This year’s Tour of Britain cycle race has been hailed as a resounding success and also enjoyed its largest ever television audience, with almost a million viewers tuning in to watch either live coverage or highlights on each day of the eight day race.
The 2012 Tour was the first ever to be screened live on television, showing 16 hours of live action, drawing an average of 382,000 viewers across the eight days of the race, as Britain’s Jonathan Tiernan Locke became the first home winner of a Tour of Britain since 1989.
In a year of unprecedented British sporting success, The Tour of Britain was no exception, with World Champion Mark Cavendish winning three stages and British teams and riders winning three of four available competitions within the race.
Mirroring the nationwide growth of interest in cycling, daily audiences for The Tour’s one-hour highlights programmes were up just over 12% from 2011, attracting 526,000 viewers on average per evening.
“Live television brought a new dimension to the 2012 Tour of Britain,” said Alastair Grant, Commercial Director of organisers SweetSpot Group. “Our spectators and guests at finishes could watch the stage unfold, while for the first time viewers at home could also enjoy the spectacle of the race and the battle for the IG Gold Jersey.
He went on to say: “The excellent viewing figures demonstrate the popularity of The Tour of Britain with fans and its continued growth as a major event on the British sporting calendar.”
The Century TV produced coverage of The Tour of Britain was also broadcast live across more than 130 countries, showcasing British scenery to viewers across the world and providing brand exposure for event sponsors to audiences of millions across five continents in 2012.