As the Tour de France prepares to climb the Pyrenees, ratings are up while 2010 TDF numbers are down.
Crashes and injuries have forced 20 cyclists to drop out leaving only 178 riders in the race. But riders’ pain seems to be Versus’ gain. Live morning race coverage on the channel has averaged 501,000 viewers and a .5 household rating through Stage 9 on July 13 — the best start for race coverage in the network’s 10-year history with the Tour.
The cable network also says unique users on its Tour de France Web site in the U.S. have increased 15% overall, while pages per user are up 22%. Unique users’ average time on the site is currently running 13% higher than a year ago.
Versus, like all media companies in big events, is touting its three-screen approach to this competition. In addition to cable and internet coverage, Versus is offering an iPhone app for its mobile component. The Tour app will offer video highlights, standings and route maps.
The three-screen approach just reached a new goal for media conglomerates to strive for with ESPN’s coverage of soccer’s World Cup. ESPN estimated that 132 million persons aged 2+ had consumed World Cup content in the U.S. across all of ESPN’s platforms. ESPN is promoting the notion of 3 with the new website, ESPN3.com. This website is all about watching live streaming sports online.
Sources: Versus, TV By The Numbers 7/7/2010
Photo: Quickstep’s Sylvain CHAVANEL, Stage 7 on 7/10/2010. Credit: ©PresseSports/B.Papon