How about that Giro hey? Apart form some ridiculously boring early stages, it was a ripper of a race. However, it seems a hell of a lot of my fellow aussie cycling fans missed out. How many you ask? Well, due to the fact that I don’t have the rights to publish all the numbers, I cant show a breakdown of the actual numbers for each stage (the figures I have come from multiple sources), but I reckon this graph might give you some idea.
For all the gory details of what happened with the rights, see the always excellent Inrng.com post here.
Now, going back to the figures, there was a shade over 1.5 million views of the SBS coverage for the 2016 race for all the stages. The payTV audience didn’t even make it to 10% of that figure in either 2016 or 2017. The Eurosport audience grew 1.4% from 2016 to 2017, so exclusivity did bugger all to their audience. In theory, a potential 1.5 million plus eyeballs missed out on seeing the Giro this year, in Australia alone! I don’t have global figures, but I can’t imagine they would be a lot better.
Now, imagine if you are a team sponsor. You think they would be happy about this? They are missing out on a huge amount of exposure.
I have no idea what we, as Australian cycling fans can do. I was thinking about the anti siphoning laws out here, but from what I can see on the Wiki site about it, cycling isn’t even listed on the list of sports covered. Maybe this is one avenue?
The relevant Minister has the power to add, amend or remove events from the list.
I don’t know the answer, but it seems RCS have shot themselves in the foot with this decision. Let’s hope it is looked at before next years Giro.