This year’s Tour de France, which culminated on Sunday July 24, 2022, attracted the biggest TV audiences since 2015 for European Broadcasting Union (EBU) countries overall, in terms of hours viewed.
The race, which featured a duel for the Yellow Jersey between Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar, Slovenia’s winner of the last two editions of the race, racked up a total number of well over 400 million hours viewed in aggregate for the following EBU member broadcasters:
TV2 (Denmark); TV2 (Norway); ITV and S4C (UK); TG4 (Ireland); NOS (the Netherlands); VRT and RTBF (Belgium); RTL (Luxemburg); ARD (Germany); SRG-SSR (Switzerland); Czech TV (Czech Republic); RTV (Slovakia); RTV (Slovenia); RTVE (Spain); RTP (Portugal); and RAI (Italy).
EBU members’ broadcasts were complemented by pan-European coverage on the TV and digital platforms of Eurosport and Global Cycling Network, with Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 achieving an overall reach of 37 million viewers.
The race also received widespread radio coverage from EBU members across Europe throughout the 21 stages from early morning to late evening. The EBU Radio Members covering the event were notably DR (Denmark), NRK (Norway), CR (Czech Republic), RTVS (Slovakia), SR (Sweden), BBC (UK), VRT and RTBF (Belgium), NOS (Netherlands), SRG (Switzerland), ARD (Germany), RNE (Spain), RAI (Italy) and RTVS (Slovenia).
With Vingegaard emerging as the first Danish winner of the Tour since 1996, after the first three stages were held in Denmark, this year’s race held a particular appeal for Danish viewers. This was reflected in the viewing figures of TV2, the Danish national broadcaster, which won an overall viewing share of 71.9% and an average audience of 685,000 viewers for its coverage (best figures since 1997).
Other notable viewing share figures for broadcasters that are part of the EBU agreement included:
- VRT: 69.4% (best since at least 2011)
- NOS: 50.6% (best since at least 2011)
- RTBF: 37.9% (best since at least 2011)
- RTV Slovenia: 35.3% and an average audience of 143,000 viewers (historical record)
TV2 Denmark scored the highest peak viewing share of the entire race: 82.35% for its coverage of Stage 2, a flat stage that took in the Danish scenery from Roskilde to Nyborg.
TV2 Denmark also recorded a significant peak audience of 1,529,000 for its coverage of Stage 1, an individual time trial through the streets of the Danish capital, Copenhagen.
ARD won the best peak audience for a stage (2,911,456 for Stage 12), followed by RAI (1,965,900 for Stage 9) and RTVE (1,940,000 for Stage 12).
Strong coverage by EBU members was accompanied by comprehensive digital coverage on their websites, apps, social media pages and OTT/streaming platforms. This included:
- ARD’s sportschau.de streaming platform attracted 11 million viewers, more than twice as many as in 2021.
- On 3 July (Stage 3), TV2 in Denmark registered an all-time high number of daily users at TV2.DK (1.9 million), and on 24 July (final stage) TV2 broke its record for users of TV2 PLAY, its on-demand platform.
- Daily unique visitors to VRT’s website sporza.be averaged 691,432 between 1 July and 21 July, a 32% increase on the average number of daily unique visitors for the first six months of the year.
Julien Goupil, Media and Partnership Director at Tour de France organiser A.S.O., said “Every year the subtle combination of free-to-air coverage by generalist EBU member channels and Eurosport/GCN platforms allows us to showcase the biggest cycling race on Earth to reach a large audience throughout Europe.
“From Copenhagen where The Tour de France received one of its warmest welcome, to the Champs-Élysées after 21 exciting days of racing, the 2022 edition has thrilled millions of TV viewers on all continents.
“We are very happy to see such high ratings from EBU members showing the strength of the relationship between the Tour and European fans of all ages and backgrounds and providing all Tour de France stakeholders – hosting cities and regions, partners, participating teams and riders – a fantastic exposure associated with a complete digital ecosystem made of both Le Tour organic platforms and those of EBU members.”
Frederic Sanz, Head of Cycling at Eurovision Sport, said “As one of the most popular sporting events, the EBU is more than ever convinced that the Tour de France benefits from comprehensive coverage across Europe through the most popular free-to-air platforms of the EBU provided by its members, together with Eurosport and Global Cycling Network.
“EBU members have experienced this year some very strong average ratings and viewing shares, reaching and entertaining more and more fans, and generating increased visibility for sponsors and tourism authorities, with a specific focus this year on the beautiful Danish cities and landscapes where the Tour de France started for the first time ever. Eurovision Sport is absolutely thrilled to have contributed to this overall success.”