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Old 07-27-08, 05:13 PM   #1
merlinextraligh
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the official curmudegeon thread

When Merckx was winning we had to read about it in Magazines months after the fact.

When Hinault was winning, we got a few minutes on Wide World of Sports, and all that was misunderstood whining about Hinult alledgedly screwing Lemond.

When Lemond was winning we paid $1.99 a minute to numbers to get updates from Velonews' 900 number.

When Armstrong first started winning we still had limited coverage.

So any of you that think the coverage sucked, or this years race was boring, HTFU.
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Old 07-27-08, 05:29 PM   #2
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Old 07-27-08, 05:53 PM   #3
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When Merckx was winning we had to read about it in Magazines months after the fact.
US Tour coverage thirty years ago: two paragraphs in the December issue of Bike World!

Allez, Joop!

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Old 07-27-08, 05:54 PM   #4
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I remember paying the buck 99 to find out who'd won the Worlds.

However, I predict that without another Lance Armstrong in the next few years, we will quickly revert back to the coverage we had in the Lemond era.
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Old 07-27-08, 06:50 PM   #5
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US Tour coverage thirty years ago: two paragraphs in the December issue of Bike World!

Allez, Joop!

tcs

I remember those days too! Or 5 minutes each evening with my ear glued to the BBC radio and hoping the reception wouldn't fade out.
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Old 07-27-08, 07:00 PM   #6
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This is the first tour that i follow.

Very exciting !

Camembert for the whine?
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Old 07-27-08, 07:16 PM   #7
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However, I predict that without another Lance Armstrong in the next few years, we will quickly revert back to the coverage we had in the Lemond era.
NOOOOOOOOOO....*breathes*.......OOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
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Old 07-27-08, 08:11 PM   #8
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I agree.

As far as the next 'Lance'...well, Contador is not too shabby I hear.

*****ing/Whining to follow:



What's kind of bizarre to me after all is said and done is that VS bought into the ASO party-line, vis-a-vis Astana/Bruyneel, after about 2 Stages.

That's hilarious. 'Astana doesn't exist and let's move on'. Defending champ and 3rd place finisher disappear from any discussions of the "future winners, next generation stars...yadda, yadda."

Shame on, especially, Liggett for letting ASO off the hook on this. The only strong editorializing I heard from Phil was that bit of biz about Sastre probably not winning TDF riding for Silence-Lotto.

Just sayin'.
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Old 07-27-08, 10:40 PM   #9
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I agree.

As far as the next 'Lance'...well, Contador is not too shabby I hear.

*****ing/Whining to follow:



What's kind of bizarre to me after all is said and done is that VS bought into the ASO party-line, vis-a-vis Astana/Bruyneel, after about 2 Stages.

That's hilarious. 'Astana doesn't exist and let's move on'. Defending champ and 3rd place finisher disappear from any discussions of the "future winners, next generation stars...yadda, yadda."

Shame on, especially, Liggett for letting ASO off the hook on this. The only strong editorializing I heard from Phil was that bit of biz about Sastre probably not winning TDF riding for Silence-Lotto.

Just sayin'.

Is there ANYONE who wouldn't agree that if Evans and Sastre traded teams, Cadel would have won and Carlos wouldn't have even been on the podium?

And I find it odd that anyone could believe the "party line" on VS was "Astana doesn't exist" when, for the past week Astana's DS was their primary guest commentator! And I know I heard some VS comments in today's coverage that, with Contador & Astana likely back in next year's Tour, Evans' window to win yellow may have already closed.
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Old 07-27-08, 11:41 PM   #10
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And I find it odd that anyone could believe the "party line" on VS was "Astana doesn't exist" when, for the past week Astana's DS was their primary guest commentator! And I know I heard some VS comments in today's coverage that, with Contador & Astana likely back in next year's Tour, Evans' window to win yellow may have already closed.

Bryneel, IMHO, left the Astana issue alone after the first day he was on. Some mild comments about how he had accepted it and moved on. Compared to Armstrong's comments that this (ASO action) was directed at LA and JB, I was surprised Bruyneel wouldn't at least take a crack at ASO for banning a defending champion and the hottest Grand Tour rider in the world right now. Strange stuff. I'm friggin' indignant that the BIG SHOW got watered down. That was shoddy stuff. I guess VS didn't want to turn the broadcast into a political show. BTW, where was LA? I never saw him live on VS. Doesn't matter I guess. The TDF is big business and the last thing I imagine ASO would want is some American network banging on them for how they (ASO) run their business. So be it. Weak sauce. Sorry, it is.


I missed the comments about 'window closing' on Evans. That's a fairly innocuous take. I would have liked them to offer their opinions on whether Sastre or Evans had a chance in hell of beating Contador. It all stinks. I'm over it. Hoorah, ASO got their new champion and the TDF is history. Outside of cycling fans I guess it's no big deal what happened with Astana. Contador wins the Vuelta and it's all for the history books to sort out.
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Old 07-28-08, 07:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
When Merckx was winning we had to read about it in Magazines months after the fact.

When Hinault was winning, we got a few minutes on Wide World of Sports, and all that was misunderstood whining about Hinult alledgedly screwing Lemond.

When Lemond was winning we paid $1.99 a minute to numbers to get updates from Velonews' 900 number.

When Armstrong first started winning we still had limited coverage.

So any of you that think the coverage sucked, or this years race was boring, HTFU.
absolutely.

I was thinking about this very thing yesterday watching them roll towards Paris.

I think it was 2001 when I finally got a chance to actually see each individual stage on TV. I'm not sure if they were on cable in 1999 and 2000 and my cable company just didn't carry OLN or what, but for years I followed the races in bike magazines.

I honestly thought 2005 would be the last year. Then 2006 for sure.

But I think that the Tour is really a bread and butter thing for the Versus network in the summer, so I hope they keep at it. I'm surprised we get to see the spring classics on Sundays thoughout the season, too.

I just wish they covered the Giro like they did the Tour.

Maybe if JV and the Garmin squad made a real stab at being the first American winner in a generation we'd get some more of the Giro?
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Old 07-28-08, 07:44 AM   #12
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With Cantador and Astana trying to be the first to double the Giro and Vuelta in a long time (since Merckx IIRC), this would be a great time for Versus to expand coverage of the Vuelta. Doubt it will happen though.
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Old 07-28-08, 07:50 AM   #13
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With Cantador and Astana trying to be the first to double the Giro and Vuelta in a long time (since Merckx IIRC), this would be a great time for Versus to expand coverage of the Vuelta. Doubt it will happen though.

thanks for reminding me of that. I honestly don't follow the Vuelta very often. I did in 2004 because Floyd Landis (a local product here in PA) was in the lead for 10 days, but I followed that mostly on-line, then bought the DVD after it was over.

I was a big Floyd fan. Still am, really.

So what if testoserone is banned in France, it's still fairly popular here in PA!
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Old 07-28-08, 10:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Laggard View Post
I remember paying the buck 99 to find out who'd won the Worlds.

However, I predict that without another Lance Armstrong in the next few years, we will quickly revert back to the coverage we had in the Lemond era.
I remember our glorious two hours of ABC's Wide Wide of Sports on Sunday to summarize two weeks of racing...

Your latter statement may be technically correct, but I don't think that's going to happen because it seems to me that cycling is more popular in the US now than ever before, we have multiple semi-major stage races (Tour of California, Tour of Georgia), and in my neck of the woods competitive cycling is as popular as ever. The net result is that I think we'll see even more American's racing in Europe in the future...I just think we're in a transition phase between the Lance and the next great champion (e.g., Taylor Phinney?), much like it was when Greg retired before Lance came along. Even during that time, when Indurain dominated, there was still lots of cable coverage.
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Old 07-28-08, 12:03 PM   #15
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FYI

http://blog.oregonlive.com/playbooks...s_down_so.html

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Columbia Sportswear Co. decided to sponsor Team High Road to capture the attention of European consumers, CEO Tim Boyle has said.

If that's the case, the Tour's U.S. TV ratings so far won't concern him.

Versus network's coverage of the Tour is averaging 143,000 total viewers (people 2 years old or older) per airing, according to The Nielsen Co. That's the average across 35 live and taped telecasts between July 5th and 10th.

That number is down from the 171,000 average total viewers for 135 telecasts between July 2nd and 29th last year, Nielsen said.

Viewership of live Tour broadcast, which usually starts at 5:30 a.m. in these parts, is down from 343,000 in 2007 to 230,000 so far this year.

Calls to Versus were not returned.

P&P Blog is working sources for European TV ratings, but every one seems to be on holiday. Or out riding.
I wish they had compared to 2006 and 2005. I'm sure Astana's exclusion had a marginal effect on ratings this year, but doesn't explain it all. On the upside Versus has the tour through 2013 (http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/7/t...ive-on-the-web) so we shouldn't need to get too worried...yet.

Felt I should include this which I just found. Pretty good, and surprising news. Those of us who remember Pre-2000 coverage tend to have a bit more perspective (and whine a bit less) about the coverage.

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_...ecea00ababa308

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Tour de France Draws a Crowd for Versus

July 16, 2008

-By John Consoli

Through the first 10 days of the Tour de France coverage on Versus, 20.8 million viewers have tuned in to some portion of the race, according to Nielsen Media Research data, making it the most-watched Tour telecast in the cable network’s history.

For the live morning race telecasts during the first 10 days, the network has averaged a household rating of 0.3, flat from last year.

Versus shows the competition live in the morning, televises an encore of the morning race in the afternoon, a fringe encore telecast at 5 p.m., a prime time encore at 8 p.m. And a late night encore at midnight.

Total viewership for the late night telecast is up 45 percent, Versus said, although it did not release specific numbers. The network is seeing solid growth among men 18-34, with ratings up 91 percent for the live morning telecasts, up 108 percent for the afternoon telecasts, up 56 for the 5 p.m. Telecasts, up 22 percent for the prime time telecasts, and up 99 percent for the late night telecasts. Those numbers are off smaller bases which the network did not release.

More than 3.4 million Tour de France videos have been downloaded on Versus.com, surpassing the 2007 total over a 23 day span. The network is averaging 341,000 videos per day, compared to 170,000 per day last year.

Last edited by hollow; 07-28-08 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 07-28-08, 12:14 PM   #16
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The network is seeing solid growth among men 18-34, with ratings up 91 percent for the live morning telecasts, up 108 percent for the afternoon telecasts, up 56 for the 5 p.m. Telecasts, up 22 percent for the prime time telecasts, and up 99 percent for the late night telecasts.
That would explain all the male enhancement and hair replacement ads during the tour
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Old 07-28-08, 12:36 PM   #17
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I watch the tour live. only way..
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Old 07-28-08, 01:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Laggard View Post
I remember paying the buck 99 to find out who'd won the Worlds.

However, I predict that without another Lance Armstrong in the next few years, we will quickly revert back to the coverage we had in the Lemond era.
Versus extended through 2013. Along with cycling.tv, coverage in the US has never been better.
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Old 07-28-08, 02:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Laggard View Post
I remember paying the buck 99 to find out who'd won the Worlds.

However, I predict that without another Lance Armstrong in the next few years, we will quickly revert back to the coverage we had in the Lemond era.
Nope, because you can always get feeds from Europe on the internet!

I remember following Lemond through the newspaper and very, very out of date magazines. What we have today is incredible. Even the 10 minutes of commercials for every 7 minutes of coverage on versus is a huge step up. Remember, if you can get more people to watch the TDF (and thus increase the viewership), the coverage will increase. (Notice, I don't say it will get better, just more)
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