Tour de France starts strong for SBS

Tour de France enjoys its strongest start ever on SBS -but will commercial rivals be next to swoop?

SBS had better watch out….

With strong interest in its Tour de France, the event will probably be under the eyes of commercial rivals. Nine already swooped on the Tour Down Under late last year and Top Gear several years ago.

SBS’s coverage has had its strongest start on record, with both TV and online recording their highest figures for the opening five stages. The network share has been up since Saturday because sports fans are enjoying the race, including with HD coverage.

Including regional viewers, the live stages on SBS ONE are up some 11 per cent on last year.

The website www.sbs.com.au/tdf, has recorded its highest ever daily unique browsers for the first five stages with an average of 52,000 per day, 30 per cent higher than last year.

The Tour Tracker has had 181,000 downloads across all mobile platforms. It is currently the number one free iPad App and the number one free sport iPhone App, and the Android version is currently the number two free sports app in the Google Play marketplace.

The Cycling Central Social Hub, which aggregates the social media chatter from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr, has also seen over half a million page impressions.

“These ratings tell us what we already know, people love cycling and they want more. This is a great result for SBS,” said Ken Shipp, Head of Sport at SBS.

Last year the Tour de France was the most watched program on SBS, with Cadel Evans’ win topping numbers for Go Back To Where You Came From.

Live coverage continues until July 22nd.

UPDATE: SBS confirms it has TDF rights until 2017.

11 Responses

  1. SBS does a superb job of presenting this wonderful sporting event in Australia. Sure Mike Tomolaris makes a few gaffs but overall we love it! I rarely watch the commercial channels these days. They work hard to provide a whole experience, including mobile apps, simulcast online broadcasting, editorial coverage and even a themed cooking segment hosted by Gabriel gate. All for free! I really hope SBS can secure the broadcasting rights to the tour for the next 50 years because they deserve it with how well they present le tour.

  2. I suspect this site is viewed by a few TV execs so it might be worth stating that if channel 9 gets it I will simply not watch it on Australian TV just as I did with Top Gear despite being a Tour (and Top Gear) tragic. The thought of Eddie mangling the commentary and misprouncing such obscure French names as “Paris” and “Pyrenees” sends shivers down my spine.

    Can I suggest (with David’s indulgence) that anyone else who feels the same way adds their voice in the comments and perhaps that way 9 will realise it’s nort worth their time and money.

    1. There’s nothing solid to indicate TDF is moving, or indeed to any specific network. I was merely speculating about its rising worth. I think it would be better to calm down and enjoy the current season on SBS…. I don’t think it’s helpful to direct anger to a network for a show they don’t even own.

  3. I’m please SBS are being rewarded for their commitment to cycling. I do hope the increased ratings may increase the interest of other advertisers… I’m really getting sick of the same 6 adds played every add segment:
    Ready Any Time

    I’m happy for adds, as they pay for the coverage… I just want some variety.

  4. i just hope it doesn’t move away from SBS any time soon. SBS has been doing the Tour De France, and most internatial cycling events really well of late,

    Micheal Tomailaris is a good host, and in my oopinion, any takers any commercial networks will ruin the cylcing competition all togethor.

  5. David, do not speak (or write) of such things lest their mere utterance cause them to come to pass.

    One of my fears (and suspicion) is that Nine was using the Tour Down Under to test the waters in consideration of stealing le Tour from SBS. I pray that there aren’t quite enough fans to make it worth Nine’s while in investing in this.

  6. Le Tour will cease to exist, as far as Australia is concerned, if ch9 gets it. One HD would be a fairly good home, but my advice to the French owners of the rights is ….do not let ch9 anywhere near it

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