Exclusive: Emma Pooley on women’s Tour de France sponsors, money & scheduling

"Our races are run on a shoestring"

by Elaine Curtin   July 16, 2013  

Emma Pooley in the 2012 Olympic time trial (copyright DCMS)

Just how would a women’s Tour de France work if it ran on the same roads and days as a the men’s event? That’s been the main question in forums and comments since Marianne Vos, Emma Pooley, Chrissie Wellington and Kathryn Bertine launched their petition for a women’s Tour de France to Tour supremo Christian Prudhomme last week.

That petition has now has over 16,000 signatures after just a few days.

Road.cc asked Emma Pooley how she and her co-petitioners saw a women’s Tour working if it ran alongside the men’s race.

“We have given a lot of thought as to how a women's TdF alongside the men's race might work,” Pooley said in an email, “though at the moment the main point is just to get the message out to cycling supporters and spectators, and to show that the demand for such a race is there from that side. The details would have to be discussed and finalised later.”

Follow the money

The big question is, where does the money come from? The Tour de France is a business and makes most of its money from sponsors, start and finish towns and VIP spectator packages. To fund a women’s race, more money is going to to have to come from somewhere, either the existing sponsors, or new supporters. But Pooley points out that compared to men’s racing, women’s racing is cheap. The prize money for the overall winner of the Giro Rosa, the biggest women’s race, is just 460 Euros.

“If it's to be the same race then it would have to have the same main sponsors, because the same podium should be used every day either immediately before or immediately after the men,” said Pooley.


The 2012 Olympic road race showed millions that a women's race could be hard-fought and exciting.

“If additional sponsorship were needed to fund the extra costs of the women's race, I think separate jersey sponsors could be recruited. Crucially though, the women's race would also have to be filmed and some of the footage shown live on TV, so that the sponsors get a return for their investment.

“I expect the Tour may claim to be cash-strapped and to need every Euro centime they can get from every sponsor, just for the men's race. But from the perspective of women's cycling, that's simply not true. There's plenty of money there compared to our races, which are run on a shoestring!”

Running the races together

The daily organisation of an extra race would be a big challenge, and there have been suggestions that the women’s stage could be run the day before or after the men’s. That would allow the women’s Tour to take advantage of the men’s race’s local publicity, but it would need an entire extra set of infrastructure. But Pooley says that’s not the idea at all.

“The key request (and, I believe, requirement for a women's event to be successful) from our side is that the men's and women's stages are all run on the same roads, on the same day and with the same stage finish,” she said. “That is the point about benefiting from the spectators and media that are there to watch the men's race anyway, and it also provides extra cycling viewing and entertainment for those spectators.”

Pooley says that while this would have its own logistical challenges, they would be minor compared to the logistics of the Tour as a whole, and add an extra aspect to a race that flashes by in seconds. 

“It also saves some some hassle by avoiding closing the roads for another day. The spectators are there to watch a bike race, why not give them two to watch? And since the whole Tour is already a huge logistical challenge, I don't believe that adding another race early before the men would be impossible or detract at all from the Tour - in fact, it would add to it.”


Emma Poole leading the 2012 Olympic women's race

No need for much extra media

Another issue that’s been raised is that of media and especially TV coverage. Again, Pooley sees this as a bonus of running the two races at the same time, rather than an obstacle.

“The extra media commitment would amount to an extra mobile film crew to show the actual action from our race. The whole of the world's cycling media is there, writing stories about the tiniest little snippets of information they can dig up. They must have time to cover a women's race!

“And one of the reasons our races don't recieve much media coverage at the moment is that it's too expensive to send journalists out to women-only races, especially for the media outlets that focus on women's racing. Eg our Giro Rosa / Giro Donne gets great coverage in Italy, but most international cycling media are busy at the Tour and can't send someone to cover the biggest race of our calendar.”

Places to stay

Pooley’s also not asking for female riders to stay in posh hotels (which is a good job as male riders don’t exactly stay at the local Ritz either). According to one source, the race books 1,200 hotel rooms for staff, teams and media. Pooley acknowledged the pressure the race puts on accommodation in host towns, but suggested an alternative for the women’s Tour.

“As to the hotel logistics question: I think this is being exaggerated. At our races we often have 3+ hour transfers after stages. I'm sure this could be resolved. And if they needed to hold a women's race on the cheap for the first year or two, the organisers could try sending teams to stay with host families (as happens in the US for women's teams) or even sponsorship by a camper-van firm! Honestly, I know the men complain about the quality of their accommodation at the Tour but I'm sure I've seen much worse at women's races.”

Sponsor pressure

Ultimately, Pooley wants the demand for a women’s race to come from the sponsors, fuelled by the spectator support reflected in her petition.

“Ideally the pressure for a women's race would also come from the race sponsors: hence the petition of cycling fans and spectators of all kinds, not just female cyclists,” said Pooley. “If sponsors realise that there is a viewing public out there who want to watch the women race too, they'll push the Tour to put it on.

“In an ideal world, a women's race would be held purely for equality, but I realise that the world is not ideal, and that commercial pressures are the only ones that are really effective in professional sport.”

42 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

Hector Ch wrote:
Marketing Rule 1: Make sure you have an audience first. ...

Marketing Rule 2: Differentiate from the competition. ...

I think you're spot on with these two, just sticking another race on the same day runs a serious risk of being very much a sideshow, a warm up prior to the real thing that nobody takes very seriously.

I think Emma's underestimated the logistics angle, too - just getting another 10-15 tour buses up to the top of Ventoux would be a serious problem, and how do you get them down again when the men are already en route? Certainly most of the equipment could be reused, but you're also talking about 6 hours less to get it all set up, not a trivial amount of time when we're talking about races that change location daily.

(Part of me says let the women start an hour earlier, and see if we can't get a mass finish with men and women crashing over the line at the same time... be entertaining, if nothing else Devil )

posted by mogrim [44 posts]
17th July 2013 - 8:34

5 Likes

if l'auto had observed marketing rule 1 all those years ago, then there wouldn't be a tour de france. they didn't have an audience, just an idea

just saying.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7678 posts]
17th July 2013 - 8:39

5 Likes

Yes! More races is good and the men already do so many that let's have more for the women!

posted by a.jumper [771 posts]
17th July 2013 - 8:49

4 Likes

Dave Atkinson wrote:
if l'auto had observed marketing rule 1 all those years ago, then there wouldn't be a tour de france. they didn't have an audience, just an idea

just saying.

True, no audience existed at the time, but something must have indicated that there was a potential. I believe that the aim was to increase newspaper circulation wasn't it...?

posted by JeevesBath [136 posts]
17th July 2013 - 9:59

4 Likes

Hector Ch wrote:
It would be more than annoying to cut between two separate races being broadcast at the same time. With tons of commercials already being shown on ITV4 during their TdF coverage, it would make it unwatchable.

The idea of sponsors sponsoring both men's and women's teams at the same time is going to be rather expensive for the sponsors.

While the prize money mentioned in this article is ridiculously low, I would say a bit of patience is needed. Like with trees, it takes time to get them to grow. It's great to have a goal, but to earn it you have to get there under your own steam.

Marketing Rule 1: Make sure you have an audience first. Unless you're Sony or Apple, just because you want to do/make something doesn't mean anyone wants to buy it / watch it on TV. Once you have an audience, you can get the sponsors. This is the major obstacle.

Marketing Rule 2: Differentiate from the competition. Cycling already has a lot of competition between all the tours (take a look at the UCI programmes for the year) with the TdF being the holy grail. So, from a "growing women's cycling" angle, don't "tag it on" to the TdF, you'll simply make it an also-ran/side-show. Make it a stand alone event.

Media: Olympics aside, who watches cycling on TV? If the consumer cycling male to female ratio can be pulled across, I would imagine it's mostly males, but I doubt anyone has hard figures. Some research needs to be done here. One option is to petition local TV channels to show women's cycling, or go after EuroSport (who are making a much bigger effort into including women presenters in their Sports shows..). Personally I would love to watch it. Only I can never find it.

On a side note: maybe the Women's Cycling Association (don't know if it exists) should bring their case to a show like The Cycle Show on ITV4 ? Getting exposure via a medium like that could help.

Sponsors: Personally I find it hard to believe that they can't find sponsors (not the fault of women's cycling, but rather the sponsors). Surely a few multi-nation conglomerates (Unilever, P&G etc) who look to market tons and tons of products to women would be interested in sponsoring a few teams in exchange for exposure of their products? Especially in the Sports arena? Find the female brand managers at these companies and convince them to sponsor a team, or at least sponsor the prize money.

Now THAT would be a business plan... Cool

posted by JeevesBath [136 posts]
17th July 2013 - 10:02

6 Likes

JeevesBath wrote:
Dave Atkinson wrote:
if l'auto had observed marketing rule 1 all those years ago, then there wouldn't be a tour de france. they didn't have an audience, just an idea

just saying.

True, no audience existed at the time, but something must have indicated that there was a potential. I believe that the aim was to increase newspaper circulation wasn't it...?


During the Dreyfus affair, yes. (Don't go there... mind you he was awfully good in "American Graffiti".)

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
17th July 2013 - 10:15

6 Likes

JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
seanboy wrote:
this women is living in a dream world!!,its never going to happen,nobody wants to watch women cycling,just like nobody wants to watch womens football

And on what do you base that idiotic, sexist comment? Certainly not the viewing figures from the Olympics.

While the tone of the comment may be off, the facts are correct. Olympics aside, where are the spectators? If it can be demonstrated that a women's race can draw in x number of spectators/TV audience, then I'm sure that sponsors and organisers would be able to see the cost/exposure benefit and therefore be more proactive. Can anyone show audience figures for the Tour that breaks down into male/female viewers? Can it be shown that a women's event would attract more women viewers? Are companies that sell products specifically to women enthusiastic about running their ads during breaks?


"The facts are correct"?
Why, other than to back up an incorrect opinion, cast the Olympics aside? It was a massive event and more comparable to the TdF than any other cycle race. You cannot base the potential audience for a Women's TdF on events which are small (no offence).
As for advertising to Women, the TdF already does this bigtime. Even in this day and age it is usually the Woman of the household who decides where to spend the food budget. Supermarket chain Carrefour have sponsored the Polka-dot Jersey for over twenty years. They must think they're getting a return on the money.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
17th July 2013 - 10:19

5 Likes

a petition that's reached 25,000 signatures in a few days could indicate there was a potential. be interesting to see how high it goes.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7678 posts]
17th July 2013 - 10:25

4 Likes

The TdF has to be one of the most complex (daily) logistical challenges in the sporting world out there, it really isn't a case of sending the ladies out an hour or so earlier.

What happens if the mens race catch the stragglers?

Would you want live coverage or recorded coverage?

If the coverage is run concurrently how would you prioritise?

Take Ventoux, at what point would you switch from the ladies to the mens race?

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
17th July 2013 - 10:27

5 Likes

Proper timing could ensure that the Men's Race didn't run into a peleton of Women stragglers.
I'd suggest switching from the Men's to the Women's race (and back again) when something interesting happens. That's how they do it with simultaneous Football matches. This would of course mean more exciting cycling, and less of Phil padding out the commentary with lengthy descriptions of Corsican Small Gauge Railways, but that's a price I'm willing to pay.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
17th July 2013 - 10:47

5 Likes

Theres way more chance of doubling up at the Dauphene as its a 7 day event usually based mroe in areas requiring less road closure concerns...the mountains!

No chance of a same day TdF. Just look at the issues with the Aussie bus at the stage end in Corsica. Traffic sometimes has to use the same route as the race, travelling prior to the caravanne. Just where do you squeeze in another race?

It would be fantastic to see and would make so much mroe of the efforts on the day with little increase from press and benefits all round for sponsors and public.

Id love to see it.

Logistically its a non-starter.

Concentrate on a 7 day French event. Thats what is missing from the calendar due to a few falling off due to finances.

Financially&logistically support a 7day womens French road race at the Dauphine or similar standalone event elsewhere in the year.

posted by Farky [185 posts]
17th July 2013 - 11:19

5 Likes

The Rumpo Kid wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
seanboy wrote:
this women is living in a dream world!!,its never going to happen,nobody wants to watch women cycling,just like nobody wants to watch womens football

And on what do you base that idiotic, sexist comment? Certainly not the viewing figures from the Olympics.

While the tone of the comment may be off, the facts are correct. Olympics aside, where are the spectators? If it can be demonstrated that a women's race can draw in x number of spectators/TV audience, then I'm sure that sponsors and organisers would be able to see the cost/exposure benefit and therefore be more proactive. Can anyone show audience figures for the Tour that breaks down into male/female viewers? Can it be shown that a women's event would attract more women viewers? Are companies that sell products specifically to women enthusiastic about running their ads during breaks?


"The facts are correct"?
Why, other than to back up an incorrect opinion, cast the Olympics aside? It was a massive event and more comparable to the TdF than any other cycle race. You cannot base the potential audience for a Women's TdF on events which are small (no offence).
As for advertising to Women, the TdF already does this bigtime. Even in this day and age it is usually the Woman of the household who decides where to spend the food budget. Supermarket chain Carrefour have sponsored the Polka-dot Jersey for over twenty years. They must think they're getting a return on the money.

When I stated the facts are correct, it refers to the 'fact' that viewing audiences for women's football are lower than that for mens. Likewise I'm sure if you compared it with women's rugby, cricket etc.
The Olympics is a massive event every four years and cannot be considered in the same way, as I'm sure that viewing figures for athletics world champs are way below those of the Olympics.
You assert that women must watch the TdF because otherwise supermarkets wouldn't sponsor teams. That's hardly a factual response either. As I said in my post - "if it can be demonstrated that.." viewers will tune in, then that goes a long way to justifying holding a women's race.

posted by JeevesBath [136 posts]
17th July 2013 - 11:34

5 Likes

Ok, so Marianne Vos has powered up Ventoux and has just passed the Simpson memorial en route to a famous victory but wait the peleton are 20km behind and have just hit the start of the climb, who do you concentrate on? A simple point but one which shows the difficulty.

As for simultaneous football matches, it just doesn't happen except for last day of the season drama and even then it's only a picture in picture in order to keep track of the other score.

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
17th July 2013 - 12:13

6 Likes

JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
seanboy wrote:
this women is living in a dream world!!,its never going to happen,nobody wants to watch women cycling,just like nobody wants to watch womens football

And on what do you base that idiotic, sexist comment? Certainly not the viewing figures from the Olympics.

While the tone of the comment may be off, the facts are correct. Olympics aside, where are the spectators? If it can be demonstrated that a women's race can draw in x number of spectators/TV audience, then I'm sure that sponsors and organisers would be able to see the cost/exposure benefit and therefore be more proactive. Can anyone show audience figures for the Tour that breaks down into male/female viewers? Can it be shown that a women's event would attract more women viewers? Are companies that sell products specifically to women enthusiastic about running their ads during breaks?


"The facts are correct"?
Why, other than to back up an incorrect opinion, cast the Olympics aside? It was a massive event and more comparable to the TdF than any other cycle race. You cannot base the potential audience for a Women's TdF on events which are small (no offence).
As for advertising to Women, the TdF already does this bigtime. Even in this day and age it is usually the Woman of the household who decides where to spend the food budget. Supermarket chain Carrefour have sponsored the Polka-dot Jersey for over twenty years. They must think they're getting a return on the money.

When I stated the facts are correct, it refers to the 'fact' that viewing audiences for women's football are lower than that for mens. Likewise I'm sure if you compared it with women's rugby, cricket etc.
The Olympics is a massive event every four years and cannot be considered in the same way, as I'm sure that viewing figures for athletics world champs are way below those of the Olympics.
You assert that women must watch the TdF because otherwise supermarkets wouldn't sponsor teams. That's hardly a factual response either. As I said in my post - "if it can be demonstrated that.." viewers will tune in, then that goes a long way to justifying holding a women's race.

You asked if Companies that advertised for Women would be interested in being associated with the TdF. I made no assertions other than to show they already are. I don't expect the potential audience for a Womens TdF to be exclusively Female. I watched Male and Female Olympic events, most people I know did the same.
I know the Olympics is a massive event. So is the Tdf.
The TdF is, in terms of media hype, more comparable to the Olympics than it is to the UCI World Championships.
Other than actually staging a Women's TdF, I cannot demonstrate what the audience would be. But the facts seem to indicate that this idea is a goer. But then again, you seem to consider that my facts and statistics carry less weight than the juvenile "nobody wants to watch women cycling."

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
17th July 2013 - 12:15

5 Likes

The Rumpo Kid wrote:

Why, other than to back up an incorrect opinion, cast the Olympics aside? It was a massive event and more comparable to the TdF than any other cycle race.

It was also one of the few to get something like comparable coverage to the comparable mens race.

Most womens cycle races get far less coverage, so it seems pretty understandable that its current audience is smaller.

With any luck, BC, sweetspot, ASO or someone will do a few surveys to figure out if there's a large enough potential audience now to make the numbers work somehow or at least explain why not. I think we've come a long way since the 1980s...

posted by a.jumper [771 posts]
17th July 2013 - 12:16

5 Likes

thebungle wrote:
Ok, so Marianne Vos has powered up Ventoux and has just passed the Simpson memorial en route to a famous victory but wait the peleton are 20km behind and have just hit the start of the climb, who do you concentrate on?

Well that depends. Is Marianne Vos on Her own, or racing neck and neck with Lizzie Armitstead? And what's happening in the peleton? (I assume you mean the Men's peleton).
Regarding my comparison with Football, I meant when they actually cut away from one match to another.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
17th July 2013 - 12:33

5 Likes

The Rumpo Kid wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
seanboy wrote:
this women is living in a dream world!!,its never going to happen,nobody wants to watch women cycling,just like nobody wants to watch womens football

And on what do you base that idiotic, sexist comment? Certainly not the viewing figures from the Olympics.

While the tone of the comment may be off, the facts are correct. Olympics aside, where are the spectators? If it can be demonstrated that a women's race can draw in x number of spectators/TV audience, then I'm sure that sponsors and organisers would be able to see the cost/exposure benefit and therefore be more proactive. Can anyone show audience figures for the Tour that breaks down into male/female viewers? Can it be shown that a women's event would attract more women viewers? Are companies that sell products specifically to women enthusiastic about running their ads during breaks?


"The facts are correct"?
Why, other than to back up an incorrect opinion, cast the Olympics aside? It was a massive event and more comparable to the TdF than any other cycle race. You cannot base the potential audience for a Women's TdF on events which are small (no offence).
As for advertising to Women, the TdF already does this bigtime. Even in this day and age it is usually the Woman of the household who decides where to spend the food budget. Supermarket chain Carrefour have sponsored the Polka-dot Jersey for over twenty years. They must think they're getting a return on the money.

When I stated the facts are correct, it refers to the 'fact' that viewing audiences for women's football are lower than that for mens. Likewise I'm sure if you compared it with women's rugby, cricket etc.
The Olympics is a massive event every four years and cannot be considered in the same way, as I'm sure that viewing figures for athletics world champs are way below those of the Olympics.
You assert that women must watch the TdF because otherwise supermarkets wouldn't sponsor teams. That's hardly a factual response either. As I said in my post - "if it can be demonstrated that.." viewers will tune in, then that goes a long way to justifying holding a women's race.

You asked if Companies that advertised for Women would be interested in being associated with the TdF. I made no assertions other than to show they already are. I don't expect the potential audience for a Womens TdF to be exclusively Female. I watched Male and Female Olympic events, most people I know did the same.
I know the Olympics is a massive event. So is the Tdf.
The TdF is, in terms of media hype, more comparable to the Olympics than it is to the UCI World Championships.
Other than actually staging a Women's TdF, I cannot demonstrate what the audience would be. But the facts seem to indicate that this idea is a goer. But then again, you seem to consider that my facts and statistics carry less weight than the juvenile "nobody wants to watch women cycling."

When did I ever say "nobody wants to watch women's cycling"? What facts and statitistics did you present, other than "I watched it and so did people I know"?
I watched many women's cycling events during the Olympics too, but a four year 'juggernaught' is different to a regular annual event, and attracts many viewers otherwise disinterested in sport.
For comparison between mens/womens sporting events, look at the viewing figures for the Wimbledon finals in 2011 (for fairness, the last year when Murray wasn't included):
Men's final: 6.87million
Women's final: 2.67million
So yes, I would still say that it is a FACT that many women's events have lower viewing figures.
For the proposal for a women's TdF to be considered seriously, it also has to be demonstrably commercially viable to the organiser -the Olympics doesn't because it is funded by the home nation. Viewing figures are a fundamental part of that equation.
You seem to think I'm arguing against a women's race - I'm not. Just that they have to be able to show a return on investment for potential backers/organisers in order to make it profitable....as yet I haven't seen anything to support that. It's been all about the logistics of arranging the race.

posted by JeevesBath [136 posts]
17th July 2013 - 12:40

4 Likes

JeevesBath wrote:

When did I ever say "nobody wants to watch women's cycling"? What facts and statitistics did you present, other than "I watched it and so did people I know"?


You didn't say "nobody wants to watch women cycling" Seanboy did, and you said "the facts are correct".
I have presented the figures on numerous occasions, and am surprised you haven't noticed them yet. So once again:
Olympic Road Race peak viewing figures::
MEN'S 5.7 Million
WOMEN'S 7.6 Million

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
17th July 2013 - 12:59

6 Likes

The Rumpo Kid wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:

When did I ever say "nobody wants to watch women's cycling"? What facts and statitistics did you present, other than "I watched it and so did people I know"?


You didn't say "nobody wants to watch women cycling" Seanboy did, and you said "the facts are correct".
I have presented the figures on numerous occasions, and am surprised you haven't noticed them yet. So once again:
Olympic Road Race peak viewing figures::
MEN'S 5.7 Million
WOMEN'S 7.6 Million

Please, give me something other than the Olympics - one example does not indicate a pattern.
Viewing figures for the TdF highlights on ITV 4 average at around 500,000, with Wiggins victory attracting 2m viewers on ITV1. Both these are significantly lower than the figures you quote above - demonstrating my point that the Olympics cannot be considered in the same context despite your repeated claim that it is 'comparable'.
Consider also that a simultaneous women's race may increase overall viewing figures but 'split' the viewership, resulting in lower audiences at different times for the separate coverage. This would be less attractive to broadcasters when trying to sell advertising space.

posted by JeevesBath [136 posts]
17th July 2013 - 13:38

4 Likes

My post was about a scenario with Vos clear on her own with the men 20k behind.

But anyway, if Vos and Armistead were neck and neck with 2k to go would you concentrate on them or would you cut to the mens peleton?

If you don't want the choice as a producer or viewer then the ladies either start a lot earlier or on a different day altogether.

Would you agree now that a mens/womens TdF would be nigh on impossible to run?

FWIW I think an entirely separate, shorter race is the way forward, give them a chance to develop, if the interest is there then it will develop and lets be honest, if there is money to be made someone will spot the opportunity.

But lets not kid ourselves that they can simply slot into the mens race, that to me smacks of positive discrimination and does no-one any favours.

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
17th July 2013 - 14:13

8 Likes

Blimey, there's some sexist tripe on here.

posted by Darkerside [64 posts]
17th July 2013 - 15:02

5 Likes

JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:

When did I ever say "nobody wants to watch women's cycling"? What facts and statitistics did you present, other than "I watched it and so did people I know"?


You didn't say "nobody wants to watch women cycling" Seanboy did, and you said "the facts are correct".
I have presented the figures on numerous occasions, and am surprised you haven't noticed them yet. So once again:
Olympic Road Race peak viewing figures::
MEN'S 5.7 Million
WOMEN'S 7.6 Million

Please, give me something other than the Olympics - one example does not indicate a pattern.
Viewing figures for the TdF highlights on ITV 4 average at around 500,000, with Wiggins victory attracting 2m viewers on ITV1. Both these are significantly lower than the figures you quote above - demonstrating my point that the Olympics cannot be considered in the same context despite your repeated claim that it is 'comparable'.
Consider also that a simultaneous women's race may increase overall viewing figures but 'split' the viewership, resulting in lower audiences at different times for the separate coverage. This would be less attractive to broadcasters when trying to sell advertising space.


A few points before I jet off to the Alpe...
I didn't say the TdF was comparable to the Olympics, I said it was more comparable to the games than to other cycle races.
I certainly would not expect a Women's TdF to get 7.6 Million every day, nor would I expect it to get more of an audience than the Men. I do however think it would attract a healthy audience. It isn't the size of the audiences that is important so much that they seem to demonstrate Women's cycling is not lagging miles behind Men's in terms of interest.
Sorry I keep quoting the Olympic figures. I would compare the Giro and Giro Rosa, but the latter wasn't on television. And if "one example does not indicate a pattern," is extrapolating from two year old Wimbledon audiences an accurate way of gaugeing an interest in Women's cycling?
And, give a Man his due. Wiggo's audience was 2.6 Million on ITV1, with another Million watching the simulcast.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
17th July 2013 - 15:50

4 Likes

thebungle wrote:
My post was about a scenario with Vos clear on her own with the men 20k behind.

But anyway, if Vos and Armistead were neck and neck with 2k to go would you concentrate on them or would you cut to the mens peleton?

Is it a trick question? I'd stick with Vos and Armitstead.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
17th July 2013 - 15:56

4 Likes

The Rumpo Kid wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:

When did I ever say "nobody wants to watch women's cycling"? What facts and statitistics did you present, other than "I watched it and so did people I know"?


You didn't say "nobody wants to watch women cycling" Seanboy did, and you said "the facts are correct".
I have presented the figures on numerous occasions, and am surprised you haven't noticed them yet. So once again:
Olympic Road Race peak viewing figures::
MEN'S 5.7 Million
WOMEN'S 7.6 Million

Please, give me something other than the Olympics - one example does not indicate a pattern.
Viewing figures for the TdF highlights on ITV 4 average at around 500,000, with Wiggins victory attracting 2m viewers on ITV1. Both these are significantly lower than the figures you quote above - demonstrating my point that the Olympics cannot be considered in the same context despite your repeated claim that it is 'comparable'.
Consider also that a simultaneous women's race may increase overall viewing figures but 'split' the viewership, resulting in lower audiences at different times for the separate coverage. This would be less attractive to broadcasters when trying to sell advertising space.


A few points before I jet off to the Alpe....

Nice, I've just got a sweaty 15 miles home to look forward to...
I deliberately didn't quote more recent figures for Wimbledon , as the disparity would be even worse - 17million for Murray's final the other week. Mark Cavendish wouldn't get figures like that if he took on the Champs Elysee stark bollock naked.......

posted by JeevesBath [136 posts]
17th July 2013 - 15:56

4 Likes

My point, which I either made badly or you chose to ignore was that if there were two simultaneous races within the one broadcast, just how on earth would you choose between the two?

I have to say I've never 'met' a more fervent advocate of women's cycling, may I ask why that is?

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
17th July 2013 - 21:54

5 Likes

thebungle wrote:
My point, which I either made badly or you chose to ignore was that if there were two simultaneous races within the one broadcast, just how on earth would you choose between the two?

Errr, how about a similar way to how they choose between the bits when a mens race splits into two or three parts?

I'm hoping thebungle isn't a TV director...

posted by a.jumper [771 posts]
17th July 2013 - 23:46

8 Likes

That's all part of the one 'story', by trying to broadcast the mens and womens at the same time it would be two separate 'stories'.

Anyway, I think we're starting to argue over a point which is unlikely to happen.

I hope womens cycling does develop and gets the recognition it deserves, I personally think that trying to shoehorn it into the mens calender is not the way to go about it.

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
18th July 2013 - 8:31

4 Likes

It would help the sport if mens and womens races could happen on the same day if logistically possible. Then the current mens sponsorship could pay for the bulk of the setup costs while the womens sponsorship catches up. The current mens sponsors would also be seen supporting both groups.

posted by TeamCC [146 posts]
18th July 2013 - 9:54

4 Likes

" There is some SEXIST tripe in here " , a truer statement , yet to be found !

Each day the TDF runs the " Cadets " over the first 25+km of the daily course , they then jump in their transport to a point 25km from the " Arrivee " for a Sprint finish !

Daily the Gendarmerie have the Whole route closed for several hours so that the " Publicity Caravan " & VIPs can drive carefree down the route . Big money drops into ASO Coffers for this privelege .

Champion Supermarkets , now taken over by CarreFours " Sponsors " the Mountain Polka dot Jersey , do ALL they can to capitalise on the " Publicity " , that " Le Tour " generates , both In Store & in the Media . TDF is a big draw for ALL their Stores throughout Europe . Women SPEND the family Budget , so if they smell an opportunity , and 43500+ signed on so far , will ensure that they decide to INvestigate , what is in it for them !

Much of the Basic Infrastructure is in place for the Men's Event , all that would be needed is to institute a REVISION of some of the UCI Rules & Regs ! 250km stages may be shortened by starting the Womens Race at a " Sprint Point " along the route , where there is already fixed cameras & Time keeping Equipment . Since the women will be racing 50km + stages , all the Ad banners & hordings would be put in place a tad earlier than currently . Instead of swilling in the Depart Village , any Journo worth their Salt would make the effort to visit the Men Racers at their Pullmans one day ,And the Womens Start line the next day , perhaps even visit both.

Women Racers starting further down the Day's route would mean that their Accomodation would be less likely to clash with the needs of the mens Teams .

UCI has access to many more Officials than are required at the TDF , so all that will be needed are the vehicles to move them around . This applies to the " Guard Republican " also , since they will act as the Mobile Escort . As regards the TV Motorbikes & TV Helicopters , there may be a question of scheduling their efforts and the resulting sleeping accomodation !

WHAT IS NEEDED is for Chris Prudhomme , to smell the Roses ( Money Ops ), but like JM Leblanc , he may be prejudiced towards the EASY life ?

There are many Former & Current Women Racers who know how to make a Womens TDF work , all they need is the ASO to get it's head out of the sand and create the environment where ALL Parties have a WIN WIN solution !

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

skippy's picture

posted by skippy [404 posts]
18th July 2013 - 20:08

3 Likes

.

posted by Metjas [331 posts]
24th July 2013 - 14:06

5 Likes