its a welcome site for me. Thanks for the heads up, I just subscribed. I’m very picky about what I stream. Everything in our house is streamed to a dumb TV with a streaming box and I only have Netflix and Crave for entertainment with no sports shows at all. Its really hard to get good streaming services for only cycling here so this is a welcome addition for us.

    • If I were living anywhere else I would get GCN+ in a heartbeat. It seems like you have to cast your android/ios app to TV via chromecast or airplay unless you have roku are a few other boxes which support (apple tv doesn’t seem to be supported).

      • Rich, very true! I am getting a new Roku box and I did not download the app as I got rid of my smart phone and went back to my Blackberry. Tired of all the apps controlling my life. I just basically stream on my laptop and chromecast to my TV as I am doing now.

        PS…I feel so UN-tethered and free with a phone that has no updates to it!!!!!!

    • I’m sure we’ll enjoy this. I think that they have an archive of old races, too, which would be great (unconfirmed). Hell, their little documentary on Colnago will be worth the price for me!

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