By Gary Anderson

September 17 - The Italian city of Florence will play host to the worlds best road riders during the upcoming Road World ChampionshipsThe International Cycling Union (UCI) and Infront Sports & Media have revealed an extensive media package for the upcoming Road World Championships in Florence that will see the event broadcast across Europe, North and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

In all, international media rights for the event, which runs from September 22 to 29, have been licensed to around 30 television networks, including in new territories for the first time through Al Jazeera in the Middle East, Charlton in Israel and Direct TV in South America.

The number of licence holders and guaranteed broadcast visibility will be higher and more widespread than at any of the previous Championships, which have been running professionally since 1927.

Fans in established markets will have the opportunity to avail of more extensive coverage through a range of channel options including BeIN Sport and France TV in France, while across Scandinavia and the Baltics, the Viasat Group will broadcast on its free and pay platforms.

Further European coverage will also be supplied by long term media partners of the UCI including VRT and RTBF in Belgium, the BBC in the United Kingdom, NOS in the Netherlands, Rai in Italy and SRG in Switzerland, while RTV in Slovenia, Sport 1 in Hungary, Czech TV in the Czech Republic, Polsat in Poland and Slovak TV in Slovakia will also provide coverage of the Championships.

Women's elite road cycling world champion Marianne Vos in action during last year's World Championships in LimburgWomen's elite road cycling world champion Marianne Vos in action during last year's World Championships in Limburg

Outside of Europe, viewers in Canada will have the option of tuning in to Rogers Sportsnet and French language channel RDS for the first time, while Universal Sports in the US, NHK in Japan, CCTV in China, Eurosport Asia Pacific in Pan Asia, Supersport in Africa and Globosat in Brazil are all broadcasting events form Florence.

A combination of live coverage and highlights will also be available on the UCI's Official You Tube channel, subject to each territory's broadcast commitment, while contracts to provide worldwide news access have also been agreed with Sports News TV and Perform.

"Thanks to Infront's experience in global sports rights distribution and its extensive network, the UCI Road World Championships will be accessible to more fans in both new and established territories," said UCI President Pat McQuaid.

"This is leading the way for other cycling disciplines as well as demonstrating the sustained and ever growing global interest in the sport."

Belgian Phillipe Gilbert will be hoping to defend his 2012 World Championship crown in FlorenceBelgian Phillipe Gilbert will be hoping to defend his 2012 World Championship crown in Florence

In addition, Infront, which signed a media rights agreement with the UCI in September last year, will also be in charge of the media production of the Championships which will be broadcast in high definition television (HDTV), and will see more than 150 staff and 30 cameras from the air and ground covering the action.

"The UCI Road World Championships has never been more accessible to fans than it is today," said Infront's executive director of summer sports, Stephan Herth.

"Broadcasters are acknowledging the heritage and future potential of the sport along with the global fan community now benefitting from coverage worldwide.

"Depending on each market's media landscape and cycling tradition and by working on a territory by territory approach, UCI and Infront have very closely worked together to select the best possible broadcast outlet for the event in each region."

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