Joe Harris and Steve Maxwell published a fascinating report on The Outerline about the astronomical cost of televising professional cycling races. The equipment alone is enough to burn a hole in the organizers pockets, they report that “[a]ccording to U.S. cycling TV producer Kent Gordis, the specialized camera equipment typically used to cover a race can cost as much as $30,000 a day to rent”. Of course there is the additional equipment for helicopter coverage which can cost as much as $5,000.00 an hour and then the cost of airtime and you’ve got well over a million dollars of expenses. It should be also taken into account that the Tour de France coverage only gets an average of 100,000 US viewers per day. This is comparable to the amount of viewers who watch a week day baseball game.
Harris and Maxwell suggest a possible solution to the high cost of production and the low numbers of viewers with the implementation of an online platform. This would remove the cost of air time and create a go-to place for all cycling fans to discuss and watch live and archived footage. Internet streaming would allow the viewer to watch what they want, when they want, “A key to any cycling site’s success will be having enough new and exclusive content to make visiting the site a daily habit for the consumer, so that he or she will consider purchasing a recurring subscription, or value-added content on demand for specific events”. We love the idea of a reliable online platform for all the latest in professional cycling and with the success of online coverage for sports such as surfing, we think a cycling platform would be a huge success.