The audience for live cycling on British Eurosport increased by 16% in 2015 versus the previous year, with audiences for nearly all of the top events increasing.
British Eurosport Managing Director David Kerr said: “Eurosport has an unrivalled heritage in cycling and cycling remains at the heart of what we do. We have covered nearly 50 road cycling events live so far this season, as well as delayed coverage of many other events, including cyclo-cross and track cycling.
“The spring Classics were a huge success and viewing figures all three Grand Tours increased in 2015, with enhanced production and expert analysis contributing to the increase.
“When you look at these viewing figures in conjunction with the growth in membership of British Cycling and what we see on roads up and down the country, it’s clear that cycling in the UK continues to grow on the back of the continued success of British riders on the road and the track.
“The UCI Cycling World Championships is live on British Eurosport this week and we have a few road races like the Tour of Lombardy still to look forward to as we conclude our season on the road, but we hope to be able to announce a strong programme of track cycling shortly that will take us through the autumn and further strengthen our position as the Home of Cycling.”
The biggest area of growth was the spring Classics. The two largest single day cycling audiences outside of the Grand Tours were for the Tour of Flanders (126,000 average) and Paris-Roubaix (120,000 average). In addition both events grew, with ratings increasing by 40% and 33% respectively.
The audience for Milan-San Remo was up 57% on the previous year and the audience for the Amstel Gold race up 97% on 2014. The ratings for Liège-Bastogne-Liège were the best since 2007 and the best ever for Gent-Wevelgem.
All three Grand Tours increased versus 2014.
The Giro d’Italia was up 9% up on 2014 and Tour de France up by 12% on the previous year.
In addition, the final stage into Paris which saw Britain’s Chris Froome claim his second Tour de France title was the best rating cycling programme in over a decade, recording an average of 221,000 viewers for the duration of the programme, the second best single day cycling audience ever.
The final Grand Tour of the season saw the biggest increase, with ratings for the Vuelta a España up by 30%, resulting in an average audience just less than that of the Tour de France.
Other notable increases in audience were the 122% growth in audience for the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian, won by Orice-GreenEDGE’s British rider Adam Yates and the 378% increase in viewers for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.
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