Like last year, there's to be an ITV Tour highlights programme once a week (post midnight, natch). To watch the daily live ITV2 coverage - including voiceovers from contract-tied Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen - UK viewers will need cable, satellite or digital terrestial tellies.

ITV2 releases Tour de France screening times

ITV2 was launched in 1998 and is an entertainment channel aimed at a younger audience. It is available free on digital cable and digital terrestrial TV and usually expands on the offerings from terrestial ITV1.

The ITV2 live coverage is extensive: 52 hours of it. The programme is produced by Venner TV, the same company that used to produce the much-beloved Channel 4 nightly highlights programme.

Fronting the coverage is Gary Imlach. This year he gets to travel to France for the duration of the Tour. For the ITV1 highlights programme last year he flew out each week to do an intro, and for the final stage was said to be in Paris but, in fact, was filmed by some bushes in Hyde Park, London.

When Channel 4 ditched its TdF coverage in preference to cricket, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen were snatched up until 2005 by OLN, the Canandian cable channel. However, the pair will provide voiceovers for the ITV2 coverage.

The ITV deal is a three year contract, with ITV being licensed by Channel 4 for the coverage. In 2000, Channel 4 signed a five year contract with the European Broadcast Union, which is assigned the TV rights to the Tour by organiser Amaury Sport Organisations.

The ITV2 TdF schedule is:

Saturday 6 July 4.30 – 6.30pm

Sunday 7 July 2.15 – 4.35pm

Monday 8 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Tuesday 9 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Weds 10 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Thursday 11 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Friday 12 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Saturday 13 July 3.25 – 4.30pm

Sunday 14 July 2.15 – 4.35pm

Monday 15 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Weds 17 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Thursday 18 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Friday 19 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Saturday 20 July 3.25 – 4.30pm

Sunday 21 July 2.15 – 4.35pm

Tuesday 23 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Weds 24 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Thursday 25 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Friday 26 July 1.35 – 4.30pm

Saturday 27 July 3.25 – 4.30pm

Sunday 28 July 2.15 – 4.35pm

As well as highlights programmes each evening (apart from rest days) on ITV2, ITV1 has highlight programmes every Monday from July 8 at 12.30am.

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