British television broadcaster ITV has signed a new deal with the Tour de France to air coverage of the race until 2015.
The new deal agreed with Tour organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) will allow ITV to continue its package of live coverage and highlights programmes. ITV will also increase the amount of coverage offered digitally, including online.
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The new deal comes on the back of a successful year of cycling coverage for ITV. The company reports that its coverage of the 2011 Tour netted an increase in audience of 33 per cent compared to 2010. It also broadcast coverage of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana for the first time, in addition to coverage of the Tour of Britain, Tour Series and Revolution track events.
“ITV’s coverage of the Tour de France has a terrific reputation with viewers and sports fans and I’m delighted that, in one of the most exciting periods for British cycling, we have secured coverage on ITV4 until 2015,” said Niall Sloane, controller of Sport at ITV.
The 2012 Tour de France starts on Saturday June 30 in Liege, Belgium, and finishes in Paris on Sunday, July 22.