Eurosport Headquarters, Paris (Issy-les-Moulineaux)
Copyright © Pete Geyer/www.cyclingfans.com
Paris (cyclingfans.com) - Lance Armstrong's comeback continues to have a positive impact on broadcast coverage of pro road racing.
Following our announcement that Versus in the U.S. will be showing the 2009 Amgen Tour of California LIVE (including, for the first time, on weekdays), we can now announce that Eurosport will also have live coverage of the event which will be Armstrong's second race of the season (after the recently completed Tour Down Under).
Eurosport ads are announcing complete live coverage of the Tour of California from February 14-22, with broadcast start times from 23:00 CET (California is 9 hours behind Paris).
Eurosport headquarters in Paris confirmed to me via phone this afternoon that they will indeed have live coverage, though they would only confirm Stages 1 and 2 at this time. But I think we're going to get the entire week. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, during a Skype internet phone call I had with them last week, Universal Sports (formerly WCSN) didn't sound like they would be showing the 2009 Tour of California. Race organizer AEG is offering non-exclusive broadcast rights and Universal Sports, which will be putting more effort into its TV channel and less into internet streaming, felt the price was too high.
As announced previously, AEG and Tour de France organizer A.S.O. signed a deal last June that involves A.S.O. helping with international distribution of the Tour of California. Armstrong's return may have sealed the deal on live coverage.
Finally, I have also confirmed that there will once again be Tour of California live streaming video for those who want or need to watch via the internet.