Originally Posted by gm1230126
In the $cheme of things you know the UCI needs a US team in the tour to keep selling merch and t.v. coverage to the US.
TV coverage? This ain't the Olympics. Anyone have any figures about what kind of money was paid to cover any European racing by US based TV? Bt their European counterparts?
As for merchandising, I wasn't aware of any revenue sharing deal the UCI (Pro Tour) had with teams. Is there any? Numbers anyone?
My suspicion is that you are overestimating the impact US riders have within the UCI. This is still a sport dominated by Europeans. Sure, there is success for riders outside the Continent in many high profile races, but if you look at the entire Protour schedule, plus all the other races that most American cycling fans have never heard of, plus the myriad of Division I, II and III teams out there, it may not add up.
Like I said, this is my feeling here (feeling, not emotion). I don't have any numbers to back this up and would be very interested to hear from someone who does, either way.
There is, of course, an advantage to having a US based team on the Pro Tour. If you look at what the UCI has been doing in Asia and other non-traditional cycling markets, this would support the inclusion of a US based team on the Pro Tour.
Considering the relationship Armstrong had with the ASO, and, to a lesser degree, the UCI, the powers that be may not be so eager to rush to include a new US team. There are plenty of US riders riding for European based teams. Maybe that would still be enough to keep fans watching the Tour in the US. Do US fans really care if their riders ride for a US team or a German team? Is it that important?
Also consider the health of racing in NA right now. It is pretty good. The number of good races and the regions of NA they are in has increased. As I said, the UCI really wants to develop the non-traditional markets. Maybe keeping a US based team out of the Pro Tour, and racing in NA, would help strengthen racing in NA for a year or two.
No concrete positions here. Mostly just a few facts and some scatter musings. Look forward to the responses.