Comcast offer means Team Sky could have life beyond 2020 after all
Cycling’s Team Sky could have a life beyond 2020, when Sky, the international pay-TV operator, is due to drop its involvement in the team, after Comcast, Sky’s new owner, was reported to have offered to supply 70 per cent of the team’s budget in 2021.
Comcast has even offered to fund the team without its logo appearing on team jerseys, Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport has reported.
Sky shocked the cycling world last month by announcing that it would withdraw from its sponsorship and ownership of Team Sky at the end of 2019, after a highly successful 10-year spell in which it helped transform the image of the sport in the UK, albeit the team also became embroiled in damaging doping allegations.
Sky had been paying about £25 million ($31.4 million) a year to fund the team.
The reported two-year stay of execution could be used to seek other sponsors and to safeguard the expensive contracts of star riders such as Tour de France winners Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome, it is reported.
Other reports have suggested that Sylvan Adams, the Canadian-Israeli billionaire behind the second-tier Israel Cycling Academy ProContinental team might be interested in investing in Team Sky.
Adams told Velonews: “We have several discussions with several [top-tier] WorldTour teams, I am aware of the market. We keep our eyes open and we are opportunistic. Israel Cycling Academy is growing steadily. But if an opportunity passes, we can consider it. Sometimes you have to create your own happiness.”
Sky’s decision to withdraw from the sport had been expected since its acquisition last year by Comcast, in a deal worth £29.7 billion ($39.1 billion).