SBS’s multiplatform coverage of the 2014 Tour de France a success

28 July

News Release

The 2014 Tour de France finished in style yesterday with its iconic homecoming through Paris to the finish line on the Champs Elysées.

SBS’s multiplatform coverage of the 101st edition of the Tour de France continued to draw a strong audience, as Australians were captivated by the epic display of endurance and competition, along with the unique taste of French culture that sets this worldwide sporting spectacle apart. Television coverage reached a total of 5.38 million Australians (Metro + Regional), a 2% year on year increase, and there were 1.82 million video stream views served via sbs.com.au, SBS On Demand and the SBS Škoda Tour Tracker mobile app, a 49% increase from 2013.

Over three weeks from July 5 – 27, SBS aired all 21 stages of the Tour de France live and exclusive, as well as twice daily highlights programs and three panel review programs; capturing every second of the drama as it unfolded in this year’s race.

The average audience for live stages was 278,000 (196,000 Metro + 81,000 Regional), with Stage 5 the highest rating, averaging 367,000 (261,000 Metro + 106,000 Regional) viewers.

The earlier broadcast time of 8.30pm for three stages of this year’s Tour de France proved a hit with Combined Metro + Regional average audiences of 351,000, 293,000 and 333,000 for stages 1, 2 and 14 respectively.

SBS’s multiplatform coverage of the Tour de France has once again been a standout success, with cycling fans enjoying the flexibility offered across TV, online, tablet and mobile.

The Cycling Central website’s live stream capability, up to the minute news and in-depth analysis was a highlight, with sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral attracting 517,000 unique browsers across the three weeks of racing. sbs.com.au and SBS On Demand served 1.32 million video streams across the three weeks of racing, an 86% increase on the 2013 event.

The SBS Škoda Tour Tracker app was once again extremely popular, with 170,000 unique users over the course of the race.

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said:
"For over two decades now SBS has been the home of cycling in Australia, because we believe in championing sports which unite communities. Cycling is one of Australia’s fastest growing participation sports, and The Tour de France is a signature event which our viewers look forward to every year.

This year’s Tour de France broadcast demonstrates SBS’s commitment to delivering high quality multiplatform coverage, maximising audiences’ engagement opportunities with the world’s biggest cycling event – exclusive to SBS, free-to-air for all Australians to enjoy. I’m delighted that SBS will be the home of the Tour until 2023."

SBS Director of Sport Ken Shipp said:
"The Tour de France is at the heart of SBS. This year marked the 24th
year of SBS’s broadcast of the event, reaching a massive 5.38 million Australians, an increase from last year, which shows the continued growth and interest in cycling that SBS is driving."

"I’m incredibly proud of the dedication and round-the-clock work from the SBS on-air and production team, both on the ground following the race around France and here in our Sydney studio to bring the Tour de France to life for Australian viewers."

Yesterday Vincenzo Nibali was crowned 2014 Tour de France champion as Marcel Kittel took out the final stage in a sprint on the Champs Elysées. Stage 21 into Paris was a lap of glory for Nibali and his Astana Pro team. The 29-year-old Italian has worn the leader’s yellow jersey for all but two stages and has dominated this year’s race.

After a solid fourth place in Stage 20’s individual time trial on Saturday cemented his win, Nibali finished more than seven minutes ahead of his rivals. Hotly contested podium spots went to Frenchmen Jean-Christophe Péraud in second place and Thibaut Pinot in third place.

Rafal Majka was awarded the polka dot king of the mountains jersey, with the impressive Peter Sagan in the green sprinter’s jersey and Thibaut Pinot taking out the white jersey for the best young rider.

The next event on the world’s cycling calendar, the third Grand Tour of 2014, is La Vuelta a'Espana. This three week, 21 stage race around Spain will be broadcast on SBS ONE. Daily evening highlights at 5.30pm AEST begin Sunday 24 August, with the last eight stages airing LIVE on SBS ONE and on the Cycling Central website from Saturday 6 September – Sunday 14 September 14.