There is no question the Giro d'Italia has gone from strength to strength under the directon of Michele Aquarone, making it a hot global sporting property.
Though often mentioned in the same breath as the Tour de France the Giro has always been considered the lesser of the two events, but substantive changes by organisers over the past two years has led to increased interest.
During the 21 days and 3341.8km of racing, the Giro crossed 17 regions and more than 500 municipalities, making it the perfect showcase for a country that is already the top tourism destination in Europe.
Along with a huge improvement in the technical quaity of the TV viewing experience, the Giro has also extended its reach on the web, and with improved engagement across social media.
SBS's viewer numbers, despite the often inclement weather, (which by the way only seemed to heighten interest) mirrored those of the event organisers.
Broadcast TV showed a marked increase and so did the daily highlights of each stage. This growth was mirrored online with the Cycling Central website rising to a 54 per cent increase on the previous year's numbers for May.
The TV, marketing and promotional efforts of the Giro augurs well for the future of an event once seen as lagging far behind its French competition.
In the ensuing months SBS will be working hard to bring you improved and extended coverage of the 97th edition of the race in 2014.
Summary provided by Giro organisers.
• Athletes: 207 riders from 23 teams (168 started the final stage) and of 30 different nationalities. The first Chinese and the first Greek athletes to participate in the Giro did so this year, and 5 different riders wore the pink jersey.
• Sponsors: 29 partners have contributed to the success of the Giro, tying their brand with this legendary edition of the Corsa Rosa. Most of all, Balocco who sponsor the Maglia Rosa, and the other sponsors of the main classifications: Blue - Banca Mediolanum, Red - Italo, White - F.lli Orsero and Estathé – the winner of the stage.
• The media: the press office gave accreditation to 1,595 media professionals, including 1,132 journalists and 463 photographers representing 1,076 international, national and local media. The focus was to get into the breaking news on the main news cycle at national and international level.
• Television: For the first time the Giro d’Italia was produced in HD, with a great effort by Rai who played the role of Host Broadcaster and allowed the images of the Corsa Rosa to be shown in 174 countries, on five continents:
• Europe - Eurosport visible in 70 countries across Europe and Asia Pacific, in Belgium the Flemish VRT channel, NOS in the Netherlands, SRG SSR in Switzerland, TV2 in Denmark, Spain from the circuit Forte (EITB Euskal Telebista in the Basque Country, TV3 in Catalonia, Galicia TVG Televisión de Galicia, Asturias TPA), Sky Sports in the UK, Sweden and Germany with SVT Sport with A (ARD & ZDF). The channel beIN Sports has broadcast the Giro exclusively in France and in the United States of America.
• Africa - the coverage was broadcast by Supersport, while in the Middle East by Al Jazeera.
• America - English-speaking Canada was covered by Sportsnet, while French-speaking Canada by Réseau des Sports (RDS). In Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and El Salvador, the Giro was broadcast by Televisa Deportes Network (TDN). In South America, Sur ESPN and ESPN Brasil sent both the direct and the highlights.
• Asia - the Giro was broadcast on Eurosport Asia Pacific Asia and Al Jazeera in the Middle East. For the first time it was shown in China through the national sports channel CCTV5. J Sports (Japan), Six Sony TV (India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan) and True Visions (Thailand) broadcast the event. In Kazakhstan, Khabar TV broadcast the Giro d’Italia.
• Oceania - Australia's SBS channel has confirmed the great viewing figures of the Corsa Rosa in their broadcasts of the race. All the major Italian broadcasters and many foreign ones have followed the event with their crews (Eurosport, TV2 Denmark, SRG SSR, VRT, beIN Sport, SBS, Sky Sports UK, CCTV and BBC Radio 5).
Audience and peak
The television audience in Italy on RAI and Eurosport, have increased, testament to the quality of the product, the high level of the participants and the beauty of the route. The stage of the Col du Galibier saw the audience peak, recorded at 17:42 with 3.9 million viewers on Rai 3 and over 4 million when adding those of RAI Sport 1. As for the rest of the world, the audience figures will be known shortly.
• The Fans on Social Media
• 350,000 fans on the official page.
• Each post has been viewed by an average of 180,000 people.
• The most popular post: 450,000 views, 12,000 "likes" and more than 5,000 shares.
• More than 170,000 followers on the official profile.
• 100,000 followers on the official page.
• 4 exclusive Hangouts with the winners of the stage and the pink jersey.
• Nearly 2 million views on the official channel.
• 15,000 registered subscribers on the official channel.
• The App and the Web
• Total new downloads, 2013: 122,878 vs. 116,216 in 2012.
• Page views average per day: 504,000 (+48% vs 2012) and average daily unique users per day: 38,000 (+34% vs 2012).
• App of the Giro d’Italia, available for iOS, Android and Windows8 (Phone and Tablet).
• 180,000 App installed and updated.
• The most interesting is the increase in number of pages viewed daily on the official website of the Giro http://www.gazzetta.it/Giroditalia/2013 (+50% compared to 2012 and amounted to 1,437,422).