SBS reports biggest ever Australian TdF audience
Australian TV channel SBS has announced its audience figures for the 2001 Tour de France, which was broadcast for 30 minutes each night in addition to more extensive coverage of two stages which were screened live. This year's figures for audiences in the major capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth) totalled more than 2.5 million viewers over the three weeks of the event (source: Oztam 2001).
This is SBS's biggest audience ever for a cycling event, confirming that cycling is now a mainstream event for Australian TV audiences, and that SBS is the recognised network for cycling.
SBS' Head of Sport, Les Murray commented that "SBS has persisted with the Tour de France for a decade and the cultivation of a new audience is now paying off. It is most encouraging as we look ahead to the Centenary Tour in 2003."
This year, the Tour had just two Australians participating: Brad McGee and Stuart O'Grady. However the success of each rider undoubtedly helped get more Australians interested in the race.
A highlights program devoted to this year's Tour De France will be screened on Sunday, October 21 at 1.30pm