September 26 2017

Eurosport earmarks further investment in coverage as cycling audience numbers soar

September 26 2017

• Record-breaking year for Eurosport’s cycling coverage as live audiences of the sport’s three biggest races increase by 26%
• 46% rise in live audience for Vuelta a España and 81% across all coverage of the event
• Eurosport CEO commits to greater localisation of content and enhanced production as it builds on ratings boom

Eurosport today pledged to continue to invest in its industry-leading coverage of cycling after it was announced more fans tuned in to the sport’s flagship events in 2017 than ever before.

Record numbers switched on Eurosport’s unrivalled coverage of cycling’s Grand Tours – the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España – with the broadcaster reporting a 26% increase in average live audience numbers versus 2016.

The 2017 Vuelta a España alone saw Eurosport achieve an average live audience of 1.3 million, a 46% increase on the previous year. The broadcaster’s average audience across all Vuelta coverage (live and non-live) reached 1.1 million, up a staggering 81% from 2016.

An average live audience of 785,000 watched the 21 stages of Eurosport’s coverage of the Tour de France in July, a 10% rise from 2016. Eurosport’s innovative, all-screens approach to covering the sport’s biggest race in 2017 – which for the first time saw every minute broadcast live - was recently rewarded with a nomination in the ‘Best Live Event Coverage’ at this year’s TV Sports Awards.

In May, an average of 1.3 million viewers watched Eurosport’s live coverage of the Giro d’Italia (+21% vs 2016) with 4.8 million fans tuning in during the final stage. During the event, Eurosport partnered with CA Technologies to take fans closer to the peloton than ever before with upgraded App experience providing individual rider GPS and biometric data, such as their altitude, speed, power, cadence and heart rate, in real-time.

Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton said: “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. 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 and help meet our goal of being the natural home of every cycling fan on digital and broadcast platforms.”

Hutton added: “It’s been a fantastic year for cycling on Eurosport and our investment in local production and data continues to pay dividends. 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.”

In 2017, Eurosport will broadcast over 200 days of live cycling and 2,500 hours of coverage across its channels including all five of cycling’s Monuments. This year, Eurosport also announced it has extended its rights deals for the Giro d’Italia until 2020 and the Tour de France until 2023 with comprehensive exclusivity for the first time in 38 markets.

Cementing its position as the Home of Cycling, the broadcaster earlier this month announced a four-year deal that will see Eurosport show every major UCI event exclusively in 36 countries and territories in Europe across all disciplines, including the UCI Road World Championships, UCI Track Cycling World Championships and the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.

In addition to Eurosport’s linear TV coverage, this summer more than 415,000 cycling fans took part in the company’s Home of Cycling Series - three individual month-long challenges for cyclists of all levels of experience - a campaign that reached over 34 million people across TV, digital and earned media.