This year’s Tour de France, which culminated on Sunday with victory on the Champs-Élysées in Paris for Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard, attracted the biggest TV audiences for EBU Members overall in terms of hours viewed since 2015.
The enthralling race, which featured an epic duel for the Yellow Jersey between Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar, Slovenia’s winner of the last two editions of the race, racked up a total number of well over 400 million hours viewed in aggregate for the following EBU Member broadcasters:
TV2 (Denmark); TV2 (Norway); ITV and S4C (UK); TG4 (Ireland); NOS (the Netherlands); VRT and RTBF (Belgium); RTL (Luxemburg); ARD (Germany); SRG-SSR (Switzerland); Czech TV (Czech Republic); RTV (Slovakia); RTV (Slovenia); RTVE (Spain); RTP (Portugal); and RAI (Italy).
EBU Members’ broadcasts were complemented by pan-European coverage on the TV and digital platforms of Eurosport and Global Cycling Network, with Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 achieving an overall reach of 37 million viewers.
The race also received widespread radio coverage from EBU Members across Europe throughout the 21 stages from early morning to late evening. The EBU Radio Members covering the event were notably DR (Denmark), NRK (Norway), CR (Czech Republic), RTVS (Slovakia), SR (Sweden), BBC (UK), VRT and RTBF (Belgium), NOS (Netherlands), SRG (Switzerland), ARD (Germany), RNE (Spain), RAI (Italy) and RTVS (Slovenia).
With Vingegaard emerging as the first Danish winner of the Tour since 1996, after the first three stages were held in Denmark, this year’s race held a particular appeal for Danish viewers. This was reflected in the viewing figures of TV2, the national broadcaster, which won an overall viewing share of 71.9 per cent and an average audience of 685,000 viewers for its coverage (best figures since 1997).
Other notable viewing share figures for broadcasters that are part of the EBU agreement included:
• VRT: 69.4 per cent (best since at least 2011)
• NOS: 50.6 per cent (best since at least 2011)
• RTBF: 37.9 per cent (best since at least 2011)
• RTV Slovenia: 35.3 per cent and an average audience of 143,000 viewers (historical record)
• TV2 Denmark scored the highest peak viewing share of the entire race: 82.35 per cent for its coverage of Stage 2, a flat stage that took in the Danish scenery from Roskilde to Nyborg;
• TV2 Denmark also recorded an outstanding peak audience of 1,529,000 for its coverage of Stage 1, an individual time trial through the streets of the Danish capital, Copenhagen;
• ARD won the best peak audience for a stage (2,911,456 for Stage 12), followed by RAI (1,965,900 for Stage 9) and RTVE (1,940,000 for Stage 12).
Strong linear coverage by EBU Members was accompanied by comprehensive and innovative digital coverage on their websites, apps, social media pages and OTT/streaming platforms. This included:
• ARD’s sportschau.de streaming platform attracted 11 million viewers, more than twice as many as in 2021
• On 3 July (Stage 3), TV2 in Denmark registered an all-time high number of daily users at TV2.DK (1.9 million), and on 24 July (final stage) TV2 broke its record for users of TV2 PLAY, its on-demand platform
• Daily unique visitors to VRT’s website Sporza.be averaged 691,432 between 1 July and 21 July, a 32-per-cent increase on the average number of daily unique visitors for the first six months of the year
Julien Goupil, Media and Partnership Director at A.S.O., said: “Every year the subtle combination of free-to-air coverage by generalist EBU Member channels and Eurosport/GCN platforms allows us to showcase the biggest cycling race on Earth to reach a large audience throughout Europe. From Copenhagen where The Tour de France received one of its warmest welcome, to the Champs-Élysées after 21 exciting days of racing, the 2022 edition has thrilled millions of TV viewers on all continents. We are very happy to see such high ratings from EBU members showing the strength of the relationship between the Tour and European fans of all ages and backgrounds and providing all Tour de France stakeholders - hosting cities and regions, partners, participating teams and riders - a fantastic exposure associated with a complete digital ecosystem made of both Le Tour organic platforms and those of EBU Members
This also corresponds perfectly with the results obtained by host broadcaster France Télévisions (41,3 per cent and an average of 4 million viewers every day with an increasing proportion among the youngest).
We are convinced that this momentum will benefit as well the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift maiden edition that will see the greatest numbers ever for a women cycling race.
More than ever, the Tour de France must be accessible to the greatest number as it is on the side of the roads.”
Frederic Sanz, Head of Cycling at Eurovision Sport, said: “As one of the most popular sporting events, the EBU is more than ever convinced that the Tour de France benefits from comprehensive coverage across Europe through the most popular free-to-air platforms of the EBU provided by its Members, together with Eurosport and Global Cycling Network.
EBU Members have experienced this year some very strong average ratings and viewing shares, reaching and entertaining more and more fans, and generating increased visibility for sponsors and tourism authorities, with a specific focus this year on the beautiful Danish cities and landscapes where the Tour de France started for the first time ever. Eurovision Sport is absolutely thrilled to have contributed to this overall success.”
In February 2020, Eurovision Sport and A.S.O. extended their media rights agreement for the Tour de France through to 2025. In addition, Eurovision Sport extended its agreement with Unipublic, a subsidiary of A.S.O, for the Vuelta a España, again through to 2025.
Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift
This year’s Tour de France is followed by the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, an eight-day stage race which began as the men’s race finished on the Champs-Élysées on 24 July and culminates on Sunday 31 July.
EBU Members covering the race include: RTBF and VRT (Belgium); TV2 (Denmark); TG4 (Ireland); NOS (Netherlands); TV2 (Norway); TVE (Spain); and SRG SSR (Switzerland).
Additionally, EBU Members France Télévisions (France) and ARD (Germany) are offering coverage of the race in deals negotiated directly with A.S.O., while Eurovision Sport has also negotiated coverage by Eurosport and Global Cycling Network across Europe.