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  • Albert

    Blythe’s luft is off tap. If it weren’t for his sunglasses, I’d say his hat wasn’t even touching his head.

    • luft-wafer

      Hover luft for the win

  • jules
    • Sean


    • velocite

      That’s so off it’s quirky!

      • Stompin

        At first glance, I thought it was a Photoshop job :/

    • Callum Dwyer

      You just have to laugh.

    • Yeah, it’s not ideal is it?

      • jules

        I think this is just playing off the controversy now.

        • Dave

          Much cheaper for the race organisers than paying for TV coverage which networks might or might not pick up.

    • Dave

      The thing I’m most concerned about is that this was done by a race in Flanders. The poor bikini girls are probably in hospital recovering from hypothermia now!

      • Derek Maher

        Maybe Dave ,One of the race sponsers was selling swim wear.At least the ladies look like normal women and not catwalk famine victims.

        • Dave

          Evidently a foreign-based company.

          I’ve been to Flanders during what they optimistically call ‘summer,’ the weather is miserable and the beaches are pretty shithouse.

  • velocite

    Fabulous descent, and what skill from Bardet – but the video deserved a better accompaniment than Carlton Kirby.

    • RayG

      SBS On Demand has it with the mangled English of Ant McCrossin, if that’s any better.

    • Simon

      +1 we don’t see enough of the fast descents in tours as they usually cut to an ad but “Balls out” Bardet made it look easy.

      • Dave

        SBS would stand to make a lot more money if they implemented side by side ads during the Tour de France, where the ad shows at about 75% of the screen size with audio while the race shows in a smaller window with the audio muted.

        • velocite

          You’re right, We’ve just got used to seeing the established breakaway and only hearing about how it happened. Is this because they only record the last 70kms, or do they have the lot but just not show us? Excellent point.

          • Dave

            The world feed has the whole stage.

            It is the rights holders (e.g. SBS, NBC, Eurosport) who decide how much of it they want to show.

            SBS has improved their coverage of the Giro d’Italia in recent years (three years ago it was only selected stages and not even live) but the TdF – while still better than the Giro – has stagnated.

            I would be very surprised if the Giro and Tour are profitable for SBS, going on the fact that it is the same four companies in every ad break. If they can’t improve their coverage to attract more viewers and get the higher ad revenue which will follow, I would expect that the next rights deal could follow F1, V8 Supercars and AFL in being a split deal where Foxtel would have the full premium broadcast while a FTA channel (not necessarily SBS) would get perhaps an hour of highlights per stage.

            • velocite

              Sad local story then – especially in the context of the current financial strictures being placed on SBS. I do wonder about the pay tv option: do they have to bid pay a lump sum for rights, as the FTA channels do, or do they pay per view royalties? If SBS can’t attract enough viewers for the TdF why would Foxtel be able to? Merely musing..

              • Dave

                I don’t have any specific knowledge of other sports, but for V8SC the Fox/Ten deal that started this year was competing on the same basis as Seven’s FTA-only bid.

                Foxtel can afford to show more live sport because they won’t get tempted by the higher ratings drawn by re-runs of Inspector Rex.

                • velocite

                  You obviously know more/have thought more about this than I – wouldn’t be hard. But I don’t really understand the relative economics in this case between pay tv and fta. If FoxTel purchased TdF rights then they need to get a commensurate increase in subscription revenue. (Or do they have ads? Don’t subscribe, don’t know) If there are enough subscribers to support that then I would have thought that they would be the basis of ratings to support ad sales by sbs.

                  Now I’m asking myself this question: how much would I pay for a subscription to TdF coverage, the whole thing, with commentary of my choice? ( I like Matt and Scott ). Answer: quite a lot. $100 might be a starting bid.

                  • Dave

                    Foxtel have ads to supplement subscription revenue – nowhere near as many as FTA but they still have them. Certain sports have the ‘action’ uninterrupted, for example their premium V8 Supercars and AFL broadcasts have no full-screen ads interrupting any on-track/on-field sessions while the Seven/Ten economy broadcasts have them during races/quarters.

                    Looking at what is available with other sports, the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend just gone had the premium product priced at $12.99 which was fair value. It bought something around 50-60 hours of full coverage, an excellent live timing/position feed (far superior to the Tour Tracker app used by SBS, but not quite as good as the Formula 1 app) and selectable access to 15 onboard cameras. Single license is valid on five devices of different platforms.

                    The Cricket Australia season pass comes at $29.99 per year, and includes ad-free coverage of all domestic cricket, all home internationals (apart from the year’s World Cup) for Australia’s men’s and women’s teams, and the Ashes. Again, it’s a single login valid on iOS, Android and a computer’s web browser. The audio feed is selectable from among all the TV and radio stations covering the match, so for the Ashes this winter I can select the Nine/Sky vision with the ABC/BBC audio.

                    Based on those examples I already subscribe to, I would suggest that about $25 would be fair for a premium TdF product issued by the race organisers themselves and including selectable cameras (e.g. breakaway, peleton front, peleton rear, etc), selectable audio, better live timing and exclusive pre/post race analysis. The only problem at this point would be that the English world feed for the Tour de France is pretty poor with Keeno being too dry on his own for the early part of the stage and P&P being P&P for the later part of the stage.

      • velocite

        Such a long descent. Provided you made it to the bottom by the time you got there anyone would be an expert!

    • BRK

      Bardet’s descent was breathtaking. Criterium du Dauphine is becoming one of my favourite races of the year. The scene is set for an awesome TdF… can’t wait.

  • Fleur

    That was a pretty smart move by Bardet banking on Sky sitting around on the descent to deliver their man to the final section unscathed.


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