Professor in economics at KU Leuven, Belgium.
Follow his Twitter-account @vrdaam for regular updates on TV audiences for cycling.
In 2019, generally positive trends in TV viewing for men’s pro cycling races were observed in France and in Belgium (in both Flanders and Wallonia) while only in the United Kingdom TV interest in cycling slowed down significantly. For all other countries a more mixed picture emerges.
Global Tour de France TV ratings increased by 7% from 9,86 million to 10,52 million viewers on
average per stage for the 13 territories in our dataset, making the 2019 Tour de France the 4th best‐ watched edition of the decade. The penultimate stage, a mountain stage from Albertville to Val Thorens, was this year’s best‐watched stage with a global audience of 15,13 million viewers, 11%
more than last year’s best‐watched stage.
There was more women’s racing on TV than ever before, but unfortunately this was mostly broadcast on lesser‐watched smaller channels. Moreover, the women’s WorldTour is not yet covered very well on TV with only about half of the 23 races getting some decent TV attention. Still, the average audience for the 8 best‐watched live broadcasts of women’s racing was 21% higher than in 2018 (437.000 vs. 361.000), a clear indication of the increased viewership interest for top races in women’s cycling.
Eurosport is the main broadcaster of cycling races in Europe. In many countries up to 100 cycling
races (men and women) can now be watched live on the Eurosport channels and the Eurospor
Player. Eurosport TV audiences for the Tour de France were up in France (+45%) and in Sweden
(+17%), and stable in the Netherlands (+2%). In the United Kingdom, Eurosport TV audiences were down 27%. For the other races, Eurosport audiences were up in the Netherlands (+42%), stable in Sweden (+1%) and down in Denmark (‐18%).
Download the full report ‘Road Cycling TV Viewing Report 2019’ written by Prof. Daan van Reeth: