UK audience's thirst for watching cycling hasn't diminished despite a cycle-packed summer of sport

Biggest ever TV audience for Tour of Britain

This summer we’ve seen more TV airtime dedicated to cycling than ever, with multiple events at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, the launch of ITV 4’s Cycle Show, plus the annual likes of the Tour de France and Giro D’Italia and other key races.

When Bradley Wiggins’ victory was looking ever more assured towards the end of the race, ITV switched its Tour de France coverage from ITV4 to to its main terrestrial channel, giving it a higher potential audience.

The nation’s appetite for watching cycling on the TV has not yet been sated, according to the audience figures from the Tour of Britain and ITV4.

This year the Tour of Britain saw its largest ever television audience, with almost a million viewers tuning in to watch live coverage or highlights on each day of the eight day race.

The move to show the race live on ITV4 for the first time was also judged a success, drawing a daily average of 382,000 viewers over the eight days.

Daily audiences for The Tour’s one-hour highlights programmes were up over 12 per cent from 2011, attracting an average reach of 526,000 viewers per evening on ITV4.

“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.

“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.”

That best-ever ToB audience saw Britain’s Jonathan Tiernan Locke became the first home winner since 1989, as well as World Champion Mark Cavendish win three stages and British teams and riders winning three of four available competitions within the race.

Century TV produced the Tour of Britain coverage, which was also broadcast live across more than 130 countries, over five continents.

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