Coming in July, NBC Sports will take some 12 hours of coverage, 8 of which will be live, of the Tour de France. Now this has been a signature event for Versus, now NBC Sports Network, over the past decade. Now, the NBC mothership will air live coverage of the event for the first time. It takes the place of Wimbledon which NBC lost to ESPN after last year’s tournament.
On July 7 and 8, NBC will air live morning coverage of Stages 7 and 8, both of which will be grueling mountain stages. Traditional Tour de France announcers Phil Liggett and Phil Sherwin will call the stages on NBC.
In addition to the live stages, NBC will taped coverage of Stage 1 on July 1 to kick off the race and then on July 22, it will have taped coverage of the final stage as the cyclists tour Paris to the finish line.
We have the details from NBC.
Two Premier Mountain Stages to Air LIVE on Saturday, July 7, and Sunday July 8
Same-day coverage of first and final stages also added to NBC
NEW YORK – March 7, 2012 – NBC Sports Group, the exclusive rights holder of Tour de France coverage in the U.S., will move eight hours of live Tour de France coverage of two premier mountain stages to NBC from the NBC Sports Network during the weekend of July 7-8. This marks the first time that the Tour de France will be broadcast live on network television.
Same-day coverage of the first stage of cycling’s greatest event on Sunday, July 1 and the final stage on Sunday, July 22, when racers ride up the Champs-Elysees, have also been added to NBC’s lineup.
“We are excited to expose the thrilling competition and unparalleled beauty of the Tour de France to even more viewers by providing 12 hours of additional coverage on our national broadcast platform, including live coverage of two of the premier mountain stages,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network.
“We are extremely happy that the television coverage of the Tour de France is growing year after year in the United States,” said Yann le Moënner, Managing Director of Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.). “This is a great example of how the interest for cycling is increasing, and will improve even more thanks to the updated broadcast schedule. We are extremely happy with our partnership with the NBC Sports Group and look forward to our continued alliance in the coming year.”
“The Tour will finish its first week of competition when Stages 7 and 8 are broadcast live on NBC Sports,” said Phil Liggett. “It is usually by this time that the finger points to a half a dozen riders who feel they can win the race as they battle each other to the head of the overall classification. Stages 7 and 8 will introduce even more viewers to one of the greatest sporting events on earth as it airs nationally on NBC, a giant step forward for cycling coverage. The finishes are new to the race at La Planche des Belles Filles and Porrentruy, and will provide the platform for an excellent weekend of dramatic race action.”
Following is a breakdown of Tour de France coverage that will air on NBC this year:
Sunday, July 1 Stage 1 Liege-Seraing 4-6 p.m. ET Tape
Saturday, July 7 Stage 7 Tomblaine-La Planche des Belles Filles* 8 a.m. – Noon LIVE
Sunday, July 8 Stage 8 Belfort-Porrentruy* 8 a.m. – Noon LIVE
Sunday, July 22 Stage 20 Rambouillet-Paris Champs-Élysées 1-3 p.m. ET Tape
NBC Sports Network will continue to present nearly 14 hours of coverage per day. Additional coverage details regarding NBC Sports Network and NBCSports.com will be released at a later date.
That will do it.