Discovery is continuing its march into the sports world by acquiring 71% in digital cycling platform Play Sports Group.

The company has bought the majority stake in the multichannel network (MCN), which operates cycling brands Global Cycling Network, Global Mountain Bike Network and Global Triathlon Network, to expand its growth in live sports.

It comes on the back of major investment in golf and the expansion of its Eurosport brand.

Discovery originally took a 20% stake in Play Sports Group in February 2017 and the additional investment means Play Sports Group will become a subsidiary of Discovery. Play Sports Group Founder and CEO, Simon Wear, and his team of 140 world class cycling experts across content, creative, digital, marketing and sales services, will join Discovery, forming a new global cycling-focused division in the company.

Founded in 2012, Play Sports Group owns and operates eight cycling video channels generating over 45 million video views every month, with 5.7M social followers and 3.1M subscribers. During 2018, Play Sports Group launched five new international channels, a consumer retail division and fan club, and broadcasts live racing on its YouTube channels and via Facebook Watch.

JB Perrette, President and CEO at Discovery International, said, “This is another important step in Discovery’s strategy of being the global leader in brands and products that power people’s passions.  I couldn’t be more excited to partner with Simon, a fantastic entrepreneur, and his terrific team to help turbo charge the expansion and globalisation of the Play Sports Group.”

Founder and CEO of Play Sports Group, Simon Wear, added, “I am tremendously proud and excited for Play Sports Group to join the Discovery family. As a fan and community-focused business, we could not be more perfectly aligned with Discovery’s deep-rooted history in serving passionate, specialist audiences with super high-quality content.

“Since Discovery’s initial investment in PSG, we have worked closely with JB Perrette and his team and it has become increasingly clear that, as innovative direct-to-consumer businesses, we have a shared vision of how to super-serve fans’ ever-evolving needs. The combination of Discovery and Eurosport’s leading package of cycling rights, its resources, infrastructure and company philosophy, combined with Play Sports Group’s massive community of cycling fans means we have a phenomenal package. The opportunity to build a world class digital destination, in multiple languages, for cycling fans the world over is one that’s just too good to miss.”