SBS had better watch out….
With strong interest in its Tour de France, the event will probably be under the eyes of commercial rivals. Nine already swooped on the Tour Down Under late last year and Top Gear several years ago.
SBS’s coverage has had its strongest start on record, with both TV and online recording their highest figures for the opening five stages. The network share has been up since Saturday because sports fans are enjoying the race, including with HD coverage.
Including regional viewers, the live stages on SBS ONE are up some 11 per cent on last year.
The website www.sbs.com.au/tdf, has recorded its highest ever daily unique browsers for the first five stages with an average of 52,000 per day, 30 per cent higher than last year.
The Tour Tracker has had 181,000 downloads across all mobile platforms. It is currently the number one free iPad App and the number one free sport iPhone App, and the Android version is currently the number two free sports app in the Google Play marketplace.
The Cycling Central Social Hub, which aggregates the social media chatter from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr, has also seen over half a million page impressions.
“These ratings tell us what we already know, people love cycling and they want more. This is a great result for SBS,” said Ken Shipp, Head of Sport at SBS.
Last year the Tour de France was the most watched program on SBS, with Cadel Evans’ win topping numbers for Go Back To Where You Came From.
Live coverage continues until July 22nd.
UPDATE: SBS confirms it has TDF rights until 2017.