Rising audience for Tour de France

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The Tour de France is proving a big hit with cycling fans this year with high audience figures reported from EBU Member broadcasters.

The 2019 Tour de France is being hailed as one of the most exciting editions since the end of 1980s, with particular excitement during the two Pyrenees stages on July 20th (Tarbes – Tourmalet Barèges) and July 21st (Limoux – Foix Prat d’Albis).

As the competition grows fiercer and fiercer between national cycling heroes, European fans have been watching the leaders on their public service media platforms during the weekend, as well as on Eurosport throughout Europe, resulting in strong ratings:

  • Over 2 million average viewers in Italy on RAI (RAI 2) on Saturday with a 20.2 per cent market share
  • Audience peaks on July 20th of 2 million in Spain on TVE (La1) and 2.3 million in Italy on RAI (RAI2)
  • In Germany ARD recorded average viewers of 1.5 million (July 20th) and 1.7 million (July 21st)
  • Over 1 million average viewers in the Netherlands on NOS (NPO1) on July 20th and July 21st, with market shares above 56 per cent over the weekend
  • In Denmark, a 66.6 per cent market share was reported for TV2 on July 20th and a 56.9 per cent market share on July 21st with a 0.7 million peak audience
  • Belgium’s VRT saw a 1 million peak audience on July 2oth on EEN, with a market share of 59.4 per cent

From the start of the 2019 Tour de France in Belgium, to the Pyrenees via Toulouse, audience performance has seen an increase, most notably in Belgium (Flemish and French) and Italy. In these 3 markets the top average audiences have exceeding those in 2018 on VRT (+13 per cent), RTBF (+23.8 per cent) and RAI (+17.6 per cent).

For stage #1 held in Brussels, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Eddy Merckx’s first Tour de France victory, RTBF (French Belgium) beat its best average of 2018, with 326,000 viewers tuning into on La Une, corresponding to 49 per cent market share.

Frédéric Sanz, Head of Cycling Eurovision Sport, said: “We are very proud of our long-standing relationship with ASO and it is exciting to see such a historic event as the Tour de France attracting high audiences via the unrivalled exposure delivered by the EBU Members. The race continues to captivate the imagination year after year, with these figures proving its enduring appeal to sports fans across Europe.”

Julien Goupil, Media Director A.S.O, added: “It is great to see such high audience interest in this year’s Tour de France. The coverage from EBU Member broadcasters is second-to-none and brings audiences right into the heart of this gruelling challenge. On the digital side, both EBU members’ and Tour de France own platforms and social media channels are enjoying substantial consumption growth of their key metrics. Through our partnership with Eurovision Sport and also thanks to the strong domestic performances on France Télévisions (average audiences of 3.4 million with 5.5 million average viewers on July 20th, with a peak at 7 million), we are able to offer the Tour de France to wide audiences. With approximately 2 minutes splitting the top 6 Leaders and still the Alps stages to come, all the ingredients are there for a thrilling spectacle for cycling fans.”

Eurovision Sport is a division of the European Broadcasting Union.


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