Blog Post by Charlie Kraus
The Tour de France 2019 started Saturday July 6 and will cover 2,157 miles over 21 stages. It will end on Sunday, July 28 on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. NBC Sports will provide over 350 hours of live, primetime, and encore coverage of the 106th Tour on the NBC Sports Network in the US and NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass. If you like to watch with friends and other enthusiasts, bike shops often host viewing parties a few times throughout the Tour. Other viewing options include ITV4 in the UK, Eurosport, and live streaming on FuboTV. Even if you aren’t interested in the cycling, the views of the French countryside, and especially the amazing climbs and descents through the Alps stages, are worth taking in.
There are multiple reasons for the popularity of watching sports online. For cycling enthusiasts, the ability to watch from any device they choose, and on their own schedule, has broad appeal. With a month of riding in 21 stages, and associated programming scheduled throughout the Tour, fans rely on on-demand access to watch their favorite teams and riders whenever they want. A few of the interesting coverage plans for this year’s Tour include webcam views from some of the cyclist’s bikes during the stages, and guided tours of each stage with commentary, that were shot prior to the Tour. For TV broadcasters holding the rights to deliver sports coverage, complementing traditional TV broadcasts with live streaming attracts significant additional audience – critical for ad monetization given the high cost of licensing rights. Other business benefits include the ability to gather data such as viewer engagement metrics, who is watching, and where they are located. This all goes to improving monetization.