Cycling Weekly is today starting a campaign to encourage ITV to show more cycling on its digital channels.

As reported in this week’s CW magazine, ITV holds the terrestrial broadcast rights to several UCI Worldtour races, but is only going to show delayed highlights of them.

CW understands that, as part of their contract to show the Tour de France, ITV could broadcast the Criterium International, Paris-Roubaix, La Flèche Wallonne and Paris-Tours, which are all run by Tour organiser ASO.

Currently, ITV4 will show highlights of Paris-Nice on March 26, and they look set to air edited coverage from Liege-Bastogne-Liege for the second year running. Both are also ASO-run events.


Having been the topic of conversation on Twitter recently, CW is encouraging people to contact ITV in support of more free-to-air cycling.

There are several ways of contacting ITV; you can email them at viewerservices@itv.com, write to them at ITV Viewer Services, Gas Street, Birmingham, B1 2JT or phone 0844 881 4150 (5p per minute from a BT landline, calls from other networks may be higher, and from mobiles will be considerably more).

  • teamskyfans

    I can tell you that several hundred emails were sent from our server.
    Various people doing the replies, Tracey, Pauline, Pat & Julia

    Its something I think once theyve replied to all the emails (more are still being sent), that Cycling Weekly need to try and get hold of someone direct and get a solid answer. ITV will now have an idea on how many people are willing to put (virtual) pen to paper, and its not like they have to pay for the rights, they already own them.

  • Jasper

    Aye i received the standard reply as well. Don’t think i will even bother to reply to this…

  • Jonathan

    A standard form reply to my request. Nothing new there:

    Dear Jonathan

    Thank you for your email.

    We are unable to assist with details of how many letters or phone calls that we have received with regards to cycling on ITV.

    We would suggest keeping an eye on the ITV website http://www.itv.com/sport for updates of cycling coverage.

    Once again thank you for taking the time to contact us here at ITV Viewer Services.

    If we can be of further assistance in the future please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Kind regards

    Tracey

    ITV Viewer Services

  • Jonathan (Zappi’s CC)

    I just received the same reply that ‘teamskyfans’ posted above. You’re right not very exciting, nor inspiring!

    I replied back and requested to know how many e-mails they have received on the matter.

    Wonder if that will generate a reply or not?

  • teamskyfans

    ITV Have started replying. Standard email being sent out to everyone. Not very exciting.

    Dear xxxxxxx

    Thank you for your recent email regarding Cycling featured on ITV.

    ITV is proud to broadcast a range of major cycling events including the Tour de France, Tour of Britain and Tour Series on ITV4. We continually review all our sports coverage and scheduling in conjunction with ITV’s wider programming commitments.

    May I take this opportunity to thank you for your comments and if we can be of further assistance in the future please do not hesitate to contact us again.

    Regards

    Tracey

    ITV Viewer Services

  • John

    Found a draft letter here, http://www.teamskyfans.com/itvcampaign.html that could be used to let itv know our feelings on their coverage.
    Doubt they will take any notice, cant have them listening to the audience

  • Robert Connell

    I watch the cycling,on European satellite(not SKY!),and also stream,on steephill.com.
    You can also subscibe,to CYCLING.TV,for about £40,too!
    ITV is useless,and flooded,with adverts.
    Two year’s on the trot,i tried watching ITV4,on line,but it would not work,although 1,2,& 3 did!
    Eventually after a week,ITV responded,with a poor excuse!
    I hardly watch,any UK tv,because it is so AWFULL.
    I call ITV-”IDIOT TV!”.
    Ditch the rip-off “SKY”,ITV,etc,and watch live,on European tv.
    There is plenty of choice,out there!

  • Jasper

    Matt, if everybody thought like you, nothing would happen for sure! For your information: I don’t even have a telly anymore, as i never watched it. Any cycling action i see is highlights on ITV player. But i do think there should be more cycling on tv for the benefit of all other cycling lovers and i think this campaign is a great idea.

    My email to ITV is on it’s way.

  • colin

    as i dont have sky i welcome anything that itv shows i agree its little but a start, itv please keep it coming….

  • Martin

    I would much rather watch bike racing on Eurosport. The amount of adverts that ITV show nowadays is laughable. The TOB coverage was hopelessly swamped with ads every 10 mins and spoiled any enjoyment.

  • TeamSkyFans

    teamskyfans have set up a automatic email page here.
    http://www.teamskyfans.com/itvcampaign.html

    all you need to do is put in your name and email address and it will automcatically email ITV.

    You can either use the text already on the page (so it takes about 5 seconds to do) or insert your own.

    We do not store your emails or anything, they are sent via a seperate server. We do not see your email address.

  • Ian Essex

    I have today sent the following email to ITV and ‘blind’ copied Cycling Weekly.

    I understand that currently, ITV4 will show highlights of Paris-Nice on March 26, and possibly edited coverage of Liege-Bastogne-Liege for the second year running. One also assumes the Tour De France will also be covered. However, I believe ITV holds the terrestrial broadcast rights to several UCI World tour races, but is only going to show delayed highlights of the aforementioned events.

    Are you aware of the tremendous increase of interest in cycling and the potential for viewing cycling events/racing. At present the main coverage is by subscription to Eurosport, so ITV have an opportunity to tap this ‘market’ especially as you are free and available on Freeview and Eurosport is not. Also, I feel that ITV’s normal coverage is usually made more interesting for the less informed cycling fan.

    Perhaps you could verify your plans for expanding coverage.

    Thanks & regards,
    Ian Essex
    British Cycling ‘Go Ride’ Activity coach.
    Qualified ‘Bikeabilty’ instructor.

  • Alan

    Eurosport’s coverage of cycling events other than the TDF is laughable at the best of times. If ITV made an effort perhaps Eurosport would respond in kind to keep their cycling viewers. I fear ITV will look at the ratings for their week delayed editted highlights of “insert classic” and see that they are low(due to the fact most of us A. Streamed it live B. Given up hope of watching cycling on itv C. Read all about the race and don’t have the time to watch “old news”. This should be highlighted in the letters as well. Maybe quote several news sources on the increase of road bike purchases up and down the country. There is certainly the interest, with Cavendish and Team Sky’s involvement.

  • Matt

    This is all too little too late. Surely any real fans of cycle sport have Eurosport, I have since 1991. I know it’s not free to air, but neither the BBC nor ITV have ever really shown any great interest or understanding of road racing. I’ve long since given up hope of that ever really changing. Even the Tour de France is tucked away on ITV4 between repeats of The Sweeney.

  • Ned James

    I’ll echo the below , how about a letter we can sign and emial off?

  • Tom

    I have to agree with Bob, I think the campaign would be much more effective if it was one e-mail that people could adjust. As it may get the message across in a more united way. Unfortunately ITV don’t have a @ profile on twitter. For more conversation please use #cwmorecyclingonITV

  • Baz

    Yes, let’s contact ITV and convince them there are thousands who will watch major road races, preferably live (edited highlights were what we got in black and white on Saturday afternoons in the sixties – the best we could hope for then but watching a week-old event when you know the results is not really going to have much attraction these days). The bottom line for broadcasters is delivering an audience to its advertisers so we need to be convincing; will thousands of identical letters do that, Bob? Better to do our own version – tell ‘em what we want and that we’ll be watching!

  • Sean Bickerdike

    Here are a few suggested paragraphs:

    I understand that ITV has the broadcasting rights to show the Tour De France again this year (which I await with great excitement) and that part of the contract to show the TDF allows ITV to broadcast various other UCI Worldtour races, such as Paris-Nice, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Criterium International, Paris-Roubaix, La Fleche Wallonne and Paris-Tours.

    My understanding is there is going to be only delayed highlights of only the first two races I list above, which is a massive disappointment.

    These classic cycling races are of huge interest to the cycling community and I’m sure that the atmosphere of the likes of Paris-Roubaix would attract many other viewers interest also.

    I would urge you to consider broadcast of these additional Worldtour races as I would expect a large following to tune in to what are sporting events with a fine pedigree and history behind them.

    They also fit nicely with the “tough guy” theme that you have been promoting for ITV4 as these are certainly tough events in what is a tough sport.

  • Sean Bickerdike

    This is definitely worth supporting. Paris-Roubaix on free to air TV? I’d be glued.
    My email has already been despatched.

  • Bob

    Could you draft a letter to send that we can copy and paste to an email? Will make the campaign process much easier…