Tour Of California vs Giro Coverage

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The online coverage we’re getting of the Tour of California is sensational.   Every single piece of information that I want about the race is perfectly placed on the screen.  The timezone couldn’t be more perfect for us here in Australia either.  Plus, SBS is covering the stages from 7am – 9am every day.   It’s a cyclists dream.   Sitting with the laptop on the couch while watching on TV is the perfect combination for the die hard cycling fan.  If the iPad supported Flash I just might have a use for it…

I understand that television coverage of bike racing is logistically challenging and expensive. I’m ignorant of the licensing arrangements and politics at play with television networks and the internet, but it seems to me that it would be in the sponsors best interest to make sure the racing is viewable to everyone who wants to see it.

You might have noticed that the final kilometers of the Giro stages that I was embedding from You Tube have also disappeared. That’s because the You Tube channel WorldCyclingArchives has been shut down for displaying unauthorized content.   I imagine that the television network (RAI I believe) have forced them to remove the videos.  I’m sure RAI spends lots of money featuring their Giro coverage, but keeping their content exclusively to themselves is going against way the world is heading. With the excellent ToC coverage, it’s no wonder the newer and less prestigious event has attracted such high profile teams and cyclists.  If I were a sponsor, I know where I’d be throwing my money.

In an article on Cycling Central by Mike Tomalaris, he gives us a bit of insight as to why the Giro coverage by SBS is limited:  “A three week race (the Giro) is far more expensive to cover than an eight day event (ToC), and in a year when SBS also owns the broadcast rights to the FIFA World Cup, there isn’t much left in the kitty”. The ASO also have a vested interest in giving unprecedented coverage to the ToC as well since it’s now in a competing timeslot to the Giro.

From what I understand SBS used the exact same tracker as the ToC (above) for the Tour de France last year. Thank you to SBS for doing their best to bring cycling out of the stone ages here in Australia. We still have a way to go, but I’m glad to see SBS is doing their part.

Good on Mick Rogers for claiming second today!

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