Friends Life sponsored event will be backed by live coverage on ITV, with daily coverage switching to ITV4 from Stage Two

ITV to broadcast Tour of Britain live

The opening Liverpool stage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain will be televised live on ITV’s main channel for the first time.

Three hours of action from the opening stage will be shown live on ITV on Sunday September 7th, getting Britain’s biggest pro cycle race underway in front of the biggest possible audience.

ITV’s Director of Sport Niall Sloane said: "Following our extremely popular coverage of this year’s Tour de France, we’re delighted for the first time to bring ITV viewers live coverage of the first day of country’s major cycling event. The fact the rest of the event is on ITV4 complements the channel’s extensive cycling offer.”

Live daily coverage will then switch to ITV4 from Stage Two onwards, with three hours of action being shown daily, while ITV4 will retain the one-hour highlights show each evening, with both programmes hosted by Ned Boulting.

Mick Bennett, Race Director for the Friends Life Tour of Britain, said: "The addition of the ITV coverage for Stage One is a great boost for the race, our partners and of course the many hundreds of thousands of spectators who tune in to watch the race each day.

"We hope that being on ITV for the Liverpool stage will expose the race to new audiences, who will continue to tune in across the subsequent seven stages. With the route, and the line-up of teams and riders we will have on the start line in Liverpool, there is sure to be great action, in some fantastic locations, for ITV viewers to enjoy.”

Friends Life Tour of Britain, ITV Transmission times

Sunday 7th September
14:00 – 17:00, Stage One Liverpool, LIVE, ITV
21:00 – 22:00, Highlights, ITV4

Monday 8th September
13:00 – 16:00, Stage Two Knowsley to Llandudno, LIVE, ITV4
20:00 – 21:00, Highlights, ITV4

Tuesday 9th September
13:00 – 16:00, Stage Three, Newtown to the Tumble, LIVE, ITV4
22:00 – 23:00, Highlights, ITV4

Wednesday 10th September
13:00 – 16:00, Stage Four, Worcester to Bristol, LIVE, ITV4
20:00 – 21:00, Highlights, ITV4

Thursday 11th September
13:00 – 16:00, Stage Five, Exmouth to Exeter, LIVE, ITV4
20:00 – 21:00, Highlights, ITV4

Friday 12th September
13:00 – 16:00, Stage Six, Bath to Hemel Hempstead, LIVE, ITV4
20:00 – 21:00, Highlights, ITV4

Saturday 13th September
13:00 – 16:00, Stage Seven, Camberley to Brighton, LIVE, ITV4
20:00 – 21:00, Highlights, ITV4

Sunday 14th September
15:00 – 18:00, Stage Eight, London, LIVE, ITV4
21:00 – 22:00, Highlights, ITV4

The Friends Life Tour of Britain will also be screened on British Eurosport in the UK, while details of the worldwide distribution of the 2014 Friends Life Tour of Britain programming will be confirmed ahead of the Liverpool grand depart.

Awesome pic from Tour of Britain 2013 Flickr feed.

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