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Eurosport’s ground-breaking broadcast of the Tour de France tonight picked up Best Live Event Coverage at the prestigious TV Sports Awards 2017 in Monaco.
CEO Peter Hutton and Director Global Cycling Production Laurence Schirrecker collected the award as Eurosport beat competition from BT Sport’s Coverage of the UEFA Champions League Final and Sky’s coverage of the British and Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand to claim the honours.
In 2017, Eurosport secured an agreement to show every minute of the Tour de France – the first broadcaster to do so – and delivered record ratings and drove the development of short-form content to engage fans before, during and after each stage to garner in excess of 20 million views on digital and social media channels.
Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton said: “It is a testament to the entire Eurosport team that worked on the production of the Tour de France that the organisation has been recognised with this award. We at Eurosport pride ourselves as being the Home of Cycling and our aim this past year was to push our coverage further than ever before through innovation and expertise.
“Huge credit to Laurence [Schirrecker] and the Tour de France production team, who face an increasingly complicated logistical challenge as they seek to make the unique stories of the tour accessible to a growing audience.”
Laurence Schirrecker, Director Global Cycling Production at Eurosport, added: “We worked on site with more production staff than ever before in order to deliver to the fans the best possible experience and I am very proud our hard work has been recognised.
“Our approach and coverage of Le Tour was centred around helping people better understand the complexities of cycling, and therefore, love it even more. Fans clearly enjoyed our coverage of the event as the viewing figures would suggest and it's a real honour to be rewarded.”
This year, fans in 54 markets across Europe benefitted from up to 25 hours more live Tour de France coverage. Furthermore, all live coverage on Eurosport’s linear platforms ran concurrently on Eurosport’s live streaming and on-demand service – Eurosport Player, ensuring fans could watch every moment of the event any time and any place.
To complement this year’s coverage of the Tour de France, Eurosport produced two Sports Explainer short-form videos breaking down key elements of a world-class cycling race. The videos – How to Win a Sprint and The Echelon – offering incredible insights using scientific data to bring each explainer to life, not just telling viewers what has happened but why it is happening. Allied to the fact Eurosport boasted a team featuring the most respected analysts in the sport, including icons Greg LeMond, Juan Antonio Flecha and Sean Kelly, then Eurosport was the only destination for fans to watch cycling’s blue-riband race.
Eurosport recorded an average of 785,000 over the 21 stages of the race, a 10% increase in viewership versus 2016 with significant year-on-year growth recorded in Germany (+37%), Spain (+32%), Italy (+17%) and Denmark (+8%). Stage 13, meanwhile, between Saint-Girons and Foix was the most-watched Tour de France stage on Eurosport since 2013, with an average of 1.203m viewers tuning in to see Warren Barguill become the first French rider to win a stage on Bastille Day since 2005. A greater focus on digital in the lead up and during the Tour de France led to an increase in the number of daily visitors reading and watching cycling content on Eurosport.com (+36% vs 2016).
In a memorable night for the broadcaster, Eurosport Sweden also picked up Best TV Rights Deal for its Allsvenskan rights agreement with the Swedish Elite Football Association while CEO Peter Hutton was nominated for Media Executive of the Year.