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by Shane Stokes
September 28, 2017
Guillaume Martin wins final stage and overall in the Giro della Toscana; World U23 champion readying himself for next race; Kenny returns to cycling aiming to be Britain’s best Olympian of all time; Backing salary caps, Stapleton says it is necessary to level the playing field in pro cycling; Astana signs junior world champ gold and bronze medalists; Guarischi moves to Team Virtu; Bora – hansgrohe completes 2018 roster with Grossschartner, Lotto-Soudal continues with Marczynski; Young Dutch talent signs with Team WNT; Surge in cycling audience prompts Eurosport to invest further in cycling; Video: 5 Bike Gadgets for Cycling in 2017; Video: Team Novo Nordisk’s riders’ most powerful moment; Video: 21% Grade Red Bull Bay Climb.
A considerable jump in the viewership of cycling on Eurosport has led to the channel declaring it will increase its focus on the sport, with a related investment also to be made.
“We pushed the boundaries of innovation in 2017 with the first live broadcast in 360 Virtual Reality during a professional race at La Route du Sud in June and we believe there is room for even more innovation in our coverage,” said Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton. “We are also aiming to feature more local experts on-site at future major events who’ll discuss the big stories of the day to their local audiences, while we will look to further unlock the power of data to explain the sport.”
The channel announced best-ever audiences for its Grand Tour coverage, with a jump over 26% over the 2016 figures. Breaking it down by races, Eurosport had an average live audience of 1.3 million during the Vuelta a España. This was a 46% increase on the previous year, while the average audience across all Vuelta coverage (live and non-live) reached 1.1 million. This was a 81% increase from 2016.
The Tour de France live audience was up 10% from last year, while the duration of the coverage also increased after the decision to cover every stage from start to finish. As for the Giro d’Italia, the average 1.3 million live viewers was a 21% increase from the previous year. A total of 4.8 million fans tuned in during the final stage.
“It’s been a fantastic year for cycling on Eurosport and our investment in local production and data continues to pay dividends,” Hutton continued. “Our numbers are all the more impressive when you consider we broadcast 40% more live hours of coverage for the Giro d’Italia and an additional 28% for the Tour de France, meaning we essentially have more fans watching for longer.”