The Women's Tour organiser has issued a renewed appeal in its efforts to deliver live television coverage of this year's race, taking place from June 6-11.
Efforts to secure a title sponsor for the Women's Tour have so far proved unsuccessful, but organiser SweetSpot is looking to raise at least £75,000 towards the first-ever live broadcast of the event. The introduction of a naming rights partner will not only enhance the race's reputation and interest in women's cycling, but also meet criteria set by the UCI.
Live coverage of the Women's Tour is essential, with UCI rules stating "Women's WorldTour events must provide live TV coverage of at least the last 45 minutes of each stage/race", while also adhering to the technical regulations set out in the specification.
Therefore, SweetSpot revealed it must find a partner to deliver a live broadcast of the Women's Tour.
A statement read: "The race has been seeking funding to deliver a live broadcast of the event since UCI Women’s WorldTour rules were updated for the 2020 season.
"Adding a live broadcast increases the Women’s Tour’s overheads by approximately 20%: a sum far from inconsequential given that we are only two years removed from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and the enforced cancellation of the 2020 race.
"Combined with the impact restrictions had on organising events in the UK last year, SweetSpot missed out on a year-and-a-half of revenue as a result."
Currently, ITV in the UK and Eurosport and GCN worldwide offer a daily hour-long highlights programme, which will continue in 2022. Over four million people worldwide watched these highlights last year, and SweetSpot is now looking to supplement this coverage with live action of the six-day event through a funding boost.
Returning for its eighth edition this summer, the Women's Tour starts in Colchester on Monday June 6 and finishes in Oxford on Saturday June 11. All 14 UCI Women's WorldTour teams will compete in the event this year, with the biggest-ever field expected to take to the start line.
Demi Vollering is the current title holder of the Women's Tour, having triumphed overall last October. Past winners also include Marianne Vos and Lizzie Deignan, who have both won the UK's leading women's cycle race.
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Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.
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