Eurosport has committed itself to more localisation of its cycling coverage following a record-breaking year for its coverage of the sport.
The channel reported its coverage of cycling’s Grand Tours – the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España – saw a 26 per cent increase in average live audience numbers versus 2016.
The average live audience for the 2017 Vuelta a España reached 1.3 million, a 46 per cent increase on the previous year. The broadcaster’s average audience across all Vuelta coverage (live and non-live) reached 1.1 million, up 81 per cent from 2016.
An average live audience of 785,000 watched the 21 stages of Eurosport’s coverage of the Tour de France in July, up ten per cent from 2016.
Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton said: “We pushed the boundaries of innovation in 2017 with the first live broadcast in 360-degree VR during a professional race at La Route du Sud in June, and we believe there is room for even more innovation in our coverage.
“We are also aiming to feature more local experts on-site at future major events who’ll discuss the big stories of the day to their local audiences, while we will look to further unlock the power of data to explain the sport and help meet our goal of being the natural home of every cycling fan on digital and broadcast platforms.
“It’s been a fantastic year for cycling on Eurosport and our investment in local production and data continues to pay dividends. Our numbers are all the more impressive when you consider we broadcast 40 per cent more live hours of coverage for the Giro d’Italia and an additional 28 per cent for the Tour de France, meaning we essentially have more fans watching for longer.”