Eclipse Television & Sports Marketing, LLC, has announced plans this week to expand television coverage of the Jeep King of the Mountain 2006 World Professional Mountain Biking Championships to include three hours on CBS Sports, with international coverage also in consideration.
The Jeep King of the Mountain Series features 16 of the world's top riders competing head-to-head to capture the title of World Professional Champion as well as a share of the richest cash payout in the sport.
Based upon the ratings success of last season's Championship telecast from The Pocono Mountains, Pa., Jeep, Eclipse and CBS Sports have agreed to expanded airtime for the 2006 World Professional Mountain Biking Championships. The three hours of race coverage will represent the most extensive national coverage offered to professional MTB racing in recent history.
World professional champions are crowned based on a system of cumulative points earned throughout the Jeep King of the Mountain Series, which will include three races to be held between June and August 2006 throughout the U.S. An elite field of international professional racers - six women and six men - will be pre-qualified to participate in the World Professional Mountain Biking Championships. The balance of the 16-athlete field - two men and two women - will qualify using a national open qualifier system similar to that used in the wintertime Jeep King of the Mountain World Professional Skiing & Snowboarding Championships.
"Last season's World Professional Mountain Biking Championships achieved an all-time record for attendance and television ratings, which can provide the industry an unparalleled integrated marketing platform to reach a highly targeted national core audience," said Henry Schneidman, president of Eclipse Television & Sports Marketing. "We are now looking for the cycling and action sports industries to step up and become promotional partners and to use their resources to grow this program and the sport overall."
This year's World Professional Mountain Biking Championships will again be staged on the Jeep King of the Mountain Series' innovative Y-shaped racecourse. The daredevil racecourse, known simply as "The Y," combines the two most dramatic and popular forms of mountain bike racing into one unique discipline. Competitors begin the race on a dual slalom courses (the prongs of the Y) before converging midway to a single course (the bottom of the Y). In the bottom section, racers must navigate a series of banked turns, tabletops, step-down jumps and rollers before the track climaxes with an all-out sprint to the finish.
Additional details regarding the 2006 World Professional Mountain Biking Championships, including sites, athlete line-ups and CBS Sports broadcast airdates will be announced in the coming months.