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Old 07-24-06, 07:26 AM   #1
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Great race... poor ratings...

"This may be shaping up as the most exciting and closest fought finish to the Tour de France since 1989, but it seems TV audiences have not been convinced, with viewing figures reported to be well down in France, Germany and the USA. While the absence of seven-time champion Lance Armstrong is likely to have much to do the ratings drop in the US, it seems certain the impact of the Operacion Puerto scandal that saw Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso ejected from the race has proved extremely damaging.

The New York Times reports that viewing figures are down by 52 per cent in the US, while the audience in Germany has plunged by 43 per cent. The improving fortunes of French riders seems to have had no impact on local viewing figures, which are down 23 per cent."

from http://www.procycling.com

Seems like folks might have their wish of no more Trautwig and Roll.
I, for one, am going to send an email to OLN letting them know how much I appreciated the coverage: feedback@olntv.com
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Old 07-24-06, 07:28 AM   #2
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This may mean that next year we don't get live daily TDF in the US but get the Vuelta/Giro treatment - 2 hour summaries on Sundays during the tour. . .ouch.
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Old 07-24-06, 07:31 AM   #3
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We need to face the fact that cycling is a niche sport in the US and be glad we get what we can from OLN.

I guess what we all could do to support it on TV would be to go to our local Saab dealers, or other advertisers of the Tour and let them know that we were influenced by their advertising during the bike race. That's what advertisers want and what will get them to ante up for more support in years to come.

Otherwise, I'm thankful for the internet so we can get coverage from around the world. Listening to Eurosport's audio feed was welcome relief from the OLN guys. The multitude of cycling dedicated sites means we're only a few clicks from tons of information. It's much better than 10 years ago, for sure!

Also, I did notice that OLN was talking up the Tour of California on "Versus" in February. That's a great sign for viewers in the US.....
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Old 07-24-06, 08:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by CyLowe97
We need to face the fact that cycling is a niche sport in the US and be glad we get what we can from OLN.

I guess what we all could do to support it on TV would be to go to our local Saab dealers, or other advertisers of the Tour and let them know that we were influenced by their advertising during the bike race. That's what advertisers want and what will get them to ante up for more support in years to come.

..
But my Lincoln Navigator's lease isn't up yet.
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Old 07-24-06, 08:26 AM   #5
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But my Lincoln Navigator's lease isn't up yet.
Just go in for a test drive and tell them the advertisement got you interested because you thought the Saab had a jet engine.

Oh yeah, tell them Tour experts Al Trautwig and Bob Roll inspired you with their epic battle for the Saab Born From Jets Yellow Jersey....
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Old 07-24-06, 08:26 AM   #6
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Ouch. I'm saddened to read of that. A loss of half the viewers in the US? Yikes. Well, I just hope we get continued coverage. I'll just hope that at worst, OLN drops two of the replays and keeps the live and the evening coverage. Considering some of OLN's other summer programming though, maybe they can sustain their coverage with the smaller audience.
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Old 07-24-06, 08:32 AM   #7
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Does anyone know how they did over the last weekend. I'm thinking the Landis comeback story might help stem the bleeding.
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Old 07-24-06, 08:32 AM   #8
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Give some email support to oln or else we'll be getting canned highlights.
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Old 07-24-06, 08:39 AM   #9
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I think you are underestimating the popularity of Lance worldwide, including France.
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Old 07-24-06, 08:43 AM   #10
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I think you are underestimating the popularity of Lance worldwide, including France.
So, in your opinion, is Lance's contention that it's basically the Tour organizers and L'Equipe are out to get him, while the majority of France appreciate him correct?

How is he viewed in the UK? Are fans as rabid for pro cycling there as on the Continent?
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Old 07-24-06, 09:04 AM   #11
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And what exactly will OLN/Versus be showing during July which will have better ratings than the Tour?

Rating aside, I'm sick of the Bob and Al bashing. I've been a fan of the sport for 21 years now and I thoroughly enjoy their angle on things. Bobke brings excitement and passion (not to mention experience) and Al does a very good job of showing the "Joe Sixpack" perspective of things (clearly meant to be his role).
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Old 07-24-06, 09:27 AM   #12
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And what exactly will OLN/Versus be showing during July which will have better ratings than the Tour?
Same ratings but cheaper to produce and broadcast? Bass fishing, competitive eating, national Scrabble tournaments.

A tour without Lance, Basso, and Ullrich is like watching a Brewers/Orioles World Series. Great for the local fans, but dullsville for anyone else.

If you love Lance, you want to see him dominate the sport. Same if you root for Basso and Ullrich. If you hate Lance, you want to see him crack, fail utterly, and come in 42nd or something. Either way, people watch because these are guys that fans feel passionately about. Before Stage 18, I felt exactly 'meh' about Landis. And in hindsight (for some it was clear foresight) the hype around Hincapie was completely silly.

We had some heros this time around - McEwan, Landis, Rasmussen, Friere, Kessler, Schleck, Voight, Popovych had a great stage win, Hushovd added some excitement, and a few others. There were some awesome moments.

This was a great Tour, no doubt about it. Not because Landis won, but because of the confusion, because of the great moments, because the outcome was uncertain.

How much more impressive would Landis' win on stage 18 have been if Basso and Ullrich were driving the race? Would it have been possible? The audience would have been bigger, that's for sure.
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Old 07-24-06, 10:15 AM   #13
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Does anyone think that declining ratings in Europe have anything to do with the World Cup? Perhaps people are tired of watching televised sports after that kind of thing.

Of course, I've just spent most nights since April watching the NHL playoffs, then the World Cup, and then the Tour de France, so clearly I'm the exception that proves the rule. I've achieved couch-potatodom beyond most advertisers' wildest dreams. Not like I'll ever buy a Saab or a Bowflex thing or a Cervelo frame, but whatever.
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Old 07-24-06, 10:23 AM   #14
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Old 07-24-06, 11:14 AM   #15
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Old 07-24-06, 11:27 AM   #16
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Who's Lance? That Landis dude packs some serious mojo
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Old 07-24-06, 11:36 AM   #17
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hmm what else did germany and france have to watch this year....................
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Old 07-24-06, 01:16 PM   #18
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i couldnt watch most of the tour cause of work and the fact i dont get OLN

i tried going over one of my friends house to watch the tour whenever i could...even though she wasnt into biking, she would just go outside in the pool or talk on the computer.
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Old 07-24-06, 02:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyLowe97
Just go in for a test drive and tell them the advertisement got you interested because you thought the Saab had a jet engine.
Now THAT was funny! I think Snapple just came out of my nose!
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Old 07-24-06, 02:37 PM   #20
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The lower ratings in the U.S. I'm not surprised but 52 percent down? Thats not good.
But I'm totally suprised about the countries in Europe. Germany?.....maybe. But 43 percent down? You would think they would be tuning in anyway to watch T-mobile. And france.......LOL now thats just totally confusing. Yes, one would think they would be going nuts tuning in every day to the tour because Lance was gone and the race was wide open because of the scandal.

In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed the tour.
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Old 07-24-06, 02:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyLowe97
So, in your opinion, is Lance's contention that it's basically the Tour organizers and L'Equipe are out to get him, while the majority of France appreciate him correct?

How is he viewed in the UK? Are fans as rabid for pro cycling there as on the Continent?
Lance is a big American star. Go to Europe, most idiots idolise big American stars. In the UK they put Lance on the cover of the cycling magazines because he doubles circulation. Most new cyclists I meet idolise Lance, have read his book and think he's clean.

You see loads of Discovery and Postal team kit on the roads, and loads of Treks. I saw two fatties in Disco kit today.

The Tour organisers and Equipe are out to get him because they are in the business and know he doped.
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Old 07-24-06, 03:46 PM   #22
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I also read that NASCAR viewership here in Atlanta was down 28% this year.

I think too many people read way too much into marketing statistics. They can be so wrong sometimes.

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Old 07-24-06, 05:45 PM   #23
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same here
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